Design

The keys to rehabilitate a workshop

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This studio-studio is lit by a huge glass roof, which offers a view over the rooftops of the capital.

N. Millet

Transforming an artist's studio into a home is a dream but not a utopia. Here are some architectural tips for setting the ceiling height and bringing light, summer and winter.

The workshop? A space as original as it is unusual, so much so that real estate agencies have specialized in this type of property. Because there is a real demand for "different places of life", even "unconventional", says Nicolas Libert, founder of the agency Ateliers, Lofts & Associates. What are people looking for? Volume, light, an extraordinary distribution and a place related to the past. "It's the living environment that prevails, even if a wave of work at the key," says one at the Agency Spaces atypical.

This duplex artist's studio draws its light from the huge glass roof. And to best heat this space in winter, imposing radiators were hidden in wooden formwork at the foot of the canopy and the French window.

N. Millet

To transform a workshop into a dwelling: to settle on the law

To transform a workshop into a home, you must first ask permission. At the condo and the town hall. And if this new assignment requires for example to replace a canopy facade by a structure supporting double glazing, "this change is the subject of a building permit application," said the architect Didier Knoll.

Choose an architect

Going solo in rehabilitating a workshop can be adventurous. Volumes, spaces, windows ... nothing can be improvised. Didier Knoll even recommends, before the acquisition of the property, to establish a thermal study "to get an idea of ​​future energy costs, because we do not heat a workshop as an apartment". As such, Saint-Gobain has created glazing that returns some of the heat, while ensuring thermal comfort on sunny days. As for the works, here too, it is better to ask an architect who will make proposals adapted to configurations: workshop on the ground floor or floor, facing south or north ... "If the brightness brought by a canopy seems too bright, it can be filtered by sheers or blinds integrated into a double glazing ", suggests Didier Knoll. Another solution: blinds and electric curtains. This option was chosen by Jean-Philippe Nuel for the hotel Le Cinq Codet, which has just opened in Paris and whose interior architecture it has signed. Almost a third of the 68 rooms were designed as artists' studios.

These former photo studios of the magazine Nous Deux have been transformed into an apartment. Originally, the glass roof was opaque. From now on, it brings light streaming, with a view of the sky, while avoiding intrusive vis-à-vis.

N. Millet

Live differently

To live in a studio is to live with another notion of space. Several pieces can cohabit on the same level, without barrier. So, the decor is different. "Liberty, lightness and excessiveness" are the words that come to Jean-Philippe Nuel's mind when he evokes the "workshops" of the Five Codet: "We broke the hotel codes by bringing new emotions, but by keeping the essential features. " "To live in a workshop," says Didier Knoll, "is to live differently, breathe differently and see the outside world from another angle."

Workshops, Lofts & Associates, workshops-lofts.com
Atypical spaces, spaces-atypiques.com
Didier & Fabrice Knoll, dfknoll-architecturedesign.com
Jean-Philippe Nuel, jeanphilippenuel.com

Open doors to rehabilitated workshop visits

Many workshops rehabilitated by contemporary artists are to be visited during open days. Mid-May 2015 and during a whole weekend, the operation "Art takes the air" will thus allow to enter 300 workshops of sculptors, photographers, painters, in Nantes and in all the department of Loire-Atlantique . In Paris, with 120 venues and 250 artists, the Belleville artists' studios will be open to the public on the last weekend of May. Then, in September, the cities of Bordeaux and Rouen will do the same. Finally, mid-October, artists from the North, Pas-de-Calais and West Flanders (Bruges, Kortrijk, Ghent ...) will welcome strollers and curious.

This studio-studio is lit by a huge glass roof, which offers a view over the rooftops of the capital.

N. Millet

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