Oh I so love this. A pair of old and disused granaries next to a lotus pond reworked into an arts centre. And while the granaries are sweet in their own right, with their rhythmic progression towards new grand windows at either end and a lovely terrazzo floor that mirrors the lotus pond nearby, it’s the twin curving brick structures that make this such a delight. Sinuous and sculptural they are poetry of space and light.
Adaptive reuse can always be such a delight, and this is no exception! A ginormous former postal service mail sorting warehouse turned into a huge new combo of shops, restaurants, and offices, with a huge flexible music venue and topped off by an even huger green roof, complete with urban farm!
The strategy is a cool one, cutting away large sections of flooring and roof to create three large atriums capped by translucent glazing, each one named for the sculptural stair within that joins the two levels plus garden roof: X, O, and Z. The patina laden character of the warehouse remains on display, especially through the old painted columns that still retain their wear and tear as well as identification markers, all coexisting nicely with the more sleek glass and steel additions. Not to mention that grand rooftop garden.
I dig this kind of project, where super-solidly built buildings – whose construction feels like it can last another thousand years – and, rather than demolishing them, reuses them by taking advantage of that solidity in creative ways, as was done here through new openings and amenities that the solid structure could easily handle. And voila, a whole new venue ready for use without debris and energy use of tearing the whole thing down and starting over. Great stuff.
Ah, here’s another cool project (this one for a small coffee shop in Japan) that inhabits the space underneath a railroad bridge/trestle. Nestled under one of its many repeating arches, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Patinaed concrete, rich exposed brick, and a double curve of the arched ceiling and concave back wall.
An old flour mill on your industrial waterfront, dormant for 25 years, catches fire and partially collapses. You could knock that hulk down and wipe your hands of the affair. Or… you could stabilize the ruins and do some adaptive reuse magic to turn it into the forecourt of a new museum!
As you can guess, that’s exactly what happened with the Mill City Museum.
And that forecourt is indeed some magic. Ruins often manage to be compelling in some ways that is hard to pin down (I’d venture it’s a combination of the roughness, the randomness, and the precariousness, in conjunction with the perfection that is our imagination that completes what is missing), and here the shell acts like the outer concourse of the Coliseum. The slick glass and steel addition contrasts beautifully with it, and all that glass lets it be a part of the museum experience within so that the history you’re learning about is ever present.
Best of all, the forecourt makes one heck of a backdrop for all sorts of events! Beyond just being a museum, it creates a whole plethora of possibilities for a reinvented waterfront district.
Given how much I love adaptive reuse, and the rich texture of old brick and rough and tumble buildings in particular, it’s no surprise that I totally dig this. Great work!
I think by now people know I love trains, and that I equally love many train stations (another nod here to one of my favs, in Ottawa). And as sad as it is when a train station is no longer in use, it’s ok in my book when it’s converted so wickedly as is this one in Brussels!
Good old school and lofty train stations are already such wonderful spaces, and what’s been done here is to leave most of it well enough alone, inserting independent multi-level pavilions to create offices, retail, entertainment, and more. These also create a network of streets that lead to large public gardens that just fit wonderfully under the soaring roofs. Crafted of wood, the whole thing is a welcoming space indeed.
Adaptive reuse, FSC-certified cross-laminated timber, water capture, natural ventilation, and PV panels integrated onto the grand front windows, AND an exciting space to be in… what’s there not to love about this? Great stuff.
Oh this one’s awesome… (and kinda close to my hometown!) An over 125 year old romanesque post office brought to new purpose to become a ‘bookless’ library, filled with creative labs and maker spaces and more. And it’s not just the stately post office building, it’s a new wrap-around glass pavilion that reaches out to engage the adjacent canal and make the whole shebang a part of the community space.
So, yeah, that gallery that hangs out over the river pretty much sells the whole thing. I mean, the original (and restored) post office is also lovely, with its arched windows, half turrets, towers, steep gable roof, and the brick and stone. All of that is enhanced with the new glass and steel surround that cantilevers not just once, but twice, hovering first over the water, then above over a patio/deck. And the undersides of which hasn’t been neglected, with polished aluminum and integrated lighting that speaks towards a future river walk. It’s dynamic and playful and though a very different language than the original building that contrast enhances each other, even more so when they are reflected off the water whether by day or, glowing like a lantern, at night.
Lots of light, lots of great views to the river and city beyond, and more interplay between the crisp new and the rugged old are what awaits within. These two languages combine in a culmination in the third floor maker space, inhabiting the cathedral-like space under the old high-pitched roof amongst the old support frames.
For an added bonus, there’s the glass ceiling that looks up into the old clock tower, putting the mechanisms on display!
