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.
“The greenest building is the one that is already built." (Carl Elefante, FAIA)
The world’s urban population will double by 2050, and cities need to come up with sustainable ways to accommodate this mass movement. We often see projects being built as quickly as possible to support growth, however, rapid growth often leads to cities and buildings that lack originality.
A smarter and more sustainable solution is to increase the density of existing centers, as well as to recover existing structures through refurbishment and repurposing. But, turning something old into something new is a challenging process — it requires a bold vision and a rigorous commitment to design.
Although ancient buildings carry compelling architectural presence, demolition or radical change is often their fate. While some architects prefer to introduce thoroughly new structures, others choose to honor the works of historic architects, who built the basis and foundations of structures that helped shape up cities today.
For the refurbishment of Paris’ Hotel Fouquet Barrière, located one block facing Avenue des Champs Elysées, Edouard François was selected to renovate the entire property, including offices, spa services, façade, and courtyards. François’ design strategy was rather unambiguous, using only two keywords as reference: “COPY-EDIT”; a reinterpretation of the “old” through contemporary technologies and modified material.
Although the ability to install home automation in a practical way is associated with new projects, it is possible to adapt previously built buildings in a relatively simple way. In both small and large renovations projects these systems can deliver automated features that responds to the requirements and needs of its users. They can also improve the habitability and comfort of its spaces, increase their security and promote long-term energy and money savings. So, what considerations must be taken into account in order to transform an regular architecture project into an "intelligent" one?
This renovation project by Peter Ebner and friends ZT GmbH is about the history of a place and changing tastes and times. It is about not needing a large scale to radically improve the space around. It is about the beauty and character of the city with its reflected sparkling life, gloomy evening sky, raindrops and lights of passing cars. It is about people who are mostly in a hurry, but who still sometimes stop for a few seconds to take note of a special, glittering room.
In May 1985, an old theater and concert hall opened its doors to the public for the opening of a brand new nightclub in New York City. Located on 126 East 14th Street, the project was commissioned by entrepreneurs Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, owners of the also famous club Studio 54, and was conceived as a vibrant and luminous independent structure arranged inside a rather classic shell, which appears as a beautiful backdrop behind the clean geometry of Isozaki.
As The New York Times pointed out in its May 20, 1985 edition: 'Arata Isozaki is at once a great eminence of Japanese architecture and a source of some of its freshest thinking. And all sides of Mr. Isozaki are visible in the Palladium'.
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.
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.
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:
Foster + Partners has released details of their proposed comprehensive refurbishment of the Plaza Colón building in Madrid. Located at a historically significant site in Madrid, the scheme will see the transformation and revitalization of the existing structure to “create a new iconic landmark.”
Located at the junction of Madrid’s main north-south and east-west arteries, the building occupies one of the most important intersections in Madrid and forms a key part of the city’s long-term urban vision. The building also faces the bustling Plaza de Colón, one of the largest public spaces in Madrid, while linking three distinct districts containing luxury shopping, finance, art, and historic tradition.
https://www.archdaily.com/896786/foster-plus-partners-reveal-proposal-for-refurbished-axis-of-madridNiall Patrick Walsh
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa—or Zeitz MOCAA for short—recently received first place in ArchDaily's Refurbishment in Architecture awards, with its striking design transforming a formerly derelict industrial building into an iconic landmark in South Africa’s oldest working harbor. Developed by the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and designed by Heatherwick Studio, the mixed-use project is now “the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.” To celebrate the award, we sat down with group leader Matthew Cash to discuss the challenges faced during the project, its cultural importance to Africa, and the practice’s interest in refurbishment as a whole.