Lofts as a State of Mind

By: UrbaneSpaces

I know that in my early days in real estate, I advertised an 'apartment with the feel of a converted warehouse loft'- and all it meant was a brand new penthouse within an edgy, fashionable development that generously inculcated the use of perforated steel on its staircases leading to the roof terrace as well as the flooring of the roof terrace(that means that from the staircase you'd be able to see 30 floors down!)

Remember one really cool potential tenant responding and I had to explain to him that, as far as I knew, we didnt have loft coversions(yet), although I wouldnt be surprised that we would sometime 'in the near future'.

I hardly advertise in the mainstream media nowadays but have always wondered on how the term 'lofts' have that great effect of adding that much needed boost of 'cool' to an otherwise stodgy apartment. An ad in the real estate section that reads- '1 bedroom shophouse with loft and roof terrace' seems to have a lot more potential than


'2bedroom shophouse. well renovated'. At least it does to me. While sometimes the 'loft' doesnt quite live up to expectations- the apartment actually turning out to be a rather stodgy get-up, the 'loft' space remains a rather intriguing feature in the real estate market.

While 'lofts', strictly speaking, used to be the chic bohemian habitat of the proverbial starving artist, the ensuing gentrification of these neighbourhoods successfully edged out its very founders. While we see, within the local scene, black and white houses being re-created, the genre of loft apartments are increasingly taken to mean designer-outfitted, brand new developments with a rare, precious appeal to the young, moneyed set.(I know of at least one development in Dubai that sought to recreate the heavy, industrial metal doors, the exposed brick walls and stainless steel fittings within a brand new development).


Going around trying to see the 'potential' of various pieces of property in a day sometimes encourages one to identify distinctive features in certain developments that make it amenable to conversion for a certain type of property.

There is one development in Orchard- large unbits at 3500 or 4200sqft that I've always thought had the utmost potential for a 'loft-like' space(not loft-like as in high ceilings but the fluidity of space within an apartment). With exposed brick walls, large, inherently modern swivel doors, beautiful pine wood flooring- it'd be great to knock down all walls and patitions and create beautiful, seamless spaces- an open concept kitchen, toilets of full glass walls, bedrooms that are similarly distinhgihed only by glass walls peppered the occasional conspicuous lifestyle statement(a harp? a grand piano of lucite? a workout corner?) and in my mind- it's always sort of fantastic.