Adaptive reuse

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about adaptive reuse

Project • By Graham Baba ArchitectsBars


Situated in a 1950s-era, single-story building on Main Street in downtown Edmonds, Leftcraft is casual and approachable, yet distinct from local restaurant and bar establishments. Rich materiality and an embrace of time-worn patina set the venue apart from other establishments in town. The latest in a series of restaurants developed by the same owner, Leftcraft evolves the exploration of themes established in the most recent iteration. Here, the design explores and plays with themes of materiality, color, and texture and the contrast between new and old.   The infill building, modified at various times during its existence, features concrete walls and floors and a tongue-and-groove Douglas fir ceiling, all of which were cleaned and le... More

Project • By 3LHDHeritages

Urban revitalization of the Gredelj Zone

The abandoned industrial zone in the center of the city of Zagreb has occupied for decades the spaces that now give us the opportunity for the first systematic town planning after a long time.  The zone extends between Branimirova and Vukovarska streets and the railway and bus station. This area of 45 hectares is one of the most important spatial potentials of the City of Zagreb, only a 15-minute walk from the centre. For comparison, this area is twice the size of the Old City of Dubrovnik. The reconstruction of the Gredelj zone is an opportunity to solve one of the biggest urban problems in Zagreb, which is the disconnection between the north and the south. Because of the railway tracks these two parts of the city are connected at o... More

Project • By CeilumeRestaurants

Little Jumbo Restaurant and Bar

The concept was “1920’s New York-style speakeasy,” with a wooden bar, exposed brick walls, old tiles in the washrooms, and a classic decorative ceiling.  The solutions that brought it to life ranged from metal panels salvaged from a burnt building to brand new Ceilume thermoformed ceiling tiles that offer a vintage look with modern convenience.   The Little Jumbo Restaurant started as the fulfillment of a long-held dream.  Australian star-bartender Shawn Soole had often talked about opening his own cocktail bar.  His friend, Sara Baxter, owner and principal designer of Live By Design (Vancouver, BC), partnered with him make that a reality.   The location is an historic structure, The Pacific Tr... More

Project • By EpsteinMills

Adaptive Reuse: Repurposing Silos

In the 1850s, Chicago was considered the grain capital of the world. The mill and silo buildings, located primarily within the Fulton Market neighborhoods, are a direct reflection of Chicago’s wheat industry heritage, one of the major industries upon which the city was built. In recent years, as Fulton Market has become more trendy with the opening of new bars, restaurants, residences and offices, many of the protected historic buildings have been renovated. Unprotected historic buildings beyond the district boundaries, however, are routinely threatened with demolition. One such example was a 250,000-square-foot mill factory, which spanned a 2.2-acre site and included a series of brick loft buildings ranging from three to six stories... More

NewsNews • 18 Mar 2021

St. Michel Molenbeek: A transformation from tobacco factory to school

Located in Brussels, School Campus St. Michel Molenbeek is a stunning transformation of a former historic tobacco factory into a school. The collaboration, by B2Ai, VK Architects and SunProject SunResearch, addresses a shortage of school space in Brussels, while also enlivening the Maritime neighbourhood in Molenbeek. Klaas Verdru Maritime is currently an evolving neighbourhood with high profile projects such as Tivoli Green City, the construction of the Picard Bridge and the new Beco Park drawing attention to the historically underserved area. This new school project helps to further create social cohesion and development opportunities for youth. Covering an area of 17,000 square meters, the campus provides 1,167 places for secondary... More

Project • By 3RW arkitekterAuditoriums

Bergen inkluderingssenter

Landåssvingen 15 is 3RW’s project for the renovation of Bergen’s Lærerhøgskolen, the teachers’ college, for new educational, cultural and sports activities, including an introduction centre for newly arrived foreign language students, as well as an adult education centre. In collaboration with HLM, our office won the assignment for Bergen municipality to develop the existing college in Landås into a building catered to its new tenants use and needs. New institutional bodies in Landåssvingen 15 include Nygård skule, the introduction centre for refugees, and “Etat for integrering”, the Bergen chapter of the Norwegian Agency for Integration. The project is a pilot for architect... More

NewsNews • 21 Dec 2020

Former cement plant transformation reintroduces activities of creative production

In the 1970’s, the Shuangliu cement plant was one of the most important buildings within the Industrial Zone of Xihu District in Hangzhou. It was a roaring hub of production until it was closed in 1999. It stood abandoned for the next 20 years until its transformation by JIANGJIE DESIGNS into a new storefront for Even Buyer. Bringing their own style and fashion attitude to the industrial space, activities of production are once again activated but in a new and exciting way. wangminjie The existing building once served as an area for clinker storage. This function is reflected with the four large cylindrical structures, once filled with clinkers but now sleek showroom spaces. The cylinders are connected with a lower volume that h... More

NewsNews • 18 Dec 2020

Neri&Hu elevate the mundane with their latest adaptive reuse project

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office are known for adaptive reuse projects. Their latest conversion in Shanghai elevates the mundane by transforming a small complex of ex-industrial buildings in the middle of Shanghai’s busy Jing’an Temple area into a creative interdisciplinary space with a total design vision down to the smallest details. Hao Chen & Fangfang Tian The central component of the renovation strategy was a complete reimagining of the main façade. The repetitive windows of the existing building are partially infilled with glass bricks while new operable windows visually unified with a black metal frame on the ground floor create the look of long ribbon windows. Hao Chen & Fangfang Tian The... More

