In the lap of luxury

	The chapel, with original vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows, will be converted into a loft-style duplex
 Le Cloitre SA

The chapel, with original vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows, will be converted into a loft-style duplex  Le Cloitre SA

Housing: An architectural sensation is being developed in the heart of Luxembourg City, giving a new lease of life to a former Dominican abbey.

The renovation of the ancient cloister of Saint-François into luxurious apartments is part of a Luxembourg architectural project being managed by specially created developer Le Cloître SA. The site has been owned by Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Francis of Assisi--now the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Misericorde--since the middle of the 19th century.

The residential units have been designed by the Marc Werner architecture bureau. Situated in the heart of the old city of Luxembourg, close to the Grand Ducal palace, both its location and aesthetic design are exceptional. The foundations of the 8000 square metre cloisters date back to the year 700 AD, while newer parts of the building were added in the 17th and 20th centuries. It has served as a monastery and more recently as a clinic and retirement home.

The showcase apartment, a 397 square metre loft-style duplex complete with original stained-glass windows, will be housed in the former chapel, which has been desacralized, and will be the first former place of worship to be transformed into a residential unit in Luxembourg.

The building will hold a maximum of nineteen modular apartments and one non-residential unit that can be used for retail, commercial or cultural purposes. The generously proportioned apartments will vary between 100 square metres and 800 square metres--flexible modules allow multiple properties to be converted into one single unit--and can be adapted to suit personal taste using the owners’ preferred designer.

Werner says he wishes to incorporate preserved historical elements into the modern look of the apartments, conserving original carved ceilings and wooden beams. The building is cantered around a common cloistered garden, and the building will be equipped with lifts and a concierge service.

With its majestic view of the Grund, it is situated right on what Luxembourg claims to be Europe’s most beautiful balcony, in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage site. The building’s main entrance is on the rue Sigefroi, which will be converted into a pedestrian street as part of the Ville de Luxembourg’s plans to refurbish the public spaces in the old town.

The promoters estimate that renovation work will take about two years. They have already had several enquiries, mainly from Luxembourgers, about the apartments, but stress that they want to sell to private owners.