Reassuring renovations

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about reassuring renovations

Project • By GSE Ingenieur-Gesellschaft mbH Saar, Enseleit und PartnerExhibitions

Museum of Art Moritzburg

Can an image implicitly contain a space or an architectural idea? Can it hide the project that one day will have to transform that which it represents? Like some paintings that are represented themselves on the canvas, or like a book of books that could be the matrix of literature as a whole: can an architectural work act as a mirror of another work that it seizes? Our intervention in an old German castle stemmed from this strange fiction: an architecture as a text written (built) by others, in another time, for other uses, that nonetheless contains the laws for its own transformation. Two works displayed at the Moritzburg Museum marked the project’s start: an 1850 oil painting by Carl Triebel depicting the walls of the fortress in ruins, a... More

Project • By Vocus architecten bnaOffices

Bussum Water Tower

On 8 September 2010, Mayor Milo Schoenmaker opened the most sustainable office in the Netherlands: the Bussum Water Tower. The project comprises the renovation of the former water tower from 1897 and linked to that, a new office building with a total of approximately 3,500 m2 of gross surface area. The initiative was taken by professor Michiel Haas of the Dutch Institute for Building Biology and Ecology ("NIBE") and ir. Bob Custers of VOCUS architecten bna in 2004. Together with their property advisor mr. Maarten A. Smits MRE of Sixpence and investor Meeuwsen Ten Hoopen (MTH) represented by drs. Sjoerd Riedstra and drs. Rutger Kuipers, the project has turned into a big success. The belief in sustainability, vision and decisiveness has pr... More

Project • By Ghigos ArchitectsRestaurants

River Club

A European chef arrives in Peking: not a magnificent journey for exotic recipe books or an exploration along the roads of taste. This time the geographies of the Sacco family have reached as far as Peking to open a restaurant, the River Club. Designed by the Ghigos Ideas studio, the River Club is a place for meeting and exchange, comparison and storytelling between ancient thoughts and knowledgeable research: a conscious attempt to achieve excellence for the gourmands of the world. The internal fit-out continues the exchange of ideas between the chef and the architects in the project to renovate the historic Piccolo Lago restaurant belonging to the Sacco family in Mergozzo and with the design of “il milione” (the million) dish, initial r... More

Project • By Nacházel ArchitektiHousing

Orchard House

A conversion of one of the oldest homesteads placed in the middle of an fruit orchard into a contemporary holiday home for a married couple with two children. The house retains its traditional rural character by keeping it single-storey and by preserving solid stone walls of an otherwise ruined house. On the facades there are preserved traces of the house development which are newly unified (both the retained masonry and the new openings) into a single paint. Openings in each of the facades are oriented toward the garden and provide plenty of light and openness during the daytime. New large openings in the west elevation shift the house into a heart of the fruit orchard. At night or when the house is not in use, it can be easily secured wit... More

Project • By GROHEIndividual Buildings

Former fortress Schloss Freudenstein

A gem for a comprehensive mineral collection Built in the 12th century as a fortress to protect the silver mining treasures of the region, Schloss Freudenstein today shines as new. Since its renovation, the castle has housed not only the mining archives but also one of the largest mineral collections in the world. Over the past centuries, the former fortress in the east German town of Freiberg underwent radical conversions as well as war-related reuses, destruction and reconstruction. In 2004, AFF architekten from Berlin won a Europe-wide competition to convert the castle into a cultural facility. A total of three years of planning and building work were necessary to modernise the castle. The functional design today provides ideal... More

Project • By Bonsar architecture studioShowrooms

Furniture showroom and warehouse

This project is the result of the rehabilitation of an old cotton warehouse built over 50 years ago, and its transformation into a furniture showroom and warehouse. The reviving essence of the project led the design team to take a restoration approach, in spite of no financial limits and the possibility of demolishing and constructing a new building. In addition to the physical restoration, enlivening the spatial memories was taken into consideration as the most prominent goal in the rehabilitation process. Careful attention was paid that every addition to the building acquire a contemporary tone, and the remainder be restored as elements of the spatial memory. The reminiscence of light penetrating into the dark space of the old hall, turne... More

Project • By Taylor Smyth ArchitectsApartments


Originally constructed in 1912 as a dairy, this laneway building was converted to a residence in the mid 1980’s. The exterior has been basically untouched, allowing for the delightful experience that comes from the discovery of the contemporary light filled interior when compared with the raw, industrial exterior. Over the years, subsequent owners have left their mark on this hidden gem, the most dynamic of which was to remove the roof of an auxiliary room to create an outdoor walled garden at one end of the living room. This new transformation was designed to emphasize the inside-outside relationship by completely opening up the end wall of the living room and infilling it with three large panes of glass, the middle one sliding. In orde... More

