In New York, activists and professionals have been working for many years to try to save 10 decommissioned tanks, from demolition by putting forward alternative usage of these structures. Partnering with STUDIO V, an architectural firm and landscape architects Ken Smith Workshop, they came up with an inventive proposal that reimagines these industrial relics as a 21st-century park, a novelty in the traditional definition and configuration of public spaces.
Adaptive Reuse: The Latest Architecture and News
The Museum of London has unveiled the design for their new West Smithfield home. Designed by Stanton Williams, Asif Khan, and Julian Harrap Architects, the plans showcase the transformation of a campus of beautiful yet dilapidated market buildings into a 24-hour cultural destination. The scheme celebrates the historic buildings of West Smithfield, while creating a unique, memorable visitor experience.
“Power-Up Pasir Panjang” – Ideas Competition for the Pasir Panjang Power District is jointly organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA). The Pasir Panjang Power District was Singapore’s powerhouse in early post-war years, supplying much-needed power to fuel Singapore’s push towards industrialization. Vacated in the 1980s, the tranquil waterfront site rich in industrial heritage has the potential to be transformed into a distinctive lifestyle destination that will see the power station buildings repurposed to house new uses, attractive and inclusive public spaces created for people of all ages to enjoy and the site’s unique heritage celebrated.
Los Angeles’ booming hospitality industry has provoked many designers to develop fresh, state-of-the-art spaces that fascinate citizens and visitors of the contemporary city. However, some designers are experimenting with abandoned structures, merging historic buildings with contemporary features. The relatively new design trend of adaptive reuse, which was a novelty in the early 2000’s, has now become an in-demand practice in LA, standing front and center in the restaurant / hotel industry.
To dig deeper into why Los Angeles’ hospitality industry is embracing historic buildings, Metropolis Magazine spoke with key hospitality designers and developers in the city such as Historic Resources Group, 213 Hospitality, and Design, Bitches, to learn more about their take on adaptive reuse.
As technology moves forward, so does architecture and construction. Architects, designers, and planners around the world now have infinite tools and resources to design and build the cities of today and the future. As promising as this may sound, new construction is also consuming our world’s limited resources faster than we can replenish them.
This situation leaves architects with an important responsibility: the rehabilitation and reuse of the existing built environment. This means using creative thinking and design to save and incorporate old or historic buildings that currently exist, in the present and future of our cities, by adapting them through creative and sensitive treatments.
In the wake of the recent fires at Paris’ Notre Dame and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, we have seen many architects propose new ways of rebuilding these sacred spaces, opening them up to new possibilities.
Historically, after the decline of the Catholic Church and the increasing loss of faith in several locations in Europe and in North America, the maintenance costs and the disuse of sacred spaces has led to the eventual abandonment of churches, shrines and monasteries with great architectural and historical value.
This opens a new opportunity for investors and architects to rescue and re-contextualize the historical heritage of these buildings. Below we present 15 examples of adaptive reuse in ancient churches--transformed into hotels, homes, museums, libraries and other cultural spaces.
Dutch firm Benthem Crouwel Architects have transformed an office building in Amsterdam into the most sustainable renovated property in the Netherlands. Now the new head office for the Dutch Charity Lotteries, the building received BREEAM Outstanding rating for its sustainable design. The adaptive reuse features a series of slender, tree-shaped columns that support an iconic roof with nearly 7,000 polished aluminum leaves.
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.
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?