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Loft Living: 5 Luxury Lofts in Popular Cities Worldwide

Luxury Defined presents a collection of stylish lofts in five cities across the globe

We owe our 21st century’s luxury loft to that “dismal science,” economics, scarcity of resources, population pressure, capital flows, and … artists.  

Loft living began in the post-World War II deindustrialization of New York City. Those artists, starving or otherwise, priced out of Greenwich Village, moved into vacant, cast-iron buildings across Lower Manhattan, creating makeshift studios and artist collectives.  

In 1967, artist and designer George Maciunas bought 80 Wooster Street in SoHo, the area “South of Houston,” a gritty industrial neighborhood formerly known as “Hell’s Hundred Acres.” The seven-story Miller Cardboard Co. building was functionally obsolete, but its cavernous interiors proved ideal for his vision: affordable living/working loft spaces where art and artist could thrive. Indeed, his “Fluxhouse Cooperative II” attracted some of the decade’s biggest names—Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Hermann Nitsch—to exhibit their works.   

Sweat equity created the loft spaces that drew the artists, who brought the lifestyle that brought the “smart money” reinvestment and redevelopment and brought … people who simply wanted big, imaginative, living space in a crowded city. 

The loft and the lifestyle are here to stay, not just in Lower Manhattan but across urban landscapes far and wide. Herewith, Luxury Defined proffers a collection of luxury lofts in five cities across the globe—no artistic ability required. 

1. Residence at Chelsea Mews, New York, New York 

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Built as an industrial warehouse in 1910, Chelsea Mews was reimagined as 107 loft apartments in 1984. The building’s ornate terra cotta façade presides over 23rd Street in New York’s iconic Chelsea neighborhood, the center of the contemporary art scene. 

This one-bedroom unit offers a taste of the loft lifestyle with its 12-foot-high beamed ceilings and large, steel casement windows; an elegant living/dining space with a decorative stone fireplace; and a fully equipped galley kitchen. 

The bedroom, large enough for a king-size bed, has en suite access to a luxurious bathroom with subway tile and a walk-in glass shower. There’s also a lofted sleeping area, a dedicated home office with space for a daybed, and, that rare NYC commodity, ample closets throughout. 

Services and amenities at the Chelsea Mews include a full-time doorman and live-in superintendent, laundry facilities on each floor, bike storage, and, best of all, a furnished roof deck with panoramic views of the New York City skyline.  

2. Lesser Quarter Loft in Prague, Czech Republic 

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With 3,480 square feet of living space, this stylish bohemian loft (in the heart of Bohemia, no less) is the largest in a refurbished historic building in Prague‘s Lesser Quarter.  

The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath apartment is accessed via the preserved wide staircase or the new glass elevator. 

Inside is an open floor plan with pale oak floors, oversized windows to frame the medieval streetscape below, and the structural beauty of exposed oak beams.   

High-end features include imported travertine tiles, LED beam lighting with remote control, air-conditioning, heat recovery, a neat galley kitchen, and a true Gothic cellar with a vaulted ceiling, perfect for storing wine. 

The primary suite has a glass-walled bathroom, a walk-in closet, and views of the iconic St. Vitus Cathedral. Two additional bedrooms and a bathroom are in a separate wing. A utility room, guest powder room, and an attic (suitable for a study) are further amenities. 

3. Santo Spirito Loft in Florence, Italy 

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Mastery of design and materials is at center stage in this unique, exuberant luxury loft in Florence’s trendy Santo Spirito neighborhood, just south of the River Arno. 

Encompassing 6,458 square feet, the floor plan unfolds across three levels linked by the switchbacks and angles of a wood-encased stairway to create comfortable living spaces with the complexity and artistry of an Escher woodcut.   

The triple-height living room and dining space are illuminated by a large skylight and served by an open, contemporary kitchen, all sheathed in glass wall panels, fine woodwork, and ancient masonry.   

The stairway rises to the primary suite and a heated lap pool, a Zen-like space leading to a fitness studio and Turkish bath. A second wooden staircase rises to the top floor lounge, with a minibar, bathroom, and cinema room. An elegant, gold-leafed elevator connects all floors. 

This transformational property is sold turnkey, with all its custom-made furniture and unique objets d’art. 

4. River North Duplex in Chicago, Illinois 

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This smart, spacious corner duplex is in the River Bank Lofts building in Chicago’s desirable River North neighborhood. 

The residence has an airy, open floor plan with 3,500 square feet of impeccably designed living space with exposed brick walls, 12-foot-high beadboard and reclaimed timber ceilings, and vast windows with custom rattan bamboo shades. 

The foyer leads into a combined dining and living room with a gas fireplace and a private balcony (one of four private outdoor spaces) with views of the city skyline and the Chicago River. The gourmet kitchen offers granite countertops and appliances by Gaggenau, Thermador, Subzero, and Bosch. 

There are five bedrooms and four bathrooms: Two large en suite bedrooms are on the main floor. Upstairs is a lovely sitting area with access to the primary bedroom, two guest bedrooms, and two bathrooms.  

The unit also features two indoor parking spaces and an additional 480 square feet of storage space.  

The building is pet-friendly with 24/7 door staff, a communal rooftop deck, an art gallery lobby, exercise facilities, dry cleaners, and on-site management. 

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A loft for the 21st century, the Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles is a luxury-serviced residential tower at 9000 West 3rd Street at the edge of Beverly Hills.  

This elegant duplex on the building’s first floor is one of the few with a private, gated entrance and a private, underground two-car garage. 

Inside, the fluid interior embraces California Modern style with custom interiors by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Lofty ceilings and vast windows bring in the light and the views of the LA skyline.  

The chef’s kitchen features Gaggenau stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinetry, and an ebony Caesarstone island. Glass folding doors open to a private terrace with a gas fire pit and dining and lounging space.  

The primary suite has a large walk-in closet, spa-like bath with Carrara marble, a freestanding soaking tub, and a separate, oversized glass shower.

The secondary bedroom, also en suite, is on the opposite side of the home. Downstairs, there is a large den/office, as well as direct access to the garage on the building’s lower level. 

Dreaming of the loft lifestyle? Explore our portfolio of luxury lofts.