Project • By Auer+Weber+AssoziierteOffices

Alter Hof, Munich

The historic building ensemble of the Alter Hof was extended in such a way as to restore legibility to the former castle site as a spatial entity within the inner city context. Continuous eaves lines, largely closed roof areas as well as a balanced relationship between wall and opening in the facades strengthen the homogeneity of the site. The removal of the main development on the actual square resulted in the creation of a gap to the historic adjacent buildings, which was closed with an intermediate building whose light metallic facade construction deliberately contrasts with the stone solidity of the “castle”. Auer+Weber+Assoziierte Munich More


Estate Centre

A picturesque village of 500 people located in the centre of the Káli basin. The estate was founded in 1949 for the purpose of animal husbandry. Along the years the facility had declined, the buildings had become dilapidated. The estate has changed hands which meant that the animal husbandry ended. In the coming years the neighbouring almond farming will be the facility’s main activity. The tearing down of some ramshackle buildings and the renovation of others will gradually lead to the revitalisation of the estate. The first stage of the process is the refurbishment of a farming building erected in the 1950s with a total area of nearly 870 square metres, as well as the construction of a residential building that will house flats for the o... More

Project • By Oyler Wu CollaborativePrivate Houses

The Hyperion Project

Located on a vibrant commercial street in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, this project involves an ongoing series of interventions and transformations to an existing 1920's residential duplex. PHASE 1The project began with the renovation of the existing building that includes the design office of Oyler Wu Collaborative, with a private residence located upstairs. The exterior of the building is an austere two-story volume clad in fiber-reinforced cement board with deep, recessed aluminum windows. The interior of the building combines exposed 1930’s wood frame construction with simple modern detailing. PHASE 2One of the primary design features of the project is an aluminum and 100% recycled composite board fence along Hyperion... More

Project • By MSR Design (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.)Warehouses

Urban Outfitters Campus

The Urban Outfitters corporate campus, housed in five rehabilitated buildings in the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard, provides new design studio and office space for the company’s distinctive retail brands while celebrating the idiosyncratic remnants of more than 125 years of ship building. site Located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, the Navy Yard served as a ship building and repair facility from 1868 through 1996. Decommissioned, it’s 187 buildings were abandoned. In 2004, the 1,000-acre National Historic District was master planned for redevelopment—an evolution from public ownership to private use. When Urban Outfitters, Inc., first considered the site, the existing structures were dilapidated. Despite the deca... More

Project • By MAD Architects

Hutong Bubble 32

MAD’s proposal for the future Beijing 2050 was first revealed at its exhibition MAD IN CHINA in Venice during the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Beijing 2050 imagined three scenarios for the future of Beijing―a green public park in Tiananmen Square, a series of floating islands above the city’s CBD, and the “Future of Hutongs,” which featured metallic bubbles scattered over Beijing’s oldest neighborhoods. Three years later, the first hutong bubble has appeared in a small courtyard in Beijing. China’s rapid development has altered the city’s landscape on a massive scale, continually eroding the delicate urban tissue of old Beijing. Such dramatic changes have forced an aging architecture to rely on chaotic, spontaneous renovations to... More

Project • By ComocoPrivate Houses

CN Castle

The project’s brief requested the conservation and valorization of Castelo Novo’s Castle and its surroundings. Moreover, it suggested also the creation of a space where people and visitors could enjoy it as a place of permanence. To answer these demands, the design solution created a “body” without a rigid boundary, organic, working independently of the existing structures but using them as a support. The construction was designed as a continuous abstract object, non-identifiable with a unique and specific purpose. The object changes with the characteristics of the site. While in the church’s square it acts as a volume defining the limits, in the interior of the Castle’s walls, its shape is transformed into a pavement layer with ramps and s... More

Project • By B2AiConsulates

Pasteur Institue

This prestigious project involved redeveloping the former Institute Pasteur at the heart of Brussels’ European District for the Bavarian Representation to the European Union. The project consists of three historical buildings. The renovation was done with the greatest respect for the historical character of this building. Additions are characterized by a contemporary architecture of steel and glass with a minimalist volumetric approach and a focus on transparency. The lighting and the contrasting materials help focus attention on this remarkable building. More

Project • By Wiel Arets ArchitectsHotels

Hotel Zenden

The Hotel and Sport School Zenden is located within three monumental town houses near the river Maas in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The hotel’s history begins in the late sixties, and originally contained only a pool for swimming lessons. Over the years other functions such as hotel rooms and a Judo school were implemented into the program. Upon the facilities reaching spatial limits, a renovation and reorganisation of the program was needed. During the renovation, the scattered program was re-crystallized into an iconographical and integrated whole. Newly created openings in the hotel’s walls allow for views between all areas of the new program, as well to as the exterior. The renovation led to an abstraction of the structure in both... More