As industry has shifted over the past century, in format, location, and type, the manufacturing and industrial spaces scattered across the western world have been repurposed. You have no doubt seen these structures, though perhaps without realizing. The large windows, high ceilings, and open floor plans optimized for factory work now mark the territory of the “creative class”. Such spaces have been disproportionately appropriated by creative industries such as arts and architecture; think of Herzog + de Meuron’s renovation of the Tate Modern (from a former power station) or the recent collaborative transformation of a locomotive yard into a library in the Netherlands.
Adaptive Reuse: The Latest Architecture and News
Renowned auction house Sotheby’s has unveiled a dramatic OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-designed expansion and re-imagination of their New York City headquarters. Together with OMA Associate Christy Cheng, Shigematsu has redesigned the headquarters to include vast new exhibition galleries for fine art, precious objects, luxury goods, and more. Comprising 40 galleries of varying size across four floors, the new space will increase Sotheby’s exhibition space from 67,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet.
In the proposal, nine galleries will facilitate discreet private sales for dedicated small objects such as watches and jewelry. Three two-story spaces will be set aside for exhibitions, along with a 150-foot-long space for full collections, according to The New York Times. The new space will include “dynamic repertoire” of "spatial conditions", including a white cube, double height, enfilade, corridor cascade, octagonal, and an L-shaped space.
If walls could speak, they would have the most stories to tell - stories of antiquity, war, scandal, and reconciliation. Approaches to preservation are as varied as the architects behind them, but many take on the challenge with flair and restraint in equal measure. It is common to see preservation that combines ancient structure with contemporary features, creating beautiful combinations of old and new.
Take a look at some architectures from our projects database that highlight the beauty in the imperfections of ruins and great combinations of used and new materials.
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Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to go swimming inside a water tower. In reality, it would probably be dark and creepy and not as cool as it sounds, but that’s not the case with Danish firm SquareOne’s design, where the top of an abandoned water tower becomes a public swimming pool and spa. Utilizing the existing structural system of the tower, SquareOne is also proposing adding 40+ student housing units suspended around the tower. This dual-purpose scheme addresses Copenhagen’s desperate housing shortage while also giving new life to an old building.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have gained planning permission for the proposed extension and full refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Hammersmith Town Hall in London. A joint venture with Hammersmith & Fulham Council and commercial partners a2Dominion, the scheme seeks to promote “the creation of a new high quality civic mixed-use development” derived from the historic structure.
Through the demolition of a 1970s extension, the scheme will create a new public square that enhances the setting of the existing protected Town Hall, reinstating its presence on Kings Street. The main alternations seek to enhance the existing building through a glass box rooftop extension containing council office space.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen has announced details of their second U.S. project: the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts. An adaptive reuse project that will bring new life to Boston’s Commonwealth Pier, the 68,500-square-meter mixed-use project seeks to reactivate a historic maritime hub to create a new waterfront destination.
The largest pier building in the world when completed in 1901, the Commonwealth Pier will be reactivated with the introduction of new materials, increased daylight, and new points of connectivity. The exercise in adaptive reuse will contain flexible office space, dynamic event space, new retail, dining, and public amenities.
It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.
Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends.
For those in the northern hemisphere, the last full week in January last week kicks off with Blue Monday - the day claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Weather is bleak, sunsets are early, resolutions are broken, and there’s only the vaguest glimpse of a holiday on the horizon. It’s perhaps this miserable context that is making the field seem extra productive, with a spate of new projects, toppings out and, completions announced this week.
The week of 21 January 2019 in review, after the break:
MVRDV have released details of their proposed mixed-use complex, designed to redevelop a post-industrial site in Kiel, Germany. The 65,000-square-meter proposal will adopt a flexible design system as opposed to a fixed, unchangeable plan, thus allowing the scheme to adapt to future demands as the design development progresses.
Labeled the “KoolKiel,” MVRDV’s scheme will occupy an existing large, single-story building previously used to store chains of ships, and for the printing of Germany’s famous Werner comics in the 1980s. The site’s current use as a hub for media and creative industries, and its resulting charismatic identity, has strongly influenced the MVRDV scheme, with the retention of the existing structure and lively, playful exterior spaces.
