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Restoration: The Latest Architecture and News

Annabel Karim Kassar Transforms 19th-century Structure into a Contemporary Family Home

AKK Architects, an architecture practice founded by architect Annabel Karim Kassar, with offices in Beirut, Dubai, and London, is transforming a historical 19th-century Lebanese home into a contemporary family home. Bayt K was shortlisted for the WAF future projects awards under House category.

© Colombe Clier Courtesy of AKK Architects Courtesy of AKK Architects © Colombe Clier + 15

Adaptation of The Roman Ruins of Can Tacó / Toni Girones

© Aitor Estevez © Aitor Estevez © Aitor Estevez © Aitor Estevez + 28

Montornès del Vallès, Spain
  • Architects: Toni Gironès
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 2500.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

UIA and TSEZ Seek to Revive Niemeyer’s Abandoned Tripoli Site through International Competition

As part of Tripoli’s economic revival plan, the International Union of Architects (UIA), in collaboration with the Lebanese Federation of Engineers and Architects (on behalf of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone / TSEZ), the Union of Mediterranean Architects (UMAR), and the Lebanese Government, have launched an international architecture competition to create a Knowledge and Innovation Center in the northern city of Lebanon.

The proposed site is situated on an empty lot within Oscar Niemeyer’s abandoned Rachid Karami International Fair, a modernist exhibition complex that has yet to see the light of restoration. The objective of the competition is to create a technology and business hub which will foster and promote start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, attracting students, young graduates, local and international companies to Tripoli and the neighboring region.

Courtesy of TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ + 12

Bahia Rodin Museum / Brasil Arquitetura

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

© Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon + 36

  • Architects: Brasil Arquitetura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 3055.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2002

HASSELL Envisions a Restorative Redesign For San Francisco's Crumbling Waterfront

With its historic but dilapidated waterfront, San Francisco has decided to restore the shoreline that could greatly influence the future of the city both environmentally and economically. The Port, contemplating between a piecemeal rebuilding pier-by-pier and a singular comprehensive construction of the waterfront, invited architecture and landscape firms to submit the reimagined proposals.

Global design firm HASSELL, known for their innovative recreational projects, envisioned an approach to preserve the significant history and culture of the pier while creating a sustainable green corridor in a playful manner. In order to activate the Embarcadero as an "interconnected greenway," HASSELL plans on developing the ecological areas along the waterfront as well as improving the accessibility between the recreational land with the surrounding transit hubs.

Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL + 12

Treasuring History: Photographs of Tadao Ando's First European Villa Restoration

Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA
Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA

Inducing a surreal physical experience through minimal maneuvers, buildings with smooth concrete panels and simple geometric volumes instinctively hint at the work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando. At an ongoing exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, photographs of the headquarters of Fabrica, Ando's first European commission in 1992, are showcased. Located near the city of Treviso, the building was an old villa restored to become a thriving creative research center.

Villa Pastega Manera, built on an area of 51,000 square meters, went through a rigorous study of traditional construction techniques and material sampling to commence the redesign. The photographs feature the harmonious integration between the historical structure and seamless renovations. 

Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA + 33

Le Corbusier’s Restored Parisian Apartment Opened to the Public

The Fondation Le Corbusier has celebrated its 50th anniversary with the unveiling of a restored apartment originally designed by the famous architect. The studio apartment on Nungesser-et-Coli in Paris was designed by Le Corbusier in 1931 for his own habitation and was completed in 1934.

The apartment underwent two years of restoration following its listing as a classified world heritage site in 2016 and is now open to the public.

© FLC/ADAGP/Mercusot © FLC/ADAGP/Mercusot © FLC/ADAGP © FLC/ADAGP + 5

MVRDV Proposes Respectful Renovation for 19th Century Heritage Building in Wrocław, Poland

MVRDV has released details of their proposed renovation of a 19th-century listed building on Slodowa Island in Wroclaw, Poland. The “Concordia Hub” will see the retention of the existing façade, with the addition of a contemporary rear extension to “create a focal point” for the general public and visitors.

The site’s former use as a German artillery base in 1945 means almost all of the island’s structures were destroyed in the closing months of World War II. The Concordia Hub scheme seeks to preserve one of the only surviving heritage structures on the island, while transitioning the building into the modern age.

Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV + 4

6 Restoration Projects Bringing Mexico's Past Into the Present

© Eduardo Calvo Santisbón © Eduardo Calvo Santisbón © David Cervera Castro © Luis Gallardo + 7

The architectural history of Mexico bears with it a wealth of symbolism that gives insight into the different time periods that have played host to contemporary cultural movements throughout the country's history. 

Today, it's common to hear well-known architects calling for, not the creation of new spaces, but for the restoration of already existing ones. This stance insists that it is one's duty as an architect to rescue a site's memory by bringing it into the here and now.

As philosopher Jean Paul-Sartre put it, "what is important is not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us." In keeping with Sartre's phrase, we have compiled a list of 6 restoration projects that aim to rescue sites and show the interconnectedness of different time periods in Mexican history.

