Industrial style, the trend that combines renovated architecture with interior design
In response to the many large-scale projects involving the recovery and repurposing of old buildings that used to house industrial plants and which are often located in urban areas now overtaken by the expansion of the residential suburbs, a specific, very distinctive stylistic trend has emerged.
This trend, which overall we can call industrial style, employs a number of features that evoke the tactile, unfinished materials of the inspiration architecture while also interpreting the relationship between daylight and indoor space in a completely different way to the usual practice in other types of residential building.
An industrial style home: our eight-point guide
An industrial style home can therefore be easily distinguished from other types due to a number of specific characteristics we can summarise in a series of points:
- indoor layout comprising very large rooms, with the various functions placed in parts of interiors which are not necessary separated off by permanent non-transparent dividing walls, and are thus interconnected in a fluid, informal way
- very high ceilings, with no suspended ceilings or concealment of the building’s structure: the industrial style likes architecture to be in view, its shape and function openly stated, with no pretence
- full use of all the natural daylight, reminding us that this was an essential factor in workplace safety when the building was used for its original industrial purpose
- use of completely or partially unfinished materials, recalling those used in industrial premises, not intended to meet the demands of the home furnishing market
- recovery of vintage features in terms both of architecture and, on a smaller scale, furnishings and fittings: industrial style furnishing does not reference a specific period but comprises a combination of contrasting pieces, chosen to provide an attractive, tasteful interior
- finishing of the building envelope – the floor and walls – with materials that provide an extremely high degree of continuity of appearance (such as concrete-effect stoneware slabs used in very large sizes, which can be installed in various modular layouts), or a very striking variety of textures and colours (such as small-block parquet, of the type known as industrial)
- no concealment of utility systems, specially for heating and air-conditioning, provided by means of metal ducts suspended from the ceiling, and the electrical system, installed in the various rooms in the form of raceways or cloth-covered cables on the surfaces of the walls and not sunk into them
- simplicity and purity, but achieved, not by a process of removal of the superfluous as in the case of minimalist interiors, but by revealing the architecture’s origins and intrinsic nature