WHAT architecture - London

Basement Loft

domestic refurbishment
Scale100 sqm
LocationBrussels - BE
ClientAdams family
Design Year2002

This project manifests itself as a single pixelated brick wall. This privileging of the single gesture is a direct response to the small scale budget of the project: with limited funds there isn’t much ‘design room’ to move.


If one reads / believes the prolificacy of Real Estate brochures and their marketing campaigns, then the Loft is today the uber-brand of domestic space. Whereas a loft once denoted a space held aloft, the triumph of domestic real estate marketeering means it is possible that even a basement can today be rebranded “Loft”. This basement loft is in Brussels, Belgium. According to local traditions, “Belgians are born with a brick in their stomach”. This rather democratic sentiment implies that each Belgian is entitled to ownership of a house:


  • Just as the pixel is the small building block for digital image construction, the brick can be seen as the smallest building block for the architectural construct
  • Not surprisingly that champion of building blocks, Lego, starts to investigate the possibilities of visual media
  • The question of colour, or rather taste, is removed: WHAT colour is surpassed by every colour. No favourite assigned, no preference conferred. Or, something for everyone


Each colour renders a higher level of attachment. No longer mere blue but azzuro, navy, aquamarine colours associated to specific functions: the turquoise-House Music CD-cupboard