French architects CAAU transformed an old industrial building in the city of Dunkirk into a spacious co-working space with a cafe and nursery. The discreet intervention comprises an external metal staircase and an annex and furnishings that create an exceptionally warm interior atmosphere. The structure is also made to resemble its original design – an office building.
Located in an industrial park along the railroad tracks in Dunkirk, the structure has been abandoned and empty for years. Originally built as a cotton mill, the building has a distinct industrial aesthetic that was to be minimally disrupted. The main aim of the renovation project was to preserve its architectural qualities and introduce a new function while remaining respectful of the history of the site.
The new extension creates an area which connects the original structure with the surroundings and features bay windows and a wooden construction that complements the age of the building. The old industrial lift was replaced with a new elevator. Two new concrete slabs were introduced in order to create more space for the new contents. Custom furniture was made with recycled materials found in the building. Seminar rooms, offices and meeting spaces are distributed across different floors of the renovated building, while the nursery and cafe are located in the extension.