Architecture Monday

Another adaptive reuse!  This time in Amsterdam, with a rejuvenation of a former mercantile exchange.  While the outside’s been brought back to all its turreted pointiness, it’s the addition of the glass geodesic-like dome on top that caught my interest.

It’s not much of a presence from the street, and it’s not trying to be.  It even cuts into itself to avoid impinging on the turrets (while, as a bonus, creating an outdoor gathering space).  But it’s one wicked, column-fee space inside, a soaring crystal cover whose diagonal rib work offers dynamic windows onto the world.

And then, in one of those turrets, is this very cool time-infused room…

Sweet work.  The Diamond Exchange Capital C Amsterdam by ZJA + HEYLIGERS

Architecture Monday

Is this a house for Rapunzel?  Sure, why not… but it’s even cooler than that!  Take a restored hull of and old mill as the literal core, add an airy addition to one side to compliment the heavy brick construction of the mill on the other, and you have a most intriguing place to live.

 

Not surprisingly given both living in a tower but also its smallish size, the tower, there’s a lot of vertical division going on within, with the library on the first floor, the bathroom on the second, bedroom on the third, and crowned with an office (with a view!).  All accessed by a sweeping stair that travels along the outer edge and punctuated with arched windows.

This photo shows off much of what I love here, including the way the heavy texture of the brick plays off the slickness of the floors and the steel and glass addition.  And the fun of tower living!  But also how much that arched opening into the brick tower it looks like a giant pizza oven…

Adaptive reuse, tower living, libraries, and more.  Great stuff.

House Wind by Architecten De Bruyn

Architecture Monday

There’s a couple of reasons to love this former power plant in the heart of London.  The first is the building itself, majestic, assertive, and positively iconic in all of its art deco glory (especially so from its use on the cover of a Pink Floyd album).

Sweet design with sweet detailing, and a great reminder that even industrial buildings warrant great design for those who both work within and live around it.

The second is the amazing mixed-use adaptive reuse of the building that was recently completed.  Retail and office spaces use most of the space within, including the cavernous turbine and boiler halls, while residential lines the periphery and, with a remarkable flair, as new glass and steel boxes set delicately atop the existing brick base.  Well-proportioned and taking cues from the existing conditions, the new apartments compliment the original design very well.  A trio of linear gardens join also the residences atop the building.

Even the old control rooms were given a chance to join in the fun, handsomely restored to their glory.

Reading up on the history, after the station was decommissioned there were some unfortunate twists and turns and false starts that resulted in a long dormancy and the whole thing falling into disrepair.  It’s fortunate and great to see this new form come to fruition, restoring the landmark design while also providing a great mixed-use addition to the neighborhood.  And it’s adaptive reuse, so you know I have to love it.  Great stuff.

The Battersea Power Station, originally by Giles Gilbert Scott, and one of the largest brick buildings in the world.  He also designed the Bankside power station, also the site of an amazing adaptive reuse into the Tate Modern art gallery!  Adaptive reuse design led by WilkinsonEyre (more pictures, videos, and historical photos at their site — and check out the jaw-droppingly interesting Chimney Lift, an elevating glass room the size of the inside of the chimney that emerges to give 360 views, wow).

Architecture Monday

Check out this nifty school right next to the California Science Centre.  Adaptive reuse + a new wing by Morphosis.  And as a Morphosis building you know you’re going to get a lot of hyper expressive screens, stairways, and outdoor pavilions, but this comes with a bonus covered courtyard nestled within the historical structure plus green roofs and a berm that embraces the new building.

Next to a science centre, art museum, olympic stadium, and soon to be motion picture museum, plus a DC-8 as an entry piece, and nifty architecture… pretty darn cool.

The Dr. Theodore Alexander Science Center School by Morphosis

Architecture Monday

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.

TaoCang Art Centre by Roarc Renew

Architecture Monday

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!

Before…

 

Also before…

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.

POST (see what they did there?) by OMA

Architecture Monday

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.

Nifty, and a nice complement to the Arches Project and to the Vans complex (both in the UK) which also inhabit under-rail spaces.

Blue Bottle Coffee Chiyoda City by Schemata Architects

Architecture Monday

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!

Mill City Museum by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle.

Architecture Monday

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.

Gare Maritime by Neutelings Riedijk Architects + Bureau Bouwtechniek