Redevelopment of a former hospital room into a loft
In the 90s, the last soldier left the Military Hospital of Antwerp, a fascinating and hidden area of 7.7 hectares within the city. Today, the Groen Kwartier was repurposed as an enclosed residential environment with a variety of apartments, lofts and townhouses in a collective park garden. POLO Architects furnished a casco loft space; a dialogue between old & new.
RESPECT FOR THE PAST
The loft is situated on the first floor of one of the seven hospital pavilions. The spacious hospital ward with its high, steel roof beams and rhythmically placed vertical windows bathes in a sea of light.
The design for the interior of the loft is a quest for a modern formal vocabulary that shows the utmost respect for the exceptional soul of the historic building.
Measuring 22 by 9 metres, the double-height central space is the heart of the residence. Its open nature has been retained as much as possible. The rooms have only been divided into split-level spaces in the north and south ends.
"Two wooden volumes – wooden ‘crates’ – introduce structure and hierarchy into the house." – David Bulckaen, interior designer POLO Architects
The largest volume holds the bedroom and an office. The smaller volume serves as a combination bar and TV cupboard. The layout of the volumes structures the remaining space, creating a tension in the spatial relations between the sitting area and dining corner, the office and the library.
photography: Steven Massart
't Groen Kwartier, Artsen zonder Grenzenstraat, Antwerp