A loft conversion in Brussels

SHSH Architecture + Scenography converts a former warehouse in Brussels into a contemporary loft that adapts to its inhabitants.

Shizuka Hariu and Shin Bogdan Hagiwara of SHSH Architecture + Scenography, a practice with offices in Belgium, the UK and Japan, sent us these images of a warehouse they transformed into a contemporary loft for a family with three children. Located in a former carton storage warehouse in Brussels, the one-storey loft includes an art studio, living spaces and play areas by cleverly dividing up the internal spaces.

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 old and new layers of its space. “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,” say Hariu and Hagiwara.
These three functional “islands” have different textures and colours. The volumes are placed against the walls leaving a large open space next to the existing South-East face windows.
Clever use was made of the open-plan space to create fun play areas for the family's children. The wooden cladding demarcates the volume containing the children's bedrooms while adding another layer of acoustic insulation.
A new large bookshelf housing the family's extensive book collection now also partitions off another separate bedroom, added in phase two of the renovation.
The walls of the kitchen and laundry room are in “Matsuba-iro”, a dull green colour like the leaves of a pine tree. Just beyond is a bathroom, separate toilet and technical room, all in "Benihi-iro", a red scarlet tone.
The adult's bedroom is closed by steel-framed sliding doors in order to take natural light from the workspace.