Who Cares About Restoring Heritage in Mérida, Mexico?

Courtesy of Nauzet Rodríguez Courtesy of Nauzet Rodríguez Courtesy of Nauzet Rodríguez Courtesy of Nauzet Rodríguez + 10

In his book The Right to the City (1968), Henri Lefebvre talks about ending the creation of spaces managed by the logic of profit, to launch a plan of "self-managed territory" that does not leave aside the "historical heritage," nor allow the decomposition of space, but instead works for the restitution of urban centers as places of creation.

Globalization has produced cities without limits whose focus has been on the immediate benefit, directly attacking the preservation of cultural heritage, among other things.

Zaha Hadid Architects' Mercury Tower adds a "Sense of Dynamism" to Malta's East Coast

West elevation render. Image Courtesy of VA
West elevation render. Image Courtesy of VA

Zaha Hadid Architects have released images of their proposed redevelopment of the historic Mercury House, situated in the tourism and entertainment center of Paceville on Malta’s east coast. An extensive renovation to the existing structure will see the integration of residential apartments, a boutique hotel, and a range of public spaces and amenities.

The boldest addition to the derelict heritage site will be a 31-story tower, rotating as it rises in response to different functional programs. The resulting form seeks to instill “a sense of dynamism within its silhouette that changes when viewed from different directions around Paceville."

Pavilion render. Image Courtesy of VA Swimming pool render. Image Courtesy of ZHA East elevation render. Image Courtesy of VA Piazza render. Image Courtesy of VA + 8

MVRDV to Transform Communist-Era Pyramid into Center for Art and Technology in Albania

Courtesy of MVRDV
Courtesy of MVRDV

MVRDV has unveiled its vision for transforming the Communist-era “Tirana Pyramid” in Albania into a center for technology, art, and culture. Under the plans, the abandoned structure will be revitalized as a multifunctional technology education center for Tirana’s youth, with the existing dark interior becoming open, bright, and green.

The Tirana Pyramid was opened in 1988 as the Enver Hoxta Museum, designed in honor of Albania’s former communist leader. Since then, the building has transitioned into a NATO base during the Balkan Wars, a nightclub, and an event space. Though now in decay, the building remains a popular spot for young people keen to climb on its roof. As a nod to this unique appropriation, MVRDV has made the roof officially available for all visitors.

Courtesy of MVRDV © Gent Onuzi Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV + 5

Nominations Now Open for the 2018 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

Nominations are now open for the 2018 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the prize recognizes architects or designers that have demonstrated innovative solutions to preserve or save threatened modern architecture.

Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church Will be Renovated Into the Nation's First National Museum of Gospel Music

When architects were asked to re-imagine Chicago’s neglected buildings for an exhibition, Dirk Lohan designed a revitalization plan for Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church. Soon Sullivan’s landmark building will become the nation’s first National Museum of Gospel Music, complete with a cafe, retail store, event space, research and listening library, and a 350-seat auditorium.

Herzog & de Meuron Designs "Horizontal Skyscraper" Above Historic Moscow Brewery

Herzog & de Meuron has released images of their proposed scheme for the redevelopment of an old brewery site on the banks of the Moscow River. The Badaevskiy Brewery project will see the transformation of a largely abandoned cluster of historic, industrial buildings, a delicate restoration project contrasting with the contemporary addition of a residential “Horizontal Skyscraper.” With this bold addition elevated on tall, slender stilts, a new ground-level public park is created to strengthen ties between the brewery site and adjacent river.

© Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron + 5


© Chasing Wang
© Chasing Wang

© Chasing Wang © Chasing Wang © Chasing Wang © Chasing Wang + 30

Shanghai, China
  • Architects: NONG STUDIO
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 180.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

The Renovation of Louis Kahn's Yale University Art Center: A Significant Moment for Architectural Preservation

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "How the Restoration of Louis Kahn’s Yale Art Gallery Helped Kickstart Modern Preservation."

I have a distinct memory from my days as an architecture student at the University of California Berkeley in the late ‘80s. During an architectural survey class taught by Spiro Kostof, Louis I Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery popped up in the slideshow. “Nice building,” I thought, “but what’s with those windows?”

Fifteen years later at Polshek Partnership (now Ennead Architects), I would become the project architect for the construction phase overseeing the rehabilitation of that classic building—the most challenging aspect of which was to replace “those windows.” I came to understand, intimately, how the double-paned window wall had failed almost as soon as construction was complete. Condensation accumulated between the panes, creating the foggy effect that marred my first impression of this groundbreaking building.

Renovation of Xi’an South Gate Plaza / China Northwest Architecture Design and Research Institute

huacheng park. Image © Chen Su
huacheng park. Image © Chen Su

miao garden east details. Image © Chen Su miao garden sunken plaza. Image © Chen Su song garden. Image © Chen Su song garden sunrise view. Image © Chen Su + 23