December 3, 2023
Industrial Architecture

When your business is ready to expand, you might find a building you love and want to move into asap. But when looking into industrial architecture, it’s better to soak up all of the details and make the space your own first. 

Industrial architecture has changed and grown over time and the style has even expanded into commercial and residential spaces. So here are three things to know about industrial architecture. 

1. Background on Industrial Architecture

Before developers began repurposing factories into apartment lofts, industrial architecture had a sole purpose. Industrial architecture was used to create large facilities to safely process raw materials into new products. These buildings were built for efficiency and production, and the architecture tends to reflect these needs. 

You can start seeing industrial architecture as far back as the 1800s when the industrial revolution was at its prime. Over the years, businesses have become more automated or even digital. Instead of leaving buildings vacant, cities like New York began repurposing these buildings for residential, commercial, and artistic use around the 1960s. 

Artists needed large places to create, and industrial-style buildings were the perfect places to set up studios. As we continue to repurpose buildings and create new industries, industrial architecture is still necessary for production.

2. Industrial Architecture Characteristics

Industrial architecture is created to fill the specific needs of different industries. Because of this, there are a couple of characteristics that you can see when looking at industrial architecture. 

Large Floor Plans

The first characteristic you will see is large, open floor plans. These are crucial to the workflow of your facility. These floor plans will have very high ceilings. Even if you are looking at a residential space inspired by industrial architecture, you will often notice very high ceilings and singular large open spaces. 

Exposed Details 

Since these spaces are most often used for industry, they will often have exposed features that other buildings don’t have. This includes brick walls, large pipes, and concrete floors. You will also see large windows. 


Since these industrial buildings weren’t created with residential or commercial uses in mind, they tend to be minimal. The large spaces are usually empty and there are little to no walls to create different rooms. 

The minimalist aesthetic plays into the idea of having an efficient space. There are luckily many ways that you can play with the space of an industrial building to make it more functional for your desired use. 

3. Modern Uses of Industrial Architecture 

The industrial architecture style is valuable in many spaces in the modern age. For project managers and business owners, it is necessary to find an industrial space that will fit the needs of your company. Many people also enjoy using industrial spaces for commercial shopping and business, as well as turning them into apartments and homes. 

Industrial Architecture for Business 

Business owners may look at these buildings and feel overwhelmed thinking of what it might cost to run a space like that. But these spaces can actually be intricately designed to reduce energy consumption, up production, and make more money in the long run. 

If you’re a production manager, you can build out an industrial space to meet your exact needs. In doing this, you can start by using recycled or sustainable materials. And you can ensure your building is a safe environment for your workers. 

Check out more tips for building out your industrial architecture in this helpful guide

Industrial Architecture for Commerce 

Many cities have blocks and blocks of industrial buildings that can be flipped into commercial hotspots. The large spaces make perfect showrooms for clothing, furniture, and other types of shops. 

You can also repurpose these spaces into art studios or indoor recreational spaces. Companies may also consider using industrial spaces for modern, open office setups. 

Industrial Architecture for Residents

Most industrial spaces are in cities where people want as much space as they can find. This mixed with large windows and natural light makes loft, industrial-style apartments desirable for renters. Old factories can be flipped into residential units and even feature commercial spaces on the ground floors. 


Industrial architecture is easy to spot based on its specific characteristics and uses. Knowing more about the style can help you figure out how you can best use it in your day-to-day life or business projects.

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