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Adaptive Reuse: The Latest Architecture and News

How Recycling Existing Buildings Could Solve the Urban Housing Crisis in the United States

Newly built houses, with their sizable carbon footprints, don’t just contribute to climate change. For many Americans, they’re also too expensive—a bitter irony in cities rife with vacant buildings and record evictions.

Given the urgency of both issues, projects that retrofit livable housing into existing low-carbon shells (the initial embodied carbon was spent long ago) might be worth a closer look. We searched for them and came across a handful that promise a cure for housing insecurity and excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

Kjellander Sjoberg to Transform Former Shipbuilding Industry into Vibrant Creative Hub in Malmö, Sweden

Kjellander Sjoberg has revealed plans to transform the historical building Gjuteriet into an innovative, open public meeting place. Located in the Varvstaden district, a new sustainable neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, the project will become a contemporary and versatile work environment. Fitting 300 workspaces across 4,600 sq. m., the building also includes meeting rooms, open lounges, conference rooms, a conservatory, studios, exhibition spaces, a test kitchen, and wellness facilities.

Courtesy of Kjellander SjobergCourtesy of Kjellander SjobergCourtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg© Petra Binder+ 23

SOM Transforms Chicago's 100-Year-Old Cook County Hospital

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have transformed the historic Beaux-Arts Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Designed to help anchor the neighborhood's resurgence, the project team worked to preserve, restore, and adapt the former hospital building as the first phase of a proposed $1 billion redevelopment plan. The proposal aims to revitalizes the surrounding Illinois Medical District and provide new amenities to the area.

Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOM+ 9

How to Make a Facade with Recycled Materials: 21 Notable Examples

Cortesía de MAPCortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FMCortesía de Wang Shu, Amateur Architecture Studio© Quang Tran+ 43

With the aim of supporting architects to become active agents of sustainable design, this week we present a selection of facades that incorporate different recycled materials. Beyond the typical uses of plastic and glass, in this article, you will find innovative materials such as mattress springs, ice cream containers, plastic chairs, and recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products. A look at 21 remarkable projects using recycled materials to create an attractive facade.

Recycling Warehouses: 25 Adaptive Reuse Projects

© Luís Ferreira Alves© Marcelo Donadussi© Imagen Subliminal© Alan Williams+ 26

Warehouses, whether industrial or rural, are a type of building that can easily be found all around the world. Some of these shelters are century-old and have probably been built to store products or to accommodate factories. However, due to urban phenomena and new technologies, many of them stopped operating as they were originally used to and started to spark interest in several businesses whose aim was to re-adapt these structures to meet new purposes.

Open Call: Adaptive Reuse Architecture Design Competition

What would you do with an old and empty building? Would you tear it down, leave it abandoned, or could you transform it into something new? Cities all around the world are wrestling with this very challenge. The question then becomes, what can architecture do about it?

On Recycled Architecture: 12 Proposals to Promote Adaptive Reuse

When reflecting on recycling, sustainability, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration. In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.

That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.” Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land, and a change in living trends.

Courtesy of Cityscape Digital for PembrokeCourtesy of Skidmore, Owings & MerrillCourtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban DesignCourtesy of EFFEKT+ 14

Turin's Castello di Rivoli Tells a Story of the Region's History through Its Architecture

Castello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Castello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

Castello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian GhinitoiuCastello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian GhinitoiuCastello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian GhinitoiuCastello di Rivoli / Andrea Bruno (Refurbishment). Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 21

UNStudio Rethinks Traditional Glazing in Two Adaptive Reuse Designs

UNStudio completed two remodel projects in the Netherlands rethinking traditional glazing techniques. Located in Eindhoven and on the P.C Hooftstraat in Amsterdam, the projects each draw from their context and take inspiration from local history and culture. Made to restore and connect the two existing structures to their respective cityscapes, the projects are designed to restore the urban fabric as they connect to passerby.

© Evabloem© Evabloem© Evabloem© Evabloem+ 16

Adapting Existing Spaces: New York City’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As New York is facing unprecedented circumstances and as the numbers of infected people with the coronavirus are reaching new highs, officials are seeking fast and efficient solutions to generate useful spaces for patients. With a timeline of a few weeks, the city is looking into ways of altering the existing structures.

Opposite Office Imagines the New Berlin Airport as a COVID-19 Hospital

Opposite Office has proposed to transform the new Berlin airport, under construction since 2006, into a “Superhospital” for coronavirus patients. In an attempt to prepare the healthcare system and increase its capabilities, Opposite Office presented an adaptive reuse alternative, drawing contextual solutions to fight the pandemic.

An Emergency Housing Complex and a Museum in Helsinki: 7 Unbuilt Projects Submitted by our Readers

This week’s curated selection from our readers’ submissions focuses on some of the essential components of our present-day cities.

Featuring the best-unbuilt architecture, the article highlights adaptive reuse projects that transformed abandoned warehouses and factories, a street design in Luxembourg, a regenerative master plan in Seoul, and an emergency family accommodation to temporarily house those in need. Moreover, the roundup distinguishes a library in South Korea and an extension of a museum in Helsinki, because the cultural aspect is an integral part of our urban environment.

New York City Grants Approval for Snøhetta's 550 Madison Garden

The New York City Planning Commission approved unanimously the design for 550 Madison Garden created by Snøhetta. The project that re-imagines the privately-owned public space will move forward, after also having received, earlier on, the approval from Manhattan Community Board.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Design Adaptive Reuse Project in Milan

© SOM
© SOM

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s first venture in Milan is an adaptive reuse of an early 60’s building, originally designed by architects Gio Ponti, Piero Portaluppi and Antonio Fornaroli. The firm imagined a scheme that renovates the former Allianz Milanese headquarters while transforming the Corso Italia Complex into a modern office space.