Category Archives: Structure Reuse

Architecture’s afterlife – SalvoNews.com

Dist. of Col. (Washington DC), USA – Ian Volner is a writer for Architect, the magazine for the American Institute of Architects. His article ‘Architecture’s afterlife’ discusses the ongoing obsession of recycling obsolete building materials over reclamation and salvage, and the processes and costs involved in getting into the reuse game.

Volner begins by painting a picture of the building industry today in the US, with forty percent of solid waste attributed to construction, he says ‘not only rubble and rotting beams, but also countless odds and ends from new construction such as cast off nails and packaging’.

Buildings Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) executive director Ann Niklin adds ‘ “We say it [recycling] is all very well and good, but we also say many of these [materials] could simply be salvaged”.’

There is a positive statement from architects who are using reclaimed materials consistently in their projects.

‘ “We’re really starting to get plugged into, in a much more architectural way, the stream of these materials,” says David Dowell, AIA, a principal of El Dorado Architects, also of Kansas City, Mo. Since expanding to include general contracting services, the firm has been working reuse deeper into its practice.’

Continue reading Architecture’s afterlife – SalvoNews.com

Sleek Remodel Takes Swiss Home From Ancient to Modern | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

 

The idyllic mountain village of Soglio, Switzerland has experienced plenty of ups and down in population levels over the past century. As such, some homes and buildings have sat vacant for long periods of time. One such home was spectacularly rehabbed by Christian Speck of Form Zone.

The site of the 15th century stone house used to hold two homes and as such boasts two entrances and dual staircases. On the exterior of the home, nearly everything has remained the same. On the inside, however, the home has undergone an almost-unbelievable transformation.

Keeping the rough-hewn stone, exposed brick and gorgeous timbers intact, Form Zone managed to make this 600 year old dwelling look beautifully modern.

Some walls were clad in natural wood while others were covered in slick white lacquered surfaces. Rather than making the space look vulgar and giving it a forced-modern look (as one might expect), the changes seamlessly transition the home into a stylish modern look.

One of the best parts of the home is the rooftop, where residents can enjoy two separate rooftop sitting spaces. Views of the other stone rooftops in the village and the majestic surrounding mountains are enough to make you almost reluctant to go back inside.

It takes an expert hand to transition a home from ancient to modern. It takes an equally skilled person to make a modern home seem cozy and livable. Christian Speck did both in incredibly elegant style within the ancient walls of this breathtaking home.

via Sleek Remodel Takes Swiss Home From Ancient to Modern | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Request for Proposals Issued for Reuse of Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library – Weston, MA Patch

The Town of Weston, through its Town Manager, has issued a Request for Proposals regarding the adaptive reuse of the historic Josiah Smith Tavern and the Town’s Old Library.

The Town is seeking redevelopment partners who recognize the unique opportunity to bring new life to this rare set of buildings that occupy a highly visible, park-like site along the Boston Post Road at the edge of Weston’s village center and its expansive Town Green.

A copy of the Request for Proposal can be found at http://weston.org under Request for Proposals – Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library. Responses must be submitted by 4 p.m. on June 7, 2012. Two site visits will be offered – one on April 25 at 10 a.m. and the other on May 3 at 3 p.m.

Continue reading Request for Proposals Issued for Reuse of Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library – Weston, MA Patch

“Adaptive reuse” brings old warehouses and garages to life – Greater Greater Washington

“Adaptive reuse” brings old warehouses and garages to life

by David Alpert   •   April 24, 2012 3:57 pm

I recently visited an American city with many downtown buildings from a long-departed industry. The city’s downtown is now experiencing new life, and many of the historic buildings are finding new uses after sitting vacant for many years.

  

This is a complex of old warehouses which have now become retail and offices. The developer added a really amazing water feature, a long river which cascades down waterfalls at various intervals. There are small footbridges across the river and even stepping stones to cross in one place.

The old chutes for the products remain and now serve as decorative flourishes. In the center is an old railcar, like those that once transported goods to and from the facility.

 

At another location nearby, people have turned several old garages into bars and music halls. They’ve also become a popular spot for food trucks, and 2 were sitting outside as we passed by on a Saturday.

