Loft, der

When traditional German apartments are hard to find, der Loft is a potential alternative in old-time industrial zones of the inner cities. However don't expect it to necessarily be a loft in the English sense of a high attic space made habitable. The German word for that is a Dachausbau, and to describe a lofty room, the Germans say mit hohe Decken. A loft in the real-estate sense - a light-touch conversion to living or studio space of the roof space over a factory, shop or warehouse - does not have a specific German word to describe it. Einer Loft is something else. Here's an advertisement placed by profi-partner on immobilienscout24 in February 2009: "Loft Living nahe Kollwitzplatz! Ruhiges Erdgeschoss-Backstein-Loft mit Terrasse." No, there's no mistake: the ad confirms this really is on "Etage 0" (the ground floor). The photo confirms it is neither a loft, nor lofty. There will never be any pattering of raindrops on the flat ceiling of this place unless several upper storeys are bombed away first. There are no exposed pipes or ducts,
no stained concrete floor, no exposed interior brick, no 6-metre-high ceiling. What happened? Closer inspection of the advertisement reveals that the space is a converted factory. To be fair, some US realtors might also not hesitate to describe a low-ceilinged ground-floor factory
conversion as a "loft". But that would be an ordinary realtor's lie (some people maintain that real estate agents are incapable of speaking the truth). In Germany it's not a lie: it's Denglisch. Der Loft (genitive: des Lofts) is capitalized and the "Lo" in it has a long O like "low".

No comments: