Fun fact: Germany has one of the lowest home-ownership rates in the world. With stabilized rental prices, great taxes, and a healthy economy – there simply isn’t much of an incentive for a German citizen to own a house. The flip side of this is that it makes for a fantastic foreign investment opportunity which is what we are seeing today. The rise in foreign investments is the driving force behind the architectural enlightenment of everything from business buildings to lofts. In fact one group of architects, Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners, stands out when it comes to designing and creating contemporary, structural masterpieces. To illustrate their technical and creative skill, we need only look towards one of their latest projects: a warehouse-turned-loft in Desseldorf, Germany.
The building is a fantastic example of renovating a home while keeping the original aesthetic. Brick walls seamlessly transition into pure white and large glass windows let the surrounding neighborhood provide an urban skyline from almost any vantage point in the home. Despite being Belgian architects, the feel of a post-war German warehouse remains intact. This ability to design across cultures comes as no surprising considering the team’s philosophy and 25 years of experience designing at home and abroad:
An architectural project is worked out while answering a multitude of constraints, it acts to create an environment favourable for human activity. We all know that we do not only live thanks to some protéïnes which enable us to function : the quality of our life, the force of our memories, the importance of our interpersonal exchanges, the reading of the environment, all these moments wake up in us emotions.
We have realized constructions in the following countries : Belgium, Caribbean, Germany, Greece, France, Great-Britain, Italy, Maroc, The Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United States.
Architects Bruno Erpicum were entrusted with renovating the loft and turning it into a beautiful home for a couple. The team was instructed to keep the feel of one of Dusseldorf’s rare ruins while modernizing it from the ground up. Here’s what the team had to say about the conversion process:
The reconversion was closely overseen by the administrative authorities, since this old factory in the city centre miraculously avoided damage during the many bombings of World War II. Across from the coachman’s passageway are some garages that stand in front of the entrance court. The court is dotted with screens that flank the entrance and seclude off the “day patio”. The history of the city is reflected in the glass panels, reminding you of the building’s heritage. A facade made entirely of glass stands completely independently of the old structures, showing off their immense scale. The building is now protected against the elements and complies with energy performance requirements.
Words cannot do the property justice; the home was designed in such a way that light naturally illuminates the interior evenly regardless of the texture involved. In fact, the use of lighting (both natural and artificial) is what helps the home feel like one cohesive environment. There is a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor space as you step into your semi-private background. The white fence is surrounded by the tops of the old neighborhood creating a modern oasis in an old town. Take a look at the images below and see the property for yourself:
More About Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners:
Photographer: Jean Luc LALOUX
Location: Avenue Baron Albert | 1950 Kraainem | Belgium
Tel: +32 2 687 27 17
Fax: +32 2 687 56 80
Email: [email protected]