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American design classic inspires aluminum pod loft conversion


May 23, 2013

The Kempart loft (Photo: © Serge Brison for Dethier Architectures)

The Kempart loft (Photo: © Serge Brison for Dethier Architectures)

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For its design of the Kempart loft in Liège, Belgian company Dethier Architectures wanted to throw out the style book for converting industrial buildings into loft apartments, which it promptly did with the help of an aluminum pod inspired by a classic piece of American design.

"We were fortunate to have a committed and receptive client who was fascinated by precision engineering," the company's project description runs. So the company set about designing a visually striking yet useful aluminum pod to be placed smackedy-boo in the middle of the apartment (formerly an industrial-scale bakery).

To make way for the pod, it was necessary to shore up the rafter by setting metal plates into the topmost ridge beam, allowing the lower horizontal tie beams to be removed, freeing up vertical space.

The pod itself contains two bathrooms, a toilet, the heating and ventilation equipment as well as some storage space. It also acts as a break, with the living room on one side (with a TV built neatly into the pod), and the bedroom on the other.

Artist Jean Glibert was commissioned to pick out colors for the bathrooms' lighting, and came up with green and orange, which add interest to the loft's interior thanks to the square, filleted windows through which the colored lighting can be glimpsed.

Fans of industrial design will no doubt have spotted the inspiration behind the pod. Dethier Architectures says that the famous aluminum Airstream trailer, designed by William Hawley Bowlus, influenced the material, form and also the detailing of the pod, though its brushed finish is perhaps a little less lustrous (and easier to maintain).

Source: Dethier Architectures, via Design Boom

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Although the silver cigar box would look better outside, some details to the actual ventilation would be nice. I don’t see any means to vent humidity, not to mention other odorous gases.

The joint to the floor line is awkward, and why put a building within a building, what a waste of good material.

Something or someone definitely needs to be thrown out….

Bob Flint

Aside from the looks (near terminally ugly) it has got to be more expensive than a conventionally installed amenities.


I think it is a way cool design. I think it could be made a little wider and it could be a tiny house and not in a loft. It has a very futuristic look to it.


I Like It; It's A Very Cool Design


I like the concept and design... but it'd be a bugger of a fix if you buy a bigger TV screen.


Looks nice... but for the price of that much aluminum, they could have probably bought another house, or at least substantially upgraded the one they had. It is by far not the silliest or most pretentious design I have seen though.

Charles Bosse
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