Adaptive re-use

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about adaptive re-use

NewsNews • 28 Nov 2022

MSR Design revamps a historic steel mill into a multi-use office space in Pittsburgh

Part of a larger development scheme on a 170-acre brownfield site being transformed into a truly sustainable, mixed-use, high-tech innovation district, the project by MSR Design (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle ltd) is a multi-phase adaptive reuse of a historic steel mill.  Corey Gaffer Photography The new structure features as a box within the old mill's steel structural frame, housing office space, design, prototyping, and testing units, as well as public areas, and tenants include Carnegie Mellon University's Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute, under the largest solar panel installation on a sloped roof in the United States. Corey Gaffer Photography The project includes a variety of sustainable measures to... More

NewsNews • 27 Nov 2022

Meridian 105 Architecture transform an 1890s masonry firehouse into a mixed-use building

Meridian 105 Architecture unveil the adaptive reuse of a circa 1890s firehouse in the LoHi neighbourhood of Denver. Formerly housing horses and carriages, the firehouse was set atop a steep hill that made it difficult for horse-drawn fire pumps, eventually leading to the discontinuation of its services. The building has seen various uses, the most recent being the renovation into a mixed-use apartment complex.  Justin Martin Photography The transformation involves adding a new contemporary volume to the top floor of the existing structure, an extension of the building’s footprint and an insertion of two levels of office space over the restaurant.  Justin Martin Photography Through the selective restoratio... More

Project • By MO-OF / Mobile OfficesPrimary Schools

Bombay International School (B.I.S.)

Concept/Philosophy The school is housed in a 100-year-old heritage residential building, which has evolved into a child centered IB (International Baccalaureate) school over a span of fifty years. The design explores the idea of flexible and interactive learning environments. The space planning reflects the liberal pedagogy of an international education adopted by the school by re-imagining the “traditional classroom model” by ensuring the heritage significance of the structure. A process of delayering and revealing the embedded features of the heritage structure is revived. Caption The shift is from a traditional classroom-based learning environment to creating subject rooms and shared common programs that offer a varied... More

NewsNews • 1 Aug 2022

Focketyn Del Rio Studio reconceptualize 19th Century Military Barracks as the kHaus Cultural Centre

Located in the heart of Basel, the kHaus Cultural centre by Focketyn Del Rio Studio is an impeccable example of adaptive reuse and circular architecture. The project visualizes a 150-year-old defunct Barracks building as an urban hub that unifies the ‘Kaserne’ area with the river Rhein by creating a multitude of public spaces. The historic site will now be cherished as a cultural facility that is protean and contemporary. Adrià Goula In retrospect to the site’s history, the transformation process involved a slight reconfiguration of the exterior facade while keeping the original character and essence of the structure intact. The south-end Kaserne courtyard was opened up by carving out the building to creat... More

Project • By BergmeyerShops


Do we like to partner with socially conscientious brands that are raising the bar in the retail industry? Yes, we do. Everlane, known for exceptional quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency, has begun to selectively open more brick-and-mortar locations. When invited to work with their team on several new retail stores, our response was, “when do we begin?” Caption Initially brought on as Architect of Record, we also collaborated with Everlane on design decisions, executing their brand identity and aesthetic at new locations in Seattle and Georgetown. While there is recognizable brand consistency at every store, aspects of each location are also woven into the experiences. Both stores, for instance, were uniqu... More

Project • By smartvollOffices

Off the Rails

How adaptive reuse and urban wilderness contribute to the reanimation of a wasteland and protect the climate at the same time.  smartvoll It should be clear by now that the construction industry has a significant share of responsibility for climate change. Starting with soil sealing, to the enormous sand consumption in cement production or the CO2 emissions in concrete production. The impact of construction on the climate will increase in the coming decades if, as demographic studies predict, more and more people are going to live in cities. New strategies are therefore needed for the sensible re-use of already sealed industrial areas that have lost their original use. Paradoxically, industrial wastelands are also the epitom... More
Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk
Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk
Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk
Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk
Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk

Project • By Mei architects and plannersMasterplans

Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk

Mei architects and planners developed a grand innovative plan to transform the site of the former Silk Factory in Naro-Fominsk, a city two hours driving from Moscow, into a lively area. The program of 50.000 m2 is mixed-use, a novelty in Russia, and will turn the abandoned industrial site into a vibrant small city full of new energy. Loft-style apartments in the characteristic old factory buildings will be combined with a mixture of shopping, culinary, cultural and sport facilities for the families of Naro-Fominsk and visitors from the Moscow region. With this unique and promising plan, commissioned by the Ostov Group who already developed many successful projects in Naro-Fominsk, the Silk Factory complex will become the new historical city... More

