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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Kempart Loft in Liège, Belgium by Dethier Architectures

 
April 26th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Dethier Architectures

Reinterpreting the loft
The Kempart loft project emerged from a meeting between Daniel Dethier and a client, who was passionate about precision engineering. It demonstrates how industrial spaces can be transformed into housing without becoming locked into stereotypes.

Detail and accuracy
We were fortunate to have a committed and receptive client who was fascinated by precision engineering. This allowed us to apply our research into a loft’s reinterpretation, and to integrate a technically advanced architectural object. Our approach was, quite naturally, based on the client’s profile rather than the site’s historical nature – as it does not present any heritage value whatever.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

  • Architects: Dethier Architectures
  • Project: Kempart Loft
  • Location: Liège, Belgium
  • Photography: Serge Brison for Dethier Architectures.
  • Typology: Single housing
  • Type: Private commission
  • Study: 2011
  • Completion: 2012
  • Architect: Daniel Dethier (Dethier Architectures)
  • Artist: Jean Glibert
  • Inside aera: 154 m2
  • Terrace area: 107 m2

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

On the cutting edge
The movement to transform small and medium-sized industrial sites into housing units began in the 1970s. Often, however, such renovations were superficial in nature – a passé, rough-hewn treatment for a lifestyle out of synch with contemporary expectations. Most observers are aware of this, yet preconceptions about how \”lofts\” should be designed are as deep-rooted as they are pseudo-contemporary.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

Hence, getting off the beaten track and proposing bold aesthetic choices combined with cutting-edge finishings was more difficult in this context than for other types of projects. For the Kempart loft, the concept was straightforward: to create a living space for a couple with no children in an abandoned industrial bakery. Beyond the basic technical requirements, our proposal was mainly focused on the space’s layout, function and sensitivity.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

An aluminium pod
To begin, we opened the space up as much as possible, removing the tie beams and strengthening the rafters with metal plates set in the ridge beam. The resulting 154 sq. m open area was structured by the introduction of a rounded modular unit housing two bathrooms, storage areas, a toilet and the heating and ventilation systems.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

The modular unit divides the interior space and provides for various functions while creating a range of ambiences. Beginning with the entrance, the space provides zones for the hall, office, lounge, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and dressing room. The lounge area is located on the southern side of the space, while the bedroom is to the north.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

The modular unit has a unique design; its silhouette, aluminium cladding and careful attention to detail were all inspired by the Airstream trailer’s aerodynamic aesthetic. We commissioned artist Jean Glibert to select the bathroom areas’ saturated colours, which can be glimpsed through three porthole windows that can be rendered opaque. These variegated tonal elements energise the interior architecture, which is predominantly white, a colour that reflects the indirect light and emphasises the unit’s brushed aluminium skin.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

The pure lines and tonal range produce a feeling of weightlessness, reinforced by the understated, high-tech furnishings, which were also commissioned. Particular attention was paid to the placement of the floor-to-ceiling windows and the to the views from the lounge area – one can look down a street and out towards the spacious terrace, whose surface area is equivalent to two-thirds of the interior space. The terrace almost doubles the living space and offers the inhabitants direct contact with the neighbourhood.

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

Image Courtesy © Serge Brison

Image courtesy Dethier Architectures

Image courtesy Dethier Architectures

Image courtesy Dethier Architectures

Image courtesy Dethier Architectures

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Category: House

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