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Historic Preservation: The Latest Architecture and News

The Hutong Renovation in Beijing: Reimagining Tiny Spaces in a Historic Neighbourhood

For centuries, Hutongs have been recognized as one of the most treasured types of vernacular housing in China. Witnessing the cultural and historical transformation in Beijing ever since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), the name Hutong is derived from a Mongolian word that means ‘water well’. In fact, this term was given to small streets that originated during the Yuan Dynasty when the emperor attempted to organize the urban fabric in a grid-like pattern in order to manage properly property ownership and to form an efficient transit system.

“BEFORE/AFTER”: An Architectural Documentation of Urban Changes in Hutongs

“BEFORE/AFTER” documents the drastic changes, both physical and psychological, which took place during the renovation of Beijing’s Fangjia Hutong in the months between April and September 2017. In 2019, OPEN Architecture was invited to participate in “Unknown City: China Contemporary Architecture and Image Exhibition”, the opening exhibition of the Pingshan Art Museum, with their work “BEFORE/AFTER”.

OMA Unveils Images of the Newly Transformed Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue Flagship Store, in New York

OMA / Shohei Shigematsu has revealed images of the new iconic Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue Flagship Store. In progress and scheduled for the spring of 2022, the intervention “reimagines the retail experience while preserving the historic identity of the original building”.

Construction Begins on the Glass House Project, a New Take on Historical Preservation

Menokin Foundation has begun construction on its “Glass House Project”, a new initiative in the preservation of historic landmarks. Protecting what remains from the 1769 house, the intervention will replace missing walls, floors, and sections of the roof with glass. Designed by Machado Silvetti, in collaboration with glass engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan, and landscape designer Reed Hilderbrand, the project will be developed in phases, to be completed in 2023.

L.A.’s Historic Streamline Moderne Firestone Building to be Restored

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning has unveiled details on the restoration of the Streamline Moderne Firestone Building. First opened in 1938, the project operated until its closing in 2016. Built by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, it was used as a retail outlet for the company’s tires and related automotive products, and the garage remained one of the flagship stores of the company’s operations in Los Angeles.

Pasadena Architectural Legacy Walking Tours and Presentation

On December 30th, 2019, Pasadena Heritage invites you and your holiday guests to take walking tours featuring some of Pasadena’s unique architectural treasures and/or visit Pasadena Heritage’s 1893 headquarters to see a presentation featuring Pasadena’s historic architecture in the movies! Attendees have the opportunity to participate in two different walking tours and the movie presentation, each with a 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. start time!

Pasadena Hillcrest Neighborhood Walking Tour
Discover one of Pasadena’s most beautiful neighborhoods with the Hillcrest Walking Tour, which takes you by many grand homes in a variety of architectural styles. The Oak Knoll subdivision, of which Hillcrest

Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

Old Pasadena has gone from drab and dingy to a shopping and dining destination. Without Pasadena Heritage, this National Register Historic District would have been destroyed! Now it is one of the finest examples of downtown revitalizations in
 the country. Let one of our trained docents lead you through the historic neighborhood and reveal its many hidden and unusual architectural details, old alleyways, and historic signs.

Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

Old Pasadena has gone from drab and dingy to a shopping and dining destination. Without Pasadena Heritage, this National Register Historic District would have been destroyed! Now it is one of the finest examples of downtown revitalizations in
 the country. Let one of our trained docents lead you through the historic neighborhood and reveal its many hidden and unusual architectural details, old alleyways, and historic signs.

The Best Refurbishment Projects in the USA Recognized by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced the winners of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards, honoring the best projects on 2018 in the field of preservation and adaptive reuse. The three schemes range “from the reimaging of a former asylum to the adaptive reuse of a historic school to the groundbreaking transformation of a 1.5 million square foot mixed-use facility”

The schemes were chosen from a shortlist of 50 nominated projects by a jury led by Pulitzer-Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, recognized for demonstrating “excellence in execution and a positive impact on the vitality of their towns and cities.”

New Plans to Revitalize Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

Home to the historic engineering firm, AE Harris, for over 50 years, Birmingham’s treasured Jewellery Quarter is being revamped on account of modernized manufacturing methods adopted by the company.

Joint venture partners Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital are working alongside Glenn Howells Architects to transform the site into a residential-led, mixed-use hub for the quarter.

Virtual Reality Opens Up New Possibilities for Historic Preservation

In partnership with a 3D laser-scanning nonprofit called CyArk, Google Arts & Culture began the Open Heritage Project, a new chapter for historic preservation in the form of virtual reality. By using advanced 3D laser scanning technology, high-res drone photography, and DSLR cameras, CyArk can virtually recreate historic architecture to be more easily explored and restored.

O-office Discusses How Refurbishment Projects Reveal Untold Stories

SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United
SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United

Guangzhou-based multidisciplinary firm O-office Architects specializes in refurbishment projects. Founders Jianxiang He and Ying Jiang are known for exploring what architecture can do within the contemporary Chinese context, including a recent project in which they transformed an abandoned Shenzhen factory into a dynamic cultural and community center.

In this interview with ArchDaily, the founders of O-office speak about their philosophies regarding refurbishments and the current state of architecture in China.

Woods Bagot to Transform 82-Year-Old Chinese Textile Mill Into Entertainment Destination

Fosun Group hired Woods Bagot to transform commercial planning of Dahua, an 82-year-old historic textile mill, into China’s next retail and entertainment district. Located in Xi’an’s urban center, the site sits next to Daming Palace, the Tang Dynasty’s royal residence and a national heritage site which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

© Woods Bagot© Woods Bagot© Woods Bagot© Woods Bagot+ 10

Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

In a recent film published by Metropolis Magazine, New York-based architect Robert A M Stern explains why we should care about Philip Johnson’s controversial AT&T building. As landmark designation hearings to protect the buildings external facade continue, demolition of the lobby of this iconic Postmodern New York City skyscraper has already completed.

The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building's street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.

Call for Submissions: 2018 Fitch Funding

Since 1989, the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation has been in the vanguard of historic preservation practice and theory. The mission of the Fitch Foundation is to support professionals in the field of historic preservation, and to achieve this we provide mid-career grants to those working in preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, materials conservation, decorative arts, architectural design and history, and allied fields.

Dark Arkitekter Plans to Rejuvenate Oslo with National Theatre Rehabilitation

Oslo-based architecture firm Dark Arkitekter hopes to jumpstart the revitalization of the city’s cultural center with their proposed rehabilitation of the National Theatre and redevelopment of the surrounding public space. The government is currently planning to renovate the 118-year-old structure, but Dark Arkitekter was unimpressed with the minimal-effort plan and so put forth their design on behalf of the Theatre.

© Dark Arkitekter© Dark Arkitekter© Dark Arkitekter© Dark Arkitekter+ 12

AD Classics: Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis / Abbot Suger

The origin of Gothic architecture, a style which defined Europe in the later Middle Ages, can be traced to a single abbey church in the northern suburbs of Paris. The Basilique royale de Saint-Denis (Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis), constructed on the site of an abbey and reliquary established in Carolingian (800-888 CE) times, was partially rebuilt under the administration of Abbot Suger in the early 12th Century; these additions—utilizing a variety of structural and stylistic techniques developed in the construction of Romanesque churches in the preceding centuries—would set medieval architecture on a new course that would carry it through the rest of the epoch.

Félix Benoist (Public Domain). ImageEngraving (1861)Rose Window. Image © Wikimedia user Diliff (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)Tomb. Image © Wikimedia user Myrabella (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)West Façade Portal Detail. Image © Wikimedia user Myrabella (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)+ 9