Project • By Mei architects and plannersMasterplans

Kabeldistrict Delft

The Delft Kabeldistrict (cable district) is a distinctive contemporary urban expansion in which a business park is being transformed on a large scale into a vibrant living and working environment. The Kabeldistrict builds on existing qualities, activity and the industrial past of the existing large Cable Factory. The visible fusion of old and new creates its own identity that contributes to a strong cohesion and connection between future entrepreneurs and residents. With a high degree of circularity and a layered integration of greenery and water, Delft is at the forefront of productive and sustainable area development. The Delft Kabeldistrict is the start of new developments on the Schieoevers in Delft. The municipality has the ambition t... More

Project • By Mei architects and plannersApartments


One of the last remaining 1930s indoor swimming pools in The Netherlands, the Spaardersbad, is located in Gouda. The pool owes its name (literally translated ‘Saving pool’) to the inhabitants of Gouda who collectively saved money during the crisis period (1933) to realize an indoor swimming pool. It is a unique building, created, preserved, and cherished with enthusiasm and cooperation. As one of the most visited swimming pools in the Netherlands in the last century, this pool retains personal memories of many generations of Gouda inhabitants. The transformation from swimming pool to residential building with six unique loft homes, is based on the beauty of the original design and the rich history of the building. The swimming p... More

Project • By SYNECDOCHEOffices


In the midst of an office culture paradigm shift, Bamboo’s second location offers open coworking, private offices, amenity, and event spaces addressing the flux of workspace needs in new hybrid models. The adaptive reuse project converts a historic furniture store into a new community hub.  The design process began with a design decision guide. These parameters translate the business model and customer to the built environment.  Take a Break - Create pockets that are not reservable near workstations, enabling everyone to have flexibility with their work-flow without traversing the entire building.Connections - Common spaces should be adjacent to primary circulation providing more distance between heavy traffic areas and fo... More

Project • By HEDOffices

AbelsonTaylor Corporate Headquarters Relocation

AbelsonTaylor, among the world’s most renowned health and wellness advertising agencies and a prior client, reached out to HED to design their new space in Chicago's historic Old Post Office. The goals included activating the space into one that would energize creativity and attract top talent, create a space that is vibrant, connected, and inspires a greater sense of collaboration, as well as exposing the creative process to those moving through the space. Just as the alleys throughout Chicago serve as a network to support and link the city, HED designed Collaboration Alley to serve as a connection between the split levels of the 85,000 sf office space. The flexible space supports the agency's creative process and fosters a behind-t... More

Project • By Damith Premathilake ArchitectsPrivate Houses

Holiday Home at Diyathalawa

Located in the upcountry dry zone region of Sri Lanka about 2 kilometers away from the Diyathalawa military training school, is a cozy abode designed by Architect Damith Premathilake. Perched amidst a forest of pine trees on a cliff, the house is an ideal hide out for relaxation and contemplation in the climate which has a temperature of about 20℃ (68℉ ) throughout the year. Ganidu Balasuriya The structure of this cottage is a result of a rethinking process which modified and converted the existing simple caretaker’s hut. The salient feature of the process is the adaptive re-use of timber palette boxes. Careful detailing and effective reuse of timber from used shipping palette boxes were used to construct prominent features, esp... More

Project • By Olson KundigMuseums

ANOHA - The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum

Through the imaginative exhibits within ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the museum gives their youngest guests a sense of hope and possibility. Located within an existing former flower market hall, the heart of ANOHA is a circular wooden ark, standing almost 23 feet (7 meters) tall with a 92-foot (28-meter) base diameter. The curvilinear ark complements the curved ribs of the Brutalist light scoops overhead, while the shift in materiality from concrete to wood offers a softening counterpoint to the existing space.   ANOHA is populated by more than 150 sculptural animals, each created from found objects by a team of 18 Berlin artists. This approach encourages children to consider the importance of r... More

Project • By CO-APPrivate Houses

Annandale House

The project consists of alterations and additions to an existing inner-city two-storey Victorian terrace house built on an exceptionally long and narrow site (ratio 1:8.5). The client's brief was to design a new fourbedroom residence by refurbishing the original two-storey terrace and demolishing a shamble of fibro and corrugated metal clad lean-tos, and an enormous metal shed which was formerly used as Christmas decorations factory. The site is closely bounded by residential units to the south-west and the Piano Factory warehouse apartment conversion to the north. The west and east offer framed views to established trees and green streetscape respectively.   Taking these issues into consideration, the new additions attach to the rea... More

Project • By Weinstein A+UOffices

Ainsworth & Dunn Building

A mixed-use residential building and an adaptive re-use of a historic structure, the Ainsworth and Dunn project, at the north end of the Seattle waterfront along the railroad tracks, captures the spirit of this moment in Seattle history.   The rehabilitation of the historic two-story warehouse modernized the building for commercial and office use and added a modest, sleek addition at the roof level. Seismic interventions were carefully woven through the landmarked heavy timber structure.   A new six-story structure adjacent to the historic building adds 61 large residential units and ground floor commercial space. Modern masonry cladding wraps the building on three sides while the taller mass is set back and clad in curtainwal... More