Very cool project, another example of taking something already existing and, through re-use and a clever set of additions, turning it into something even greater. Plus public maker spaces/etc are a great addition to a community (I loved the one at the new library in Helsinki). And if you, like me, still love traditional book-filled libraries, there’s one right across the river.
I love adaptive reuse of just about every type, but there’s something extra lovely when old coal-fired power plants or coal storage yards are repurposed into something much less destructive. It doesn’t hurt that the soaring spaces and muscular structure within lends themselves well to all sorts of great insertions and intricate spatial play. To that end, here’s a nice new example of the genre, a bit of adaptive reuse in Wisconsin aptly named The Powerhouse.
A set of big brick boxes, built over time, is what defines the old plant, punctuated by strips of tall windows. A new fieldhouse made of polycarbonate panels is a nifty counterpoint, creating a diffuse glow inside by day and a lantern outside at night. And it’s hard to miss the smokestack as a calling card…
All the space inside is used in fun ways, mixing new levels with old and with the new functions intertwined around old machinery and infrastructure. The suspended running track is cool, traversing through all three old buildings and the new addition, letting you see the different eras and types of buildings while also interacting with old roof trusses and other bits of the building. And check out the idea of the climbing walls within the old coal hoppers! Now that’s a super nifty idea.
Good stuff. A new life for an old building, saving all the materials and the energy it took to build them, and turning it into a plethora of fun spaces for all sorts of great uses while also tying the waters edge, the city, and the university campus together. Mighty fine work.
That picture alone is enough to pique my interest; a music room nestled within a roof shed, crowned by a skylight with linear LEDs for supplementary lighting. It’s exciting in its own right, even more so when you throw musicians into the mix. But that’s just the start! For it is part of a monastery that has been artfully turned into a music conservatory.
While the above music room is in a new wing, there’s plenty of great examples where old and new are mixed to create something special. Like the former cloister turned dining hall, roofed over in a sandblasted glass that makes the restored white plaster surfaces glow.
Or the hallways and stairwells, and the monastic cells/bedrooms…
Culminating in a second music room in the rafters, this time in the historical portion of the building, with light streaming down to accentuate the rough hewn lumber framing. And airy and mystical place for practice.
A wonderful piece of adaptive reuse, and knowing much I love adaptive reuse there’s no way I can’t fall in love with this. Great stuff.
Take a little dash of ruins (an old parchment factory, in this case) and dab of an old cow shed, apply some adaptive reuse and a bit of careful addition inside of the old walls, and you have one nice addition for a historic Victorian house.
Rather than demolish the rough and rich ruin walls, the new additions slips between them to make their aged texture a part of the composition, further heightened by the mismatch of stone and brick between the various structures. Even better, while the new addition is, well, new, much of it was built using material found on site.
Throughout old and new material are juxtaposed artfully, as are their crisp lines and jagged edges. Looking out, whether from the living space or the new rooftop deck above the addition, the walls of the factory ruin – and its lovely pointed window! – frames everything while forming a little courtyard.
Some sweet adaptive reuse going on here and a great use of the existing conditions. While the temptation is often to scrape clean and start fresh, this is a good example of where embracing the rough and tumble leads to something far more exciting to live in.
A glorious example of adaptive reuse tonight, in the form of a project that sports an equally epic name: Godsbanen. A former railway goods station it is now a full-blown cultural centre, with several theatres, galleries, night clubs, along with a number of art workshops and rentable spaces for creative business startups.
In its transformation the building keeps both its rugged heritage as well as its Neo-Baroque forebuilding, presenting several faces to the city. Forming a giant U, that elaborate forebuilding and the adjoining warehouses were both preserved, while a new and rather fanciful addition nestles within the base of the U. Appearing as a series of angular forms and ramps, this new bit houses the main theatres and all the connective tissue, such as the lobby, café, and a courtyard. A courtyard that connects to the roofs, allowing full access up and along those angular ramps, doing triple duty as a lookout, seating, and another venue for performances.
Inside, the addition the muscular facets of the addition’s angular forms create dynamic and interconnecting spaces that are further punctuated by overhead oculi. Meanwhile the amazing curved wooden structure of the original warehouses continue to march in succession into the distance along with the equally amazing continual light monitor. Galleries and workshops are enclosed within slightly sculptural insertions into the existing space.
I totally love it. From the luscious and aged red brick to the rough concrete wedges, from the massive wood supports to the slick gallery walls, all wrapped up in a great play of light and form and shadow. Not to mention the diverse nature of the cultural centre itself, and the vibrant heart it gets to play for an entire area that will soon include a School of Architecture. It’s a fabulous example of repurposing something existing to create something even more amazing, taking the time, energy, detail, and beauty of the past and enhancing it through something equally detailed and beautifully thought out and crafted. Great stuff!