Once an old gearwheel-making factory, this former industrial building in Amsterdam has found new life as 12 residential units lined back to back, merging the domestic and the industrial. Portals that were previously used as loading bays now serve as entrances. Sliding gates of perforated steel enclose private front gardens. The pattern on the steel gates are inspired by old photographs of the factory interior. Masonry walls, exposed steel trusses, double-height living spaces, an open-plan ground floor, terraces and skylights in a typical sawtooth roof; the place is littered with signs of the past. The interiors are left essentially unfinished and unfurnished, so that the occupants can do as they please.
Dutch architects Ronald Janssen and Donald Osborne chose to renovate the factory instead of demolishing it, creating a unique set of residences that draw people in, despite—and perhaps for—its idiosyncrasies. "Everyone I have shown the building to has said [they] want to live here because it offers a different, more introverted way of living compared to more conventional forms of housing in Amsterdam," Janssen told Dezeen.