has redesigned the main space of an old steam factory in the Delfshaven neighborhood of Rotterdam into an open loft office. A central glass meeting room, with a pantry and stairs leading to the plant-filled roof organizes the large warehouse space in a single sweeping gesture, transforming it into a generous and optimistic working space.

The central design idea behind the transformation of the office was to keep the scale, transparency and lightness in place and to connect the office to the main atrium of the building. Therefore the central element was designed as a hybrid between a room, a wall and a piece of furniture; it divides, connects and provides service space.

In a single continuous gesture, a timber shape takes on the function of wall-cladding, floor, wall, kitchen and roof. The new element uses the potential of the large free height provided by the open space, by adding an extra dimension to the use of the space in the form of a modest roofgarden on top of the meeting room. A small flight of stairs leads up to this garden that provides a lovely space to relax during hectic working days. At the same time, the garden is a spectacular landscape feature in the office and absorbs sound to create an acoustically sound environment.

This conversion of a factory space into a grand office loft space demonstrates the potential of often forgotten spaces in inner cities. The way in which this type of space accommodates new functions in a both classy and seamless manner, is exemplary for the opportunities that layering, re-using and re-vitalising provide for central but forgotten areas in inner cities.


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[Images courtesy of . Photography © René de Wit.]


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