OMA /Jason Long revealed its latest adaptive reuse project in Detroit, transforming a former bakery and warehouse into mixed-use art, education and community space. Developed in collaboration with Library Street Collective, the project provides new headquarters for two local non-profits, PASC and Signal-Return, while creating a mix of artist studios, galleries, community-serving retail and gathering spaces. Dubbed “LANTERN”, the development is set to become an “activity condenser.”
Mixed Use: The Latest Architecture and News
As the city continues to evolve and transform, dead edges in the cityscape begin to emerge, subsequently reducing the level of activity in our built environment. These 'dead edges' refer to the areas that lack active engagement, they remain empty and deprived of people, since they no longer present themselves as useful or appealing. As the Covid-19 pandemic draws to an ultimate close, the first issue we may face post-pandemic is to revive our urban environment. A kiss of life into a tired and outdated cityscape...
The focal element in creating an active and healthy urban environment is by increasing vitality through placemaking. Creating diverse and interesting places to reside, thrive, and work. Here are five regenerative strategies that animate the cityscape and ultimately produce resilient, attractive, and flexible environments.
It's not uncommon to see housing complexes integrate commercial spaces at the ground level, but the challenge of mediating between the private and public realm on a smaller scale, especially with the rise of the home office, has forced architects to explore all aspects of the structure, from the topography it sits on, to the direction of light and wind, to the design and organization the domestic space. This interior focus explores different design solutions that show how architects and interior designers transformed their projects from a living space into a mixed-use typology, taking into account privacy, flexibility, functionality, and predefined spatial requirements.
MVRDV revealed its plans to redevelop a challenging site surrounded by roads in the south of Munich through a design that combines the renovation of an existing building complex with the addition of two-stepping towers. Retaining six of the nine existing blocks, the project expands the current programme and creates a new landmark for the neighbourhood while placing a green plaza at the heart of the development.
Stefano Boeri Architetti Transforms Schools into a Mixed Use Space for the Whole Community in Tirana
As part of the new Tirana 2030 master plan, Stefano Boeri Architetti has created a new model for schools, transforming them into a place for people of all ages, open every hour of the day and every day of the year. The newly-inaugurated project in Tirana serves as a "new epicenter for life in urban neighborhoods", used by students during the day as a school campus and by the whole community on weekends and public holidays as recreational and meeting places, as well as potential places for shelter during emergencies.
Valentino Gareri Atelier has been selected to design the pilot project for a circular economy village model that aims to redefine urban sprawl through sustainability and diverse programming. Comprising eight residential hamlets with co-working and entertainment spaces, The Spiral Village will be created using emerging 3D printing methods and will foster circularity through a waste-to-resources hub, a diverse regenerative agricultural system, a sustainable water management system and renewable energy.
Zaha Hadid Architects reveals the winning design proposal for a mixed-use development in Budapest, comprising residential, office and retail functions, tied together by civic spaces and landscaped areas. The Zugló City Centre establishes a network of public squares and urban gardens that re-establish the natural ecosystem of Rákos Creek and connects the new development to the surrounding framework of parks and avenues.
Aedas revealed its design for a mixed-use development in Shanghai, a mid-rise high-density scheme comprising several blocks of offices, retail spaces and a hotel linked by an extensive network of public spaces. A central circulation spine running across the site connects the various programs and, together with a series of green spaces, recreates the atmosphere of the organic urban fabric.
KCAP revealed an updated design for the Sewoon Grounds project in Seoul, a redevelopment plan to transform the district into a sustainable mixed-use area. The winning design of an international competition in 2017, intended to regenerate the 'Sewoon District 4' area of the city, the project aims to enhance the urban fabric while also integrating the existing built heritage and urban industry. KCAP's proposal generates a multi-layered scheme that builds on the successive layers of architecture and culture accumulated in time.
Foster + Partners revealed its design for a masterplan focusing on adaptive reuse and programmatic diversity meant to regenerate the site of a mid-century factory in the heart of Santiago. The practice's first project in Chile proposes the refurbishment of the existing factory building, La Fabrica, while adding a residential development on the adjacent site and introducing timber as a sustainable building material for the extensions.
EFFEKT has won the competition to transform an urban block occupied by a decommissioned editorial office and printing press of the regional German newspaper Kieler Nachrichten. As digitalization has rendered many of the existing newspaper production facilities obsolete, the KielHöfe project aims to redefine the publication’s urban presence by incorporating various programs meant to drive the revitalization of Kiel’s city centre and shape a new cultural destination.
Aedas has revealed its design for Shirble — The Prime, a new mixed-use development that would revitalize the Ba Gua Ling industrial zone, a central area of Shenzhen. The design features a retail podium from which one office tower and three residential ones of various heights rise, connected by a sky-park at 150 metres above the ground. The high-density development aims to respond to the city’s demand for housing while bringing multiple aspects of urban life into one building.
Work has begun for MVRDV's renovation of Shenzen Women & Children Centre, a mixed-use tower featuring an array of public functions, now in need of a comprehensive transformation. Constructed during the city's explosive growth following the Special Economic Zone designation in the 1980s, the building is one of the many nearing the end of their initial lifespan, and MVRDV's adaptive re-use project sets an important precedent for repurposing these buildings by bringing colour, greenery and a new layer of public spaces.
Construction work began for Herzog & de Meuron’s transformation of a former power plant building in San Fransico into a mixed-use project. Designed in collaboration with California-based practice Adamson Associates, the adaptive reuse of iconic Station A is part of the Portrero Power Station project, the redevelopment of a 29-acre industrial site into an extension of the Dogpatch neighbourhood. Herzog & de Meuron’s design retains and repurposes various features of the industrial building while adding a lightweight, steel-framed structure on top, thus giving new life to one of San Francisco’s landmarks.
For its latest design in China, the Australian firm Koichi Takada Architects takes inspiration from Shanghai's forest-rich landscape and creates a series of architectural "trees" that branch out, forming a canopy above a new marketplace. Through its open, biophilic design, the Solar Trees Marketplace will be an extension of the outdoor public space, reinterpreting the traditional Chinese market as a community place.
Japan plans on transforming the area around Shinagawa station into a global hub, further connecting Tokyo to the international scene of business and innovation. The Connecticut-based architecture firm Pickard Chilton recently completed the masterplan and concept design for the area's redevelopment into the Global Gateway Shinagawa, an innovative urban environment.