A former carton storage warehouse is transformed into a contemporary loft. The aim on a limited budget was to create an experience of colours and textures through the interplay of architectural features and a dialogue between the existing and new historical layers of the space. The concept revolved around the loft as ‘the ocean’ and distinct constructed elements (kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom) as ‘the islands’.

“The largeness of the loft evokes the image of an ocean. The functions are, when necessary, enclosed in volumes floating on this ocean. With no corridors and a minimum of partitions, there is only a vast plateau where three island-like volumes are planned: the bedrooms, the kitchen and the sanitary facilities.”

These three functional islands have all different textures and colours. The volumes are placed against the walls leaving a large open space next to the existing South-East face windows.

“Inspiration came from random but meaningful sources; an automated conveyor in steel – a pine structure – the colour of Shin’s sweater.”

On the bedrooms volume, walls are finished with wooden materials, with bookshelves and closets on the sides. The children's bedrooms are closed tightly for optimal acoustic requirements. The adult's bedroom is closed by steel-framed sliding doors in order to take natural light from the workspace.

On the second volume, the walls of the kitchen and laundry room are in Matsuba-iro, a dull green colour like the leaves of a pine tree. In the kitchen, the central island is situated at the edge of the raised floor, allowing the family to use it as a bar from the dining room. The kitchen has been designed as an open element without doors or walls, showing the utensils arranged on sliding trays. All hardware has been carefully chosen to provide an industrial appearance, fine and simple.

Finally, the sanitary block includes a separated toilet, a technical room and a bathroom, all in Benihi-iro, a red scarlet tone. In an industrial building with no sound insulation, a rubber floor material of 16 mm was chosen to prevent the spread of noise between floors. The floors are raised only where necessary for sanitary and electrical installations.

In the second phase, the additional bedroom is envisaged in order to adapt the loft to the family’s changing needs.

The new bookshelves are composing the new bed room for one of the child.

Client : Private Place : Brussels, Belgium

2nd phase Architects: Shin Bogdan Hagiwara & Shizuka Hariu / SHSH Architecture + Scenography

1st phase Architects: Shin Bogdan Hagiwara, Thierry Decuypere, Jorn Aram Bihain (V+)

Photography 2nd phase : SHSH Architecture + Scenography

Photography 1st phase : Olivier Chenoix

March 2014
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