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Before & after: a garage transformed into a modern apartment

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
by Studio OxL
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Studio OXL based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was responsible for this mega project which involved renovating a run- down garage into an ultra modern luxury loft. The refurbished space was not designed as a traditional apartment, but as garage with a super contemporary and current loft aspect. No one could have imagined that this workshop would eventually be transformed into such an impressive energy efficient residential space. The building is dated from the first quarter of the 20th century and its austere architecture and brick exterior is typical of this period.

The area in which the loft is located is now a fashionable and desirable neighbourhood that appeals to a large majority of people from all generations. Studio OXL have managed to redesign this old garage with an entrance hall, kitchen, living room and dining room, access corridor, patio, office, 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. The images below are guaranteed to surprise and impress you—take a look!

The original garage

Studio OXL is an architectural firm which acts at both local and internationals level and aims to add spatial quality to personal and professional environments. They place value on sustainability when it comes to their projects, and they consistently achieve high quality results. They strive to put a smile on their clients faces with clear, functional projects that are full of soul. 

This is the initial height of the building: it is clear to see that the atmosphere was dark and the condition generally poor. The changes that were made completely altered the space, almost beyond recognition, and the end result was a light and spacious home.

First impression

When you enter this apartment after the renovation you have to be completely wowed.  The transformation is so extreme that you can only be bowled over by the difference. This place, as well as being beautiful, exudes modernity and functionality.  The initial view you are offered when entering is a large, open plan room with no partitions. Entry can be made through the main door or directly through the electric car garage door. Yes—the garage is in the loft! Well, why not show off your car like this if you have the opportunity?  We'll talk more about this unusual feature shortly. 

Incorporating original features

In order to make a completely liveable apartment, an inner courtyard was designed to function as a lightwell and provide enough natural light to the surrounding rooms. The courtyard divides the private area and the more social area. The social area contains the kitchen and living room,  with the office, bedrooms and bathroom closed off for greater privacy. The former construction, with its robust and concrete columns and beams, is left intact to maintain the industrial and urban character. Working with the original architectural style is now a very popular approach, and the ability to do this well gives you credibility as an architect and designer. 

Modern patio

Energy efficiency was one of the most important considerations for the owner. Therefore, the house was equipped with a heat exchanger that efficiently circulates heat throughout the property. The glass doors which provide access to the patio keep the warmth in and the cold out, meaning that the owner can sleep comfortably knowing the house is doing its bit for the environment.

Parking zone

A very important and unusual aspect of the design is the owner's car, a rather smart Tesla, which acts as a focal decorative feature. The car can literally be parked in the middle of the living room. It's an electric car, and so it can be connected to an outlet to charge. This loft gets full marks from us and we appreciate the originality of this extravagant design.

Loft floorplan

The arrangement of the rooms is clearly laid out in the attached plan. The entrance and 'car park' are marked by number 1, kitchen by number 2, living room by 3,  and the hallway which gives access to the private area by 4. Number 6 corresponds to the office, and number 7 to the bedrooms and bathroom. Finally, number 8 refers to the corridor leading to these divisions.

For recent before and after projects check out this 37m² loft and this renovated chalet house.

What do you think of this renovation project? Let us know in the comment section below
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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