As Alain Gilles entered the old hall for the first Time, lived in it only a few cats. The roof was broken, and the window it was also. That was 19 years ago. Alain Gilles was fond of his backyard-Fund. Actually, he was looking for a Loft, but loft apartments did not exist at that time in Brussels. With luck, he was finally stumbled upon this for 15 years, vacant buildings, and once a workshop was located. Where once fur coats were sewn, lives and Alain Gilles is working today: In the ground floor Studio is located in the floors above, he lives with his family. “We’re here right in the middle of Brussels and not even see a road.”

Peter-Philipp Schmitt

editor in the Department “Germany and the world”.

F. A. Z.

Alain Gilles the character of the old building, which is located in Schaerbeek, one of the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-capital Region has, to a large extent. He finds that the 600 square meters behind the house look like a barn, albeit one made of concrete, bricks, glass, and metal. He likes the peace and quiet and the view into the Green in the backyard, some shrubs and trees. At the same time, he says, need he, the city, the energy, the people. And the certainty “that something will happen if I go out”.

In Schaerbeek happens a lot, which also has to do with three-quarters of the inhabitants have a migration background. The Designer searches the streets for Inspiration, whether it comes from the immigrants from Morocco, from the art Nouveau buildings along the Chaussée de Haecht, or from the most famous son of the municipality: the chansonnier Jacques Brel.

Alain Gilles was born in 1970 in Brussels. He is a child of the big city. As his stepfather worked for the world Bank, moved the family several times. As a teenager, he lived for five years in the American capital city of Washington, his high school, he was in Montpellier in France. Mother and stepfather took him on the wrong path. Because he should – and wanted to – something “Sensible” study. So Gilles, the early on for art, Design and architecture, interested started, with political science.

A drastic step

After graduation, he worked for a while at the University, studied alongside a little English, finally went for five years to J. P. Morgan. “There’s a lot of young and interesting people were,” says Gilles. “And yet it was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do.” Marketing-Management, which he studied, was not the Right thing to do. Eventually, he graduated with all that and his wife Rama, with the help of which he is, since 2002, is married and has two children, supported him. “You gave me permission, my second life.”

For Alain Gilles and his family, it was a drastic step. Finally, he earned in the financial sector well, and had opportunities for advancement. Now he wanted to be a Designer. In the profession, can not live far from each one of his designs, if you go with a manufacturer in the production. From the front, and for five years, Gilles did not want to study, so he enrolled in 2002 at a University, which offered him the opportunity to shorten his studies at the Institut Supérieur de Design in Valenciennes in France.