The task of a contemporary urban designer is not quite simple: create a stunning dwelling with maximum function in a minimal space. Shift Architecture + Urbanism, of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, accomplished this with their Vertical Loft. Located in the city, this pre-war townhouse was part of many buildings which have been renovated on the exterior and left empty on the interior, allowing young, imaginative dwellers to dream up their ideal home.
The Vertical Loft boasts a stand-out modern design: three floors, zero walls, one space. Interestingly, the architects created a single modular system–a 10 x 9 meter bookshelf– which ascends from the ground to top floor of this three-story structure, linking all levels, and replacing a typical load-bearing wall. This sleek walnut-toned unit consists of kitchen appliances upwards to a wardrobe, the bedrooms and walk-in closet. It is flanked by two sets of steel staircases, which can almost be perceived as levitating. Brimming bookshelves occupy all floors of this innovative element, epitomizing the dream home concept for the most discerning bibliophile.
Throughout this open triplex, walls were refurbished to expose original brickwork, then painted a vibrant white, seamlessly blending with the smooth, industrial polyurethane flooring of the same hue. Floor-to-ceiling windows on both the front and rear exteriors allow daylight to dance throughout the vast spaces on each level. Interior lighting design takes on a commercial look of solitary hanging wires attached to opaque or clear round bulbs. Original doors and stained glass accents were also gracefully restored as part of the project.
An immense concrete island centers the kitchen, where state-of-the-art appliances are cleverly hidden within the home’s central unit. Through to the opposite side of the ground floor lies the dining area, which features a medium-wood rectangular table and six vivid-red chairs.
One flight up is a cozy living area highlighted by herringbone-patterned wood flooring, and just around the corner, a narrow hallway houses a bathroom. Up two steps is the home office which features a fresh, mint-colored floor and affords beautiful views of this spacious home. Bedrooms and the centralized walk-in closet transform the third story.
This awe-inspiring Vertical Loft sets a precedence both for the essence of 19th-century revitalization and contemporary urban home design.