Located in the city of Hasselt, Belgium, is the unapologetic Hidden Loft. It is a bold and drastic vision of a retreat, created by architect Karla Menten. The expansive dwelling, clocking in at 240m², is very much rooted on the white cube aesthetic, making for a perfect opposition of the excessive visual stimulation of the surrounding city. Interestingly enough, this project serves as the architect’s own haven and workplace—a bold standard to withhold against her subsequent work.
The loft bestows white as the main visual element in all rooms, making for any object that dares to appear alongside it the attraction of the moment. The architect decided to aim for concealment as the main mechanism to preserve her vision of an ideal and serene haven. As all visual distractions are negated, the retreat becomes a place. Karla Menten explains:
To contemplate, reflect and create, to harness the creativity and focus we sometimes lack.
The space is crafted from Gyproc cladding, a mix of cleverly applied polyurethane, pearl-blasted stainless steel in details and Corin surfaces. The richness of resources speaks volumes on the intrinsic complexity and technology, all the while maintaining absolute cohesiveness. All four rooms are ample, with slight touches of black or blue, and little more.
Hidden Loft—exceptionally captured through the lens of Tim Van de Velde—offers a very austere kind of minimalism. As the lifestyle of the inhabitant must converge with the beat the residence puts forth, there is no room for deviance from the script. The otherworldly quality is comforting though, as the haven the architect desired was surely achieved. This is minimalism not for the faint hearted.