A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A former workshop in the Dutch city of Den Bosch is converted into a hip, Manhattan-inspired loft.

Originally built in the 1880s, the 2,153-square-foot workshop in the Southern Netherlands underwent a total transformation recently, thanks to Utrecht–based firm EVA Architecten. Although it was previously used as an office for the last 10 years, the space is now home to a stunning loft-style apartment, fully equipped with modern finishes.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 1 of 13 - Built as a workshop in the 19th century, the space is now a beautiful residence.

Built as a workshop in the 19th century, the space is now a beautiful residence.

Drawing from the owners' love of New York City, EVA sought out inspiration from other New York spaces. They used polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls, and an industrial-style steel staircase to give the interior a commodious warehouse feel. 

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 2 of 13 - Glass windows in the entrance foyer bring in lots of natural light from the outdoors.

Glass windows in the entrance foyer bring in lots of natural light from the outdoors.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 3 of 13 - A sleek, streamlined open-concept kitchen.

A sleek, streamlined open-concept kitchen.

Because the interior is 66 feet deep, a big priority for the renovation was to bring more natural light into the core of the home. After adding three skylights to the roof, sunlight is now able to penetrate from the upper level through the voids all the way down to the ground floor. 

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 4 of 13 - The wooden floor structure of the upper level and existing steel beams were retained.

The wooden floor structure of the upper level and existing steel beams were retained.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 5 of 13 - Exposed brick walls work with a black steel staircase and polished concrete floors to give the interior an edgy and modern atmosphere.

Exposed brick walls work with a black steel staircase and polished concrete floors to give the interior an edgy and modern atmosphere.

The upper level of the apartment is composed of a wooden floor supported by steel beams; both been retained and restored. 

Since the owner wished to experience the apartment as one large space, several voids were installed to allow light to penetrate throughout the entire apartment.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 6 of 13 - A cozy study area that looks out to the street.

A cozy study area that looks out to the street.

Insulation was added to the interior brick walls, which were left untreated to reveal the historic varieties, braces, and repair of the brick. 

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 7 of 13 - A versatile hallway on the upper level illustrates the harmonious blend of modern updates alongside the historic brick walls.

A versatile hallway on the upper level illustrates the harmonious blend of modern updates alongside the historic brick walls.

To create intimate living areas within the expansive double-height space, the architects inserted a large timber volume—composed of plywood with brushed oak finishings—at the center of the property. 

This assisted with separating the functional zones, and also connected the two floors. Within this new core volume are the bathrooms,  kitchen, and a few storage facilities. 

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 8 of 13 - A large skylight brings a significant amount of natural light into the interior.

A large skylight brings a significant amount of natural light into the interior.

"Because the wooden volume is placed in the center of the house, the space gets separated, but the experience of space remains," says Jeroen Makkink, one of the firm’s founders. 

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 9 of 13 - The bathtub rests along a fully glazed wall, and looks down to the living area below.

The bathtub rests along a fully glazed wall, and looks down to the living area below.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 10 of 13 - A peek at one of the long, narrow hallways.

A peek at one of the long, narrow hallways.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 11 of 13 - The existing arches along the walls were also restored. They were painted white for a clean and bright aesthetic.

The existing arches along the walls were also restored. They were painted white for a clean and bright aesthetic.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 12 of 13 - A quick look at a drawing of the cross section.

A quick look at a drawing of the cross section.

A 19th-Century Dutch Workshop Is Now a Stunning, Spacious Loft - Photo 13 of 13 - The floor plan for both the ground and upper level.

The floor plan for both the ground and upper level.

Project Credits: 

Architecture: EVA Architecten 

Builder: Bouwcomfort 

Structural engineering: Martijn Bettonvil 

Photography: Sebastian van Damme  

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