 

Both of these demonstrate the preservation concept of “adaptive reuse.” Old, historic buildings can become a valued part of a changing community by taking on different functions that residents need today. The distinct architecture of the structures and the small details that nobody would build today adds character and interest.

Bonus question: Can you guess the city?

Update: Several commenters got it very quickly. This is Durham, North Carolina. The large development is the American Tobacco Campus, where tobacco warehouses have become high-end retail adjacent to the new stadium for the Durham Bulls. The garage-turned-bar and music hall is called Motorco, in honor of the building’s historic use.

via “Adaptive reuse” brings old warehouses and garages to life – Greater Greater Washington.

Reuse Building Materials and Give Old Supplies New Life | AsanteGeorge.com

reuse building materialsDuring a conversation with a friend of mine who lives in the southern US, I learned that her cousin built her entire home out of materials she collected from old buildings. By salvaging and reusing materials, my friend’s cousin was able to construct her own home on a very strict budget.

Ever the green artist, this thought intrigued and excited me. Not only is it eco-friendly, but with rent and mortgage costs increasing, the thought that it is possible to reuse building materials to construct a comfortable home was a revelation.

Why Reuse Building Materials?

Using reclaimed materials is one of the most sustainable ways to acquire materials for a home or building. Not only is it conservative on the pocket book, but reusing building materials saves resources, conserves landfill space, and prevents deforestation.

Preserving Useful Supplies

In order to resuse building materials, a building must be deconstructed in a way that maintains the integrity of the supplies. This process is different from demolition in which a site is cleared quickly and by any means. Deconstruction takes into account a building’s life cycle and aims to give materials a new life once the building is no longer in use.

Commonly reused building materials include wood, fixtures, sinks, bricks, windows, and cement. Many proponents of recycled materials claim the reused supplies add a sense of history and art to a new structure. It may also provide an opportunity to reuse building materials that were made in an era where standards of craftsmanship were very high. However, construction materials aren’t the only things recycled into homes and structures.

One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s…Temple?

Structures made from reused materials come in many beautiful shapes and forms. There are modern homes made from shipping containers, a Buddhist temple in Thailand made from over one million beer bottles, Aluminum cans upcylced into aluminum siding, and silos made into comfortable prefab homes. All of these structures make something beautiful and functional out of, well, garbage.

Old barns and condemned buildings are full of value if they are responsibly deconstructed and reused. Bottles and cans that fill so many trash and recycling bins can become an affordable and beautiful home or greenhouse. Reuse building material; it’s sustainable and artistic, and it allows quality construction supplies to live again.

via Reuse Building Materials and Give Old Supplies New Life | AsanteGeorge.com.

Prefab and Preservation, Together At Last at Dovecote Studios : TreeHugger

Activists in historic preservation often are asked “when is a building too far gone to save?” British architects Haworth Tompkins demonstrate that when there is a will, the answer is never. At Aldeburgh Music’s ‘creative campus’ is based at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, Archdaily describes how “Nestled within the shell of an abandoned building, the firm responded to the existing conditions with a touch of sensitivity, uniting the old structure with the new aesthetic.

Read the whole article via Prefab and Preservation, Together At Last at Dovecote Studios : TreeHugger.

Reuse and Repurpose – A Garden Shed made out of Salvaged Building Materials

Don’t throw out the old stuff – reuse and repurpose!

Almost 3 years ago good neighbors and friends of ours moved from Maryland to a little cabin on Lake Jackson in Virginia. Naturally, I’m still a little sad that they moved about 2 hours away from us – if you have great neighbors you just don’t want to see them leave! But seeing how beautiful Lake Jackson is and what a quaint little community they are lucky to be part of, I can’t really blame them.

So, for the past 3 years they’ve been hard at work renovating every little square inch of their cabin and turning it into a beautiful home. The cabin was originally built in the 1930s and needed a lot of updating to say the least. One of those times when we were talking about their progress, my friend mentioned how they were about to donate all their old doors and windows. Oh no no no no was my immediate response, you are going to do no such thing! You’ll either hold on to it or bring it to my house!

 

I apologize, Habitat for Humanity – I love and support your mission but in this case I just had to keep them from dropping it all off at one of your stores. They had a treasure chest of building materials at their hands and I knew they could do something amazing with it.

