Turning a factory into a loft

Реконструкция на фабрика в лофт

Q&A: Turning a factory into a loft

The idea of living in an apartment that was a textile or canning factory 20 years ago is mildly crazy for the Bulgarian. But thinking about how many businesses are ruined and destroyed after the notorious changes, the suggestion to turn industrial zones into socially greener landscapes in a welcoming green residential neighborhood seems to me less bad. Here are some tips for the enthusiasts who decide to experiment in this area:

Q&A: How to choose the location?

Location is of the utmost importance. Often, industrial zones are considerably remote from the city center. This is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, you get a comfortable distance from noise and stress. At the same time, finding a communicative, transport-secure and easily accessible place is a difficult undertaking. Do not forget that the proximity of nature for walks and recreation - park, river, lake, etc. is always an advantage.

Q&A: Are there any requirements to the building? 

Preferably there are multi-storey buildings with a maximum ceiling height of one floor of 3.20 m. The tall workshops are more difficult and with more constructive changes to become homes. The most suitable are former light industry enterprises - textiles, food, printing... Do not choose the first or last floor - so the problems related to ground and roof maintenance will be further away from you. Let the building have many windows - it is easier to put a massive wall in front or shut down by furniture some of them than to open a new one during the rebuilding.

Q&A: What is the plan's solution for the home?

  • If possible, choose a space without internal walls. This will give the designers maximum freedom to achieve the best floor plan;
  • Thanks to the thermo-insulating joinery and air conditioners, the world's directions are not decisive. However, energy performance indicators for the dwelling will be better if it is facing south and / or east;
  • Divide the apartment into two zones: common and personal. The first one is the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the winter garden and others. In modern interiors they are integrated into one space. Keep in mind, however, the shortcomings of this solution. It would not be nice for anyone to rest or have guests in the living room, the kitchen to come with the sound of the absorber and the smell of cooking. In the second zone are the bedrooms. Ideally each of them includes an individual closet and bathroom;
  • Create new spaces with straight walls and corners - so they will be in tune with the geometric structure of the building. Count on materials and furnishings to bring contemporary and non-standard sound, not curved and non-functional spaces;
  • The entrance must be in the immediate vicinity of a staircase and / or a lift not only for greater convenience and accessibility, but also in case of emergency evacuation;
  • Think of the service rooms (kitchen, laundry, bathrooms and toilets) - it would be nice to have natural lighting and to be in close proximity to vertical pipes of water supply, sewerage and ventilation shafts;
  • Usually, industrial buildings are devoid of open spaces. Provide part (s) of the floor to turn into a balcony or loggia - the connection with nature and clean air is of utmost importance.

Q&A: Which materials and furniture are the most suitable?

  • Industrial enterprises from the recent past have non-insulated outer walls. In modern dwelling the laying of thermal insulation is obligatory. Try to avoid the "patch syndrome" that is typical of the panel blocks at the moment. Consult with a heat expert who will recommend an optimum heat insulation thickness. Agree everything that affects the exterior appearance and facade structure with the project for general reconstruction of the building;
  • Build new walls of lightweight materials that are of sufficient thickness and good soundproofing qualities;
  • Characteristic of the old industrial buildings is the negligence of the surfaces - ornate floors, walls and ceilings. Therefore, it is necessary to perform leveling and strengthening layers - floor screed (unless you use self-leveling flooring), plaster and putty for walls and ceilings;
  • The lack of enough light in the rooms is another big problem. Use varnished, reflective materials in warm tones. Only in the shortest case open new windows and consult the general project for reconstruction of the building;
  • To preserve and highlight the past-present relationship, leave the features of the previous function - visible concrete, brick masonry or installations, but not unlimited and stylish;
  • The contemporary appearance of the spaces is achieved with the choice of furniture. Light and colorful design products best balance the former industrial premises.