An Ingenious Gold Island Transforms an Industrial Apartment in Paris

An Ingenious Gold Island Transforms an Industrial Apartment in Paris

By Lucy Wang
Completed for about $120,000, a custom aluminum insertion reinvents a loft in a 1920s industrial building by adding privacy without sacrificing spaciousness.

Design studio SABO project has worked its loft-maximizing magic yet again in this latest renovation within a former factory in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. A young couple commissioned the local firm to reconfigure the 872-square-foot apartment into a space that felt uniquely theirs, and that preserved the loft’s spacious feel while still providing privacy.

The solution came in the form of a gold-tinted structure that houses the master bedroom, shower room, and a guest bedroom located atop the thin metal volume. 

Clad in 40 custom punched, folded, and anodized aluminum sheets, the island clearly delineates the public and private areas without the need for walls or partitions.

Twelve of the 40 aluminum panels are mounted on metal frames and rails and open up as operable shutters or doors. 

Custom-designed perforations let natural light filter in and through full-height polycarbonate panels, while certain cutouts serve as door handles.

"The challenge was to create an uninterrupted and open space while providing a sense of privacy for some of the rooms," says SABO project founder Alex Delaunay. "It is that contradiction that produced the unique design." The project cost approximately $120,000.

Set against the far wall near the entrance, the aluminum-clad island is placed behind the open-plan communal area—consisting of the living room, dining area, and kitchen—located next to the windows and bathed in natural light.

In contrast to the rough concrete ceiling and columns, white porcelain was used to craft the delicate light fixtures and cabinet handles. The metal island’s curved edges and gold-tinted cladding also add a touch of refinement to the former industrial space.

For extra storage space, the architects inserted a wall of gray-paneled storage that seamlessly connects the dressing room to the kitchen cabinets.

At night, the island glows from within like a large light diffuser.

Project Credits:

  • Architect of Record: SABO project
  • Graphic Designer: Yuki Nakajima
  • Structural Engineer: DIC Ingénierie
  • Contractor: SMR Concept+
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