Urban Lofts: Adaptive Re-use Architecture and Small Living
Is adaptive reuse architecture paired with small living what we need to stall climate change? It just might be—and the Urban Lofts are the perfect example.
From outdated office spaces to 48 high-end compact apartments, the Urban Lofts located in Amsterdam showcase an innovative design that effortlessly blends the past and present. This revamp highlights the building’s original structure by showcasing areas of raw concrete, while also infusing warmth and contemporary appeal with wood accents and refined finishings. The results? A home with both industrial charm and a luxurious aesthetic.
While not technically considered a “tiny” space, the 129m2 lofts provide a more compact living space than many are used to. But with the unique design, addition of a loggia on each loft, and communal areas that are to be thought of as “extensions” of the apartments, there is plenty of room to accommodate one’s needs. Communal areas, such as the lobby, hallways, and staircases, were crafted
with the belief that healthy social connection is essential for a high quality of life.
However, the poignant way BNLA Architecten and Bureau Fraai pays homage to the building’s past and the social philosophy behind the layout is just the tip on the iceberg—its potential impact on the environment is what truly caught our eye.
Adaptive Reuse Architecture
Beyond a commendable design, the Urban Lofts adaptive reuse architecture is what attracted us to this project—an approach that is always admirable in our books! If more projects utilized buildings that have outlived their purpose, instead of focusing on new builds, we could not only preserve our past but ensure a healthy future. Adaptable reuse architecture benefits the environment by using less raw
material, essentially conserving natural resources and cutting down on transportation emissions.
Embracing a Small Living Mindset
The eco-consciousness of the Urban Lofts doesn’t stop at adaptive reuse architecture, it also extends to the lifestyle of its inhabitants. While large spaces make it possible to live with excess, tiny spaces like the Urban Lofts have little to no room for unneedful things. This means that the residents are more mindful
and less wasteful when it comes to consumer products. Not to mention, a smaller home also requires fewer natural resources to operate. We certainly aren’t saying that you need to downsize to live an eco- conscious lifestyle, but embracing the small living mindset—where less is more—can go a long way in battling consumer habits that are detrimental to the environment.
Image via ArchDaily (c) Studio De Nooyer