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Restoration: The Latest Architecture and News

Louis Kahn's Dormitories for the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Saved from Demolition

As reported in The Times of India, the board of governors for the Indian Institute of Management, in Ahmedabad, India has canceled the proposal to demolish Louis Kahn’s buildings on campus and replacing them with new structures, after a worldwide pushback from the international architecture community.

Dormitories Built by Louis Kahn, Part of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, Set to be Demolished

The board of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA) has announced that the dormitories, built by Louis Kahn and part of the overall campus design, will be demolished and replaced. In fact, the administration plans to “bring down at least 14 of 18 dorms which were built between 1968 and 1978" for showing "problems of leakages from the roof, dampness in walls, leakages in toilet walls, slabs, etc.”, according to the Indian Express.

© Dave MorrisCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 8

“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”.

Recycling Brick Constructions in the UK: 14 Building Restorations and Extensions

© Andrew Meredith© Nigel Rigden© Ben Pipe© Nicholas Worley+ 15

The use of brick plays a very important role in the architectural history of the United Kingdom. Construction techniques that involve brick and stone have been in constant progress. In fact, brick production improved over time, making the material the most popular one in the construction industry. From the 18th century onwards, brickwork was predominantly used in domestic and industrial architecture, but later on, it was introduced to the structure of warehouses and factories, as well as other various forms of infrastructure.

While many of these buildings are still operating to this day, it comes as no surprise. Refurbishment and reuse are highly recommended techniques, and in many cases, the only methods to maintain densely populated European cities. Therefore, the challenge lays in reusing these buildings and recycling the materials available, always trying to retain as much of the original structure as possible.

More Update on Notre Dame: The Spire Will be Restored According to the Original Design

The spire of the Notre Dame cathedral, destroyed during the fires of 2019, will be restored according to the original 19th-century Gothic design, as reported by French President Emmanuel Macron. Built in 1860, to replace the original structure removed in 1792, the spire, not exactly a medieval structure, was designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc who found inspiration in the original architectural epoch of the Cathedral.

April 2019. Image via Shutterstock/ By Martina Badini© Charles Marville / Library of Congressvia Shutterstock/ By UlyssePixelApril 2019. Image © Erieta Attali+ 5

Renovation of a Brutalist House in Brazil / Arquitécnika

© Edgard Cesar© Edgard Cesar© Edgard Cesar© Edgard Cesar+ 40

Brasília, Brazil
  • Architects: Arquitécnika
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1968
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Jacuzzi, Knauf, Sherwin-Williams, Stobag, +22

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.

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 ClierCourtesy of AKK ArchitectsCourtesy 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
  • 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 TSEZCourtesy of TSEZCourtesy of TSEZCourtesy 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
  • 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 HASSELLCourtesy of HASSELLCourtesy of HASSELLCourtesy 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 FABRICACourtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICACourtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICACourtesy 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 MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy 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 RodríguezCourtesy of Nauzet RodríguezCourtesy of Nauzet RodríguezCourtesy 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.