NewsNews • 22 Nov 2020

Studio Gang reimagines a former coal-burning plant as a wellspring of human energy

Studio Gang has retained reimagined a former coal-burning power plant as a Student Union Building focused on health and wellness for Wisconsin’s Beloit College. Situated between the College’s campus and the Rock River, the design transforms a symbol of a now outdated source of electricity into a wellspring of sustainable technology that includes a radiant heating and cooling system that draws from the River itself.   Credit: Tom Harris, Courtesy Studio Gang The programme for the Student Union is highly ambitious and includes 10,000 square foot fitness centre and 17,000 square foot recreational gym with a 3-lane track and an 8-lane competition swimming pool. Additional amenities include a coffee shop, student lounges,... More

NewsNews • 1 Oct 2020

Vanke Nantou Gallery infused with a unique identity via materials and details

Part of the Nantou Ancient Town Renovation and Upgrade project, which was launched to restore the historical context of Shenzhen City, Various Associates were entrusted to participate in the cultural renovation and transformation of a cluster of existing buildings into what the architects describe as an ‘urban memory exhibition hall.’ Credit: Bruce Zhen In the centre of Nanshan District, Shenzhen has grown from a small fishing village into an international metropolis in just four decades. Through an urbanization process that seems at times disorderly but also full of vigour, Various Associates’ work aims to respect site conditions, urban context and traces of original culture, while injecting new concepts into spaces... More

Project • By Clayton KorteOffices

McKinney & Sampson

Located in the fast-growing East Downtown neighborhood in Houston, Texas, this project updates an underutilized industrial site to become a vibrant community hub with office, restaurant, bar, and retail space. The 66,000 square foot development incorporates 30,000 square feet of existing, updated building stock that includes two warehouses. New skylights highlight the vaulted ceilings and allow the original bow-string wood trusses to take center stage. One warehouse building converts into creative office space while the other anchors a retail center with leasable square footage for commercial use. A salvaged warehouse facade from a previous addition becomes a canvas for future artworks along Sampson Street. The project aims to become a blu... More

NewsNews • 30 Aug 2020

Worrell Yeung Architecture complete adaptive reuse project celebrating age-old Brooklyn factories

In Brooklyn, Worrel Yeung Architecture has completed the renovation and design of 77 Washington, a former masonry factory building from the 1920’s, as well as a cluster of four other historic buildings adjacent to the property. The adaptive reuse project draws form the neighbourhood’s rich history and the design typologies abundant in early 20th century New York warehouses. Credit: Naho Kubota A desire to celebrate the site’s history largely informs the design. Starting in the garden, original yellow wood gates were preserved and exterior brick walls left untouched. With reference to the Brooklyn Navy yard, benches in the garden are three solid oak logs, collected after various storms of the past decade. Credit: N... More

Project • By L Arkkitehdit / L ArchitectsOffices

Fennia HQ

Fennia Mutual Insurance Company moved its headquarters to the former Tekes premises in West Pasila, Helsinki, in the spring of 2017. The Pasilanportti, designed by Jaakko Salonen in the late 1980s, was of high-quality architecture of its time, but it desperately needed modernization. Changes in the work environment such as telecommuting, shared spaces, activity-based work and new technology called for changes in the old building's structure. Moreover opening up the ground floor north-south axis was cornerstone of the renovation plan. In the past, the lobby was shallow and rambling, and it was difficult to orientate around the ground floor. The structure needed clarity, so now the entrance, lobby, steps, full-height courtyard and meeting sp... More

Project • By ADEPTOffices

Theodora House

The historic Carlsberg Brewery site in Copenhagen has opened to the public to become part of the city  - and is now seriously embarking on the successful transformation to a dense urban neighbourhood of its own, the Carlsberg City. Transforming many of the preserved buildings, designed by some of the best European architects of the era, the new neighbourhood is at the same time a unique cultural-historical environment and an attractive modern district. New images by Rasmus Hjortshoj shows ADEPTs contribution to the area - Theodora House - shot in a corona-closed Copenhagen.    Theodora House, named after the Carlsberg founder’s daughter, is located right beside the famous Elephants Gate and adapted in materials and sc... More

Project • By lee CALISTI architecture+designOffices

212 East Pittsburgh Street Adaptive Reuse

A former 1930s Packard Dealership that spent decades as an overlooked industrial warehouse finds new life in this dramatic transformation. Our client’s ambitious intentions permitted us to pursue a bold concept that derives its initial gesture from the motion of street traffic. Many speculative commercial tenant buildings appear symmetrical and repetitive not knowing who will occupy the spaces, yet our concept breaks the symmetrical temptation offering the west and east sides a separate identity as the new facade elements manifest themselves slightly differently with special attention given to the east entrance as the most prominent corner. This is the prominent corner seen while traveling West on Pittsburgh Street through downtown Gr... More