Rapid development, advancement in technology, and a changing economy have led to many industrial buildings being obsolete and abandoned. Adaptive reuse of industrial buildings is a sustainable method that finds new ways and purposes for such old structures to be used again. It allows increasing the life of a structure while also reducing the negative environmental effects of construction. 

Restoration and preservation of the built environment to preserve the local identity of the place are some of the important aims of adaptive reuse. Advantages also include lesser consumption of resources-material and money. Adaptive reuse helps to breathe new air into a building while conserving its essence

Listed below are 10 instances of adaptive reuse of industrial buildings around the globe.  

1. Octapharma Brewery, Stockholm  

The former brewery located in the Western Kungsholmen district in Stockholm was abandoned 15 years after it reached its peak due to economic constraints. Built-in early 1890 the building was transformed into the admirative center for Octapharma pharmaceutical. The now restored building houses the office along with numerous meeting spaces, a conference room, changing room, and a huge cafeteria. Swedish architectural firm Joliark worked in close association with the Stockholm planning authorities to restore the structure to its lost glory

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Octopharma Brewery Exterior_©Torjus Dahl / Joliark
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Cafe_©Torjus Dahl / Joliark
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Before refuse _©Torjus Dahl / Joliark
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Office space _©Torjus Dahl / Joliark

2. Baoshan WTE Exhibition Centre, Shanghai 

The Baoshan exhibition center preserves the abandoned Baosteel production site in Shanghai, China. The exhibition Centre designed by Kakoi Studio is a space where the public can learn about waste to energy process lightweight approach taken by the designers, use of translucent material complements the rusty pipeline and preserved machinery.

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Boashan Exhibition center _©Terrence Zhang
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Restored interiors _©Terrence Zhang
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Preserved machinery _©Terrence Zhang

3. Imagine Studio at the Trees, Mumbai

Built with the hope to design a functional space that spoke of the past while looking into the future, this former old soap factory located in Navi Mumbai had been transformed into an office and cafe by Studio lotus and GLP design studio. Two of the former power plants and broiler of the factory have been repurposed to house a studio, workshop, and cafe. The newly designed interior draws inspiration from the metal silo cylindrical unit that occupies the site thus creating a contrast with the existing rigid geometry.

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Old soap factory before reuse _©Studio lotus
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Exterior of Imagine Studio at the Trees _©Edmund Sumner
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3C Office at Imagine Studio at the Trees _©Edmund Sumner
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3D Interior with exposed pipes _©GLP design studio

4. Sawmill Factory House, Oeiras

Located in the small Portuguese city Oeiras architects Andre Caetano and Ana Fiuzza transformed an 18 th. century sawmill into a house. The freestanding gable wall that forms the boundary between the house and the street and the stone wall used in the original factory was preserved. Built with a minimalist approach and interesting use of volume the project stands up to the client’s need of having an architecture.

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Preserved Stone Wall _©Nuno Almendra
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House tucked behind gable wall _©Nuno Almendra
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Interior of the house _©Nuno Almendra

5. Brother Brewery, Auckland 

Completed by MA studio in 2015 the building is an adaptive reuse of a former warehouse to a craft brewery, restaurant, commercial kitchen, and bar. Originally built in the 1960s the building sits in the city fringe in Auckland, New Zealand, and had a steel truss supporting the saw-tooth roof. With a few structural changes, the industrial look of the warehouse was transformed into an inviting restaurant, brewery with a courtyard sit out.

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Brother Brewery Exterior _©Wendy Brandon
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Courtyard _©Wendy Brandon
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Interior Restaurant _©Wendy Brandon
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Roof showing Steel Truss _©Wendy Brandon

 

6. Amherst Powerhouse

An effort by Bruner/Cott associates transformed the historic McKim Mead and White steel plant to create a student gathering place for the students of Amherst College in Massachusetts. Built in classical style in 1925 with a large arched window, the former powerplant allows flexible changes to housing several functions such as parties, dances, acapella rehearsals, etc.

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Amherst Powerhouse _©Rob Mattson and David Lamb
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Arched Windows _©Rob Mattson and David Lamb
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Student Gathering Place _©Rob Mattson and David Lamb

 

7. Wonder Bread Factory, DC

Built in 1923 formerly house to the bakery of Wonder Bread in Buffalo east the structure stayed abandoned for over a time of 20 years. Under Douglas Development the historic bakery was reused as a loft-style four-storied office with high ceilings and large windows.

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Wonder Bread Factory Exterior _©douglasdevelopment.com
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Interior of Wonder Bread Factory _©douglasdevelopment.com
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Office floor _©douglasdevelopment.com

8. Ford Assembly Building, CA 

The car assembly waterfront structure built for Ford in 1937 and damaged severely in 1989 was rejuvenated to suit various functions. Owing to the enormous size the dilapidated industrial building houses functions such as office, entertainment, dining, and a visitor center.

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Office space _©Billy Hustace Photography
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Entertainment zone _©Billy Hustace Photography
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Dinning space _©Billy Hustace Photography
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9. Bata Shoe Factory, Ontario

BDP Quadrangle transformed Batawa’s historic Bata shoe factory to serve as a model for rural sustainable development. The former industrial building is now a mixed-use building with 47 residential apartments, retail and commercial space. Enhanced with larger windows, balconies and a lobby the building celebrates industrial history through adaptive reuse.

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Transformed Bata Shoe Factory _© Scott Norsworthy
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Interior _© Scott Norsworthy
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Residential Apartment _© Scott Norsworthy

10. Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, Okayama

Plummeted copper prices led to the closing of this coffer refinery located in the Inujima island of Okayama, Japan. Almost after 100 years of it being abandoned, it is now being used as an art museum. The project made use of existing smokestacks and Karami bricks from the refinery with geothermal, solar energy to reduce the environmental impact.

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Inujima Seirensho Art Museum _©Daici Ano
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Yukinori Yanagi “Hero Dry Cell/Solar Note”  _©Daici Ano
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Yukinori Yanagi “Hero Dry Cell/Icarus Tower” _©Daici Ano

References

Gavin Moulton. “Industrial Reuse: 8 Forgotten Factories Repurposed as Memorable Architecture”. Accessed via Architizer.

Dipanjan Sinha. (Dec 07, 2019). ART CULTURE:” Check out breathtaking examples of adaptive reuse in five Indian cities. “Accessed via Hindustan Times.

Author

A student of PMCA Cuttack. She believes nothing is black or white but grey. Like the meaning of her name, she is in quest of her grey; the perfect balance in life be it through her words or design. Her love for architecture, history, and baking best describes her.

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