Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Live/Work Loft on a Lane - A Modern Design!

This 2 storey, 3000 ft2, light industrial building was zoned live/work.   It was being used as a prop house on the ground floor and living space on the second floor. There were two enclosed staircases to the second floor and many small dark rooms. An unstable spiral staircase led to the 3rd floor catwalk entrance to the roof deck. A rotting green house with leaky window sat on the roof.

 With the 11 foot ceilings, exposed steel structure and unobstructed floor plate this pile of bricks had potential! Originally the clients had planned to make just a few small changes....move a few walls, change a few fixtures, update the kitchen, a good scrub and a coat of paint...... It became apparent through a brief design investigation that a bolder intervention would be required.


The owners needs were simple – a couple of bedrooms, a multi-media studio, professional kitchen, expansive walls for a fantastic  art collection, massive and uninterrupted living space for soirees,  and roof deck capable of accommodating 50 for dinner...and possibly dancing.

We decided to turn the space upside down.  With the bedrooms, studio and storage on the ground floor, the entire second floor could be devoted to living/entertaining space.  The existing steel structure allowed the design to be entirely open concept.  And, of course, a big space screams out for a big stair – an organizing element that ties all the spaces together – from the ground floor entry hall to the 3rd floor roof terrace.  The stair became the star of the space.

The five foot wide switchback steel stair with glass rails was expertly fabricated by RealeBorn

The existing ground floor concrete slab was a bit of a mess.  We levelled it with a lightweight concrete topping and included in-floor hydronic heat.  The floor was polished and sealed. 

The smaller bedroom has a sleeping loft with walk-in closet and ensuite bath below – it’s very cool.

Rolling barn doors and pocket doors are custom sizes

The kitchen cabinet doors and gables were constructed out of resin (Olympic kitchens, “parapan” high gloss acrylic)’s very cool.
Brilliant green paint finish on the drywall window returns eliminated the need for casing/trim – yeah.


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