Given the sheer magnitude and influence of its recorded history, Italy as we know it is a surprisingly young country. For centuries, the region was divided between powerful (and sometimes warring) city-states, each with their own identity, culture, and, fortunes, and influence. Some are eternally famous. Rome is a cradle of history and heart of religion; cool Milan is a hub of contemporary fashion and design; Florence is synonymous with the Renaissance and all the epoch’s relationship to the arts.
Turin’s history is arguably less romantic. The small city in Savoy, a north-Italian region bordering France, has established an identity as an industrial powerhouse. It is home to FIAT and some of Italy’s finest universities; the streets are dotted with works by Nervi, Botta, and Rossi. But despite the design pedigree, perhaps nothing better illustrates the region’s faceted history better than Castello di Rivoli.
Half a century after the new suburban tract home was the dream of many a young American family, refurbished properties are gaining in popularity. This trend extends beyond North America, with exciting renovations of existing structures popping up all over the world, from Belgium to Kenya to China. The attraction to this typology likely lies in its multiplicity; renovations are both new and old, historic and forward-looking, generative and sustainable.
Nowhere is this trend more visible and popular than in housing, where the transformation is often led by the owners themselves. Loosely grouped under terms like “fixer-upper” and “adaptive reuse,” these projects begin with just the structural skeletons and the building’s history. At the personal scale, renovation/refurbishment is an opportunity to bring a part of yourself to your home - but do these small projects together have the potential to turn around a housing crisis?
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the massive production of architecture today. Scroll through ArchDaily for more than a minute and even we'd forgive you for losing track of it all. But what seems like an endless scroll of architectural production doesn't quite fit with the popular movements surrounding resource sharing and community.
Hidden among the mass production that has defined architecture in the last century is a germ - one that seems to be marching to the forefront of practice today. More and more designers seem to be taking on locally-focused and/or adaptive reuse works. Award shortlists today highlight not icons by recognizable names, but sensitive international works that are notable for their process as much as their product.
The common image of the architect may be of one obsessed with ego and newness, but practice today doesn't bear that out as much as it used to. This week's news touched on issues of reduction, reuse, and a radical rethink what architecture is in the 21st century.
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) celebrates transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "A Once-Maligned Concrete Megastructure in Seoul is Revitalized - Sans Gentrification".
Upon its completion in 1966, Sewoon Sangga, designed by prominent South Korean architect Kim Swoo-geun, was a groundbreaking residential and commercial megastructure consisting of eight multistory buildings covering a full kilometer in the heart of Seoul. Like other futuristic projects of the decade, it was conceived as a self-contained city, complete with amenities that included a park, an atrium, and a pedestrian deck. But construction realities crippled Kim’s utopian vision, compromising those features. By the late 1970s, Sewoon Sangga had shed residents and anchor retail outlets to newer, shinier developments in the wealthy Gangnam district across the river. Between Sewoon’s central location and plunging rents, the building became a hub for light industry—as well as illicit activity.
Adaptive reuse, the process of refashioning a defunct structure for a new purpose, is ubiquitous these days—so much so that hearing a phrase like “converted warehouse” or “repurposed factory” barely causes one to blink an eye. However, a new project from a cohort of Dutch architecture firms highlights the innovative nature of adaptive reuse with a scheme that reimagines disused cargo ships as houses. With their fully intact exterior shells, the ships remind residents and visitors of their industrial, seafaring past.
Located just south of the city’s hip Kreuzberg neighborhood and only fifteen minutes by bike from the city center, the disused former Nazi complex—with its terminal, hangars, and massive airfield—occupies nearly 1,000 acres of prime real estate in the ever-growing German capital. In any other metropolis, this land would have been snatched up by a developer years ago, but in Berlin, creative reuse has prevailed over conventional narratives of redevelopment.
Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church Will be Renovated Into the Nation's First National Museum of Gospel Music
When architects were asked to re-imagine Chicago’s neglected buildings for an exhibition, Dirk Lohan designed a revitalization plan for Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church. Soon Sullivan’s landmark building will become the nation’s first National Museum of Gospel Music, complete with a cafe, retail store, event space, research and listening library, and a 350-seat auditorium.
The Building Brooklyn Awards is the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's annual architectural competition celebrating the best built and renovation projects in the borough for the prior year, with substantial completion by December 31.
In its 18th year, the competition is open to only projects within Brooklyn, NY and applications may be self-nominated or nominated by another entity. The annual award ceremony is held every July. Nomination forms can be accessed at https://brooklynchamberofcommerce.wufoo.com/forms/szlf8kr0aifgme/