Airy Living in Buenos Aires: Loft 61 by Vanguarda Architects

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When the first loft resident turned an old factory, warehouse, or store into an airy, open place to live and work, it sent exciting shock waves through residential design — and we haven’t recovered from that shock yet. Turning an old textile factory in the municipality of Morón (Buenos Aires) into simple one-room lofts without damaging the original structure is the latest version of this streamlined lifestyle option, as realized in a design by Vanguarda Architects. The municipality cooperated, too, as the architects explain: “[the officials] used this intervention as an example of public and private management by using the construction code to foster the renewed image of the neighborhood.” The complex contains 14 lofts (6 three-level ones on the ground floor and 8 two-level ones on the upper floor), as well as 8 garages and a barbecue area.

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You get a true bird’s-eye view in a double-height entrance, its expansive glass allowing for tons of natural light while maintaining the lines of the original building with integrity. Colors are spare and neutral: pale grays (with rock accents in the entryway beneath one staircase), wood grain, and white are the mainstays of the interiors on these minimalist homes. Still, they’re not without warmth: apartment doors are a mellow terra-cotta red with number accents, and plenty of sun bathes the interiors from the individual private terraces. Skilled use of slatted screens provide privacy behind those walls of glass, while the brick exterior gives a nice rustic touch and reminds residents where these dwellings came from. With a skilled hand, deft use of indirect lighting, and clean lines, Loft 61 is a chic example of smart urban renewal.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).