Adaptive reuse has gotten newfound attention towards its ability to both conserve heritage and make use of what’s already left behind. That is both being economical and socially conscious. Adaptive reuse is the process of converting an already existing structure into another functional structure without disrupting its actual integrity. The most common buildings to be reused are industrial clusters and dilapidated residences. Some of the most comfortable and people-pleasing aesthetics have an adaptive reuse concept as their base. Reuse of any material after it has served its purpose is conserving energy and fresh resources which can be used for other purposes. The rate at which buildings have been coming up since the industrial revolution has thrown the limelight to a vital question, what will happen when we run out of space and resources to construct new buildings? How sustainable is building new structures and expanding beyond the already existing city boundaries and into the wilderness affect our persisting climate crisis? Adaptive might not be the golden goose, but it is an effective way to reuse the buildings instead of demolishing it and using double the amount of resources. It may not be the prime solution to climate change or global warming but on a small-scale perspective, it saves the old building from being demolished and the local community ripped off its heritage. Reusing the building, with slight aesthetic modifications and making it culturally relatable, would make the current generation more aware of their heritage. The process of adaptive reuse has produced some of the most beautiful and cozy buildings that make you forget the actual dilapidated shell.

1. The Steel Yard in Providence, Rhode Island – Klopfer Martin Design Group

This is a collaborative project by the owners of the steelyard and KMDG where instead of clearing out the industrial space, they renovated the existing structures to create a new social ad hoc communal space for artists. They also work with local artists to make creative furniture out of the existing sources such as bike tracks and trashcans.

The Steel Yard in Providence, Rhode Island - Klopfer Martin Design Group
The Steel Yard ©Christian Phillip

2. Concrete Plant Park, NYC- NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation

Another industrial unit converted to recreational space, this park complex still contains the concrete plant machinery and landscapes around it. The riverfront on which the park is positioned was considered extremely blight and polluted in the ’90s. The riverfront was cleaned and made as a kayak launch path and it has several benches and communal spaces.

Concrete Plant Park, NYC- NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation
Concrete Plant ©NYC Parks

3. The Goat Farms Arts Center, Georgia

Originally built as a cotton factory this building was revamped now as a Perking arts center along with spaces dedicated to an education center, a cafe, an organic farm, and various exhibition halls. Before this, the building was used as an arsenal for making mortars and ammunition during World War II.

The Goat Farms Arts Center, Georgia
Goat Farm Arts Centre ©

4. Convent De Sant Francesc, Spain – David Closes

The church of the convent of Sant Francesca in its essence intended to create a blend of traditional church architecture elements along with contemporary design elements. This renovation cleared up space for the auditorium and a multipurpose cultural hall.

Convent De Sant Francesc, Spain - David Closes
Convent De Sant Francesc ©Archiscene

5. Caixaforum Madrid, Spain

Conversion of an old power station called Central del Mediodia into a cultural center and museum in Paseo del Prado, this adaptive reuse of the building is funded by the Caixa Bank. The extension and redesign of the building include extension above and below which paves the way for galleries and administrative offices.

Caixaforum Madrid, Spain
Caixaforum Madrid, Spain

6. Moritzburg Museum, Germany

This reuse makes sure the integrity of the already existing legacy of the Moritzburg Castle by superimposing a lighter structure on top that lets the entry of natural lighting. The roof structure has breaks in between that helps in the natural lighting and from which the new exhibition spaces hang. This hanging provision helps free the most ancient flooring completely and adding on the new possibilities of the exhibition.

Moritzburg Museum, Germany
Moritzburg Museum ©RolanHalbe

7. The Port House, Belgium – Zaha Hadid

An icon of deconstructs reuse, this was the redesign of a derelict fire station into the new headquarters for the port of Antwerp. The building’s design reflects the surrounding sea and the structure added on top makes it look like a lighter structure floating on top.

The Port House, Belgium - Zaha Hadid
Porthouse ©Thomas Mayer

8. Tammany Hall, NYC

This reuse was undertaken by BKSK whose designs incorporate a way of blending contemporary elements into historic bases while preserving them and making them relevant to the date. This addition to the already existing Tammany hall was a spherical glass dome which makes the hall relevant today. The hall represents the Clan of Tamenand who was revered in the 17th-18th century.

Tammany Hall, NYC
Tammany Hall ©6sqft

Sruthi is an avid daydreamer who is currently an architecture student in VIT . She always finds a way to escape reality , be it in books , movies or in creating something new . Her mind is always wandering over new possibilities of making the world a better place one step at time.