To twist a digital proverb: context is king. In some ways, it is hard to go wrong when the architectural backdrop for a project is so beautifully textured to begin with.

This World War II era factory was one of the lucky few in Dusseldorf to escape heavy bombing, its thick brick walls and pillars and deep concrete beams remaining relatively intact to this day. In such cases,?simply adding some modern accessories and strategic lighting can bring out the best in a space – though that task can be more subtly challenging that it might initially sound.

Linear and blank exterior additions by?AABE Erpicum & Partners let the original structure speak for itself – light-painted concrete, bleached wood and plain glazing simply add a new layer to the existing material palette.

On the inside, a series of simple white partition walls, counters, cabinets and appliances seem almost like guests in the home – few of the dividers reach ceiling height and most do not meet existing supports on either side.

Where intersections are essentially inevitable, tactical gaps were left to avoid dealing with the (perhaps impossible) task of joining new rectilinear forms with chipped and worn bricks or mortar.

On a small exterior patio framed by concrete sides and decking, a solitary tree stump was built around and found-food stools set nearby to keep it company. Part porch, part art, it makes a definite design statement.

Such remodels may not be to everyone’s tastes, but they sure provide a strong argument for rethinking abandoned and disused spaces – prior to the renovations and additions, this would have looked like anything but an stylish (let alone inhabitable) space.