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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. 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. 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. 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. View more View full description
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