Industrial Nouveau: Dramatic Renovation Projects Reimagining Urban Life

No building can stand alone. Architecture is an intrinsically grounded art that engages with the environment and cultural networks. Limits, constraints, restrictions, and limitations are what drive architecture forward. They create solutions that celebrate the world as it is. This dynamic is embodied in adaptive reuse and renovations that address difficult problems and existing conditions. This is especially true for industrial buildings, where manufacturing, power, and machinery all come together.© Quintin Lake

Industrial architecture can be done in many scales. Each building is built around specific processes, from sawmills and breweries to warehouses or refineries. Renovations often preserve the original structure and shell of buildings, but introduce new programs within a defined boundary. These transformations can take place at a variety of speeds, whether they are private or public. Although some projects may be slow or sporadic, renovations often signal larger developments in a particular neighborhood or district.

The following industrial renovations were explored worldwide. Each design was made with thoughtful insertions and imaginative spatial arrangements. The new renovations, which combine modern concepts with historic building techniques, respect historical techniques and build methods.

Vieira de Almeida & Associados Offices / PMC Arquitectos + Openbook Arquitectura

(c) Jose Campos
(c) Jose Campos

The new offices of Vieira de Almeida Associados are located in central Lisbon in an area that was once an industrial area close to the Tejo riverside. Two old industrial buildings are used as the project’s main entrance. The larger one faces Boqueirao do Duro street and Dom Luis I street, while the smaller one faces Conde Barao Square. It houses part of the back-office and is the one that will be used for the construction.

Kraanspoor / OTH Architecten

(c) OTH Architecten
(c) OTH Architecten

Kraanspoor, a transparent light-weight office building with three floors, is built on top a concrete craneway in the grounds of the former NDSM shipyard (Nederlandsche dok en Scheepsbouw maatschappij), a relic from Amsterdam’s shipping industry. The 1952 industrial monument measures 270 meters in length. The original construction is 270m long and has a width 13.8 meters. This adds to the Kraanspoor’s length and gives you a spectacular view of the river IJ.

Alstom Warehouses, Nantes Metropole Higher School of Fine Arts/ Franklin Azzi Architecture

The Alstom Warehouses project marks a new step in urban rehabilitation. It is located in the “Ile de Nantes”, a site that is undergoing industrial transformation. It is more than that. The Alstom Warehouses requalification project is about city-making. This involves city-making on the site of the former Alstom warehouses so that there is a new dynamic at the intersection of technology, culture, and economy. The warehouses that are left will be transformed into a multi-purpose Creation district in 20 years.

Beijing Cultural Innovation Park / COBBLESTONE DESIGN

(c) Yijie Hu
(c) Yijie Hu

All industrial plots are renewed with the simultaneous renewal of space and industry. The industrial orientation’s content organization is dynamic and often unfixed. Therefore, the spatial form must reflect the potential value of the content. The renovation and design of “Shouxing Innovation Workshop” aims to create communication spaces and venues that are adapted to potential domain functions. This is done by restructuring the site, content, interface and texture.

Adaptation of Hall 3 in the Central Park to Cultural Facilities/Contell-Martinez Arquitectos

(c) Mariela Apollonio
(c) Mariela Apollonio

The project will transform an old railway warehouse in Valencia into a cultural facility. It is located within Valencia’s new Central Park, which covers the former railway tracks from the main city station. Demetrio Ribes built the shed in 1917. It is an important example of Valencia’s railway architecture. This design permits maximum flexibility, so that different activities can be done simultaneously. However, it preserves the industrial nature of the building. The shed is divided into five areas that geometrically guide the project.

The Carreau du Temple / studioMilou architecture

© Fernando Javier Urquijo

On 20 February 2014, the mayor of Paris reopened the Carreau du Temple in Paris. It is a historic steel- and glass market that was established in 1868. It is located in Paris’ Marais district. The building’s transparent architecture is a testament to the Parisian nineteenth-century tradition in metal frame architecture. Five years after the destruction of Paris Halles and the Baltard pavilions, it was added to France’s heritage listing in 1982. StudioMilou architecture aimed to “idealize” this monument in its design by emphasizing its refinement and making it as transparent and transparent as possible.

Heatherwick Studio / Coal Drops Yard

Heatherwick Studio, a long-standing resident of King’s Cross has transformed two heritage rail buildings dating back to 1850s into a new shopping area with 60 units. This is the first time that the site has been fully opened to the public. King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership commissioned the studio to completely rethink the site in 2014. To receive coal from Northern England, the pair of Victorian coal drops were constructed to be transported by barge or cart around London.

Daoiz y Velarde Cultural Center / Rafael de La-Hoz

The Daoiz y Verlarde complex, a collection of former barracks, aims to preserve the architecture. It is a sample of Madrid’s industrial heritage and military history. The basic geometry of the building was preserved, along with its saw-tooth structure and brick-built façade. To create the Cultural Centre, the interior space was emptied. It is divided into two areas with distinct entry points and circulation areas. However, there is strong visual and spatial connections between them. This allows for different types of events to be adapted.

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