In November I visited Tacheles in Berlin. It is an absolute must. I love old buildings that have been taken over by artists and at one time wanted to live to in an artist squat. My friend Carson had a an amazing space on Queen West that was 2,000 square feet and so much fun to hang out. He had these amazing horse swings hanging from the ceiling that I used to ride on. An indoor swing what could be cooler than that? My own attempts at loft living were not so successful.
I rented a loft as my studio at 500 square feet but it would not have been a great living space. The illegalness of most lofts meant you could find yourself on the street quite quickly. The buildings themselves usually lacked in mod cons. Then there was the locations. Usually this meant your entrance would be off some dark alley and in a quiet part of town with poor security.
You had to be incredibly lucky to find a really great place. I can sympathise with them on losing their beautiful old building to development. They loved and used this building when no one else did. I think the problem is in part to not many places where artists can live and work. It is very difficult to afford a big enough home. You have to be prepared to let your life be taken over by art. As a painter myself I know the challenge well. I am limited to doing smaller paintings and painting less often. Cleaning brushes in either the bathroom or kitchen sink is messy.