These 10 innovative adaptive reuse projects hope to transform downtowns, revitalize dead spaces and give new life to useless junk

When reflecting on climate-related issues, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration.

Kearny Point: A revitalized former shipyard in New Jersey. Image courtesy of WXY.

In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built.

The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.

That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.”

Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land and a change in living trends.

Scroll below to discover key projects from architects that transform existing constructions and introduce new programming to respond more efficiently to modern needs, and environmental responsibility.

While varying in construction status – some were built, some are under construction and others remain in a conceptual phase – each of these schemes highlights a special type of conversion, showcasing diverse outcomes from an adaptive reuse approach.

Here are the featured projects—and proposed projects—with the related design firm (click the link below to see the full article in ArchDaily, with descriptions of each project):

  • Adaptive Reuse of the Corso Italia Complex in Milan / Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
  • New Detroit Book Tower Rehabilitation Project / ODA
  • Revitalization of Boston’s Commonwealth Pier through Adaptive Reuse / Schmidt Hammer Lassen
  • New Design to Convert Historic Houston Post Office / OMA
  • 21st Century Ruin for Oakland’s Coliseum / BIG
  • Shipyard 1862 / Kengo Kuma
  • Transformation of Former Dutch Cargo Ships into Greem Homes / Studio Komma
  • Conversion of Abandoned Warehouse / EFFEKT
  • Former Shipyard Renovated in New Jersey / WXY
  • Cheung Fai Building Transformation / MVRDV
  • Conversion of a Power Plant / Studio Gang
  • Conversion of Mies van der Rohe Gas Station / F

Featured rendering of a Dutch cargo ship transformed into green residences is courtesy of Studio Komma.

See full article by Christele Harrouk in ArchDaily.

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