The end result? They took my advice plea to heart and saved it all. They are now the proud owners of what is probably the greenest garden/potting shed in all of Virginia and Maryland! They reused and recycled and repurposed … the old siding, doors, trim, windows, beams, stained glass and even a wagon wheel that used to be a lamp! It still needs some decoration and plants of course but it’s already looking pretty spectacular!

I am proud of you Karen and Gary – you took my advice to a whole different level!

 

via Reuse and Repurpose – A Garden Shed made out of Salvaged Building Materials.

New life for old buildings: Adaptive reuse in Pittsburgh

The Old Iron City Brewery

South Hills High School opened its doors on Mt. Washington in 1917 and closed them in 1986.  The sprawling structure sat vacant for more than twenty years, during which time the Mt. Washington Community Development Corp. replaced the building’s roof and otherwise kept it stable.  A developer finally purchased the building from Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2006 and thanks to the keen eye of architects Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and Thoughtful Balance, it has been reincarnated as the South Hills Retirement Residence, 106 units of senior housing with space for community assets such as a day care facility.  The project was recently awarded LEED Gold certification accruing to a mix of co-generation and solar photo-voltaic panels that provide 70% of the building’s power, among other sustainable features.

The South Hills project is a shining example of adaptive reuse, or the re-purposing of older properties for a use other than their original design.  Taking this route can be cheaper than new development, and financing for these projects is often easier to secure.  Pittsburgh is filled with older buildings eager to be re-imagined including office buildings with a prime downtown address and schools whose architectural pedigree has placed them on the National Register of Historic Places.

Projects currently underway in the city include the RiverVue Apartments, 218 rental units in the former State Office Building that boast Point State Park as their front yard, and the expansion of 31st Street Studios, hulking former brick and metal warehouses that are morphing, Transformer-like, into Hollywood East in the shadow of the 31st Street Bridge.

Who are the next best candidates for adaptive reuse in Pittsburgh?  It all starts downtown at the James H. Reed Building on Sixth Avenue, former headquarters of the Reed Smith law firm.  The building’s elegant entrance screams “hotel!” and who better to do the retrofit than Kimpton Hotels, masters of adaptive reuse?  Imagine “Hotel Monaco” over the doorway and a jewel-toned lobby acting as the living room lounge urbanites crave.  Around the corner is the Henry W. Oliver Building designed by architect Daniel Burnham and close by is the Union Trust Building, whose stunning mansard roof commemorates the cathedral that formerly stood in its place.  Both structures are woefully underutilized and if commercial isn’t the answer, perhaps they’re prime for downtown residential?

Continue reading New life for old buildings: Adaptive reuse in Pittsburgh

Architecture A-Z: D is for demolition – KansasCity.com

Architecture A-Z: D is for demolition

STEVE PAUL

The Chicago & Alton Depot was built in 1879 and moved and restored in the 1990s.

<br />
The Chicago & Alton Depot was built in 1879 and moved and restored in the 1990s.

 

The Chicago & Alton Depot was built in 1879 and moved and restored in the 1990s.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/28/3519528/architecture-a-z-d-is-for-demolition.html#storylink=cpy

Here’s another entry in our elemental, alphabetical guide to Kansas City’s built environment. The feature appears here every other week or so. Find earlier entries in the series collected in “Architecture A to Z,” published by Kansas City Star Books.

Depot

The Chicago & Alton Railroad used this two-story station in Independence beginning in 1879. In the 1990s the depot was threatened with demolition (to continue a theme) but a friends group formed, moved the depot to its current home at 318 W. Pacific Ave. and spent several years renovating. The depot, open to the public, stands by railroad tracks near the National Frontier Trails Museum.

Demolition I

Cities rise and fall. Buildings come and go. People settle in, move on, construct their dreams on the bones of the past.

Despite good intentions and efforts to preserve, historic structures have little claim to permanence. It often takes more money and power than neighborhood preservationists can muster to save a landmark or a piece of beloved history. For every Union Station and Folly Theater that survives in our town (after much debate, effort and check writing), there must be handfuls of Grand Opera Houses, brutalist office buildings and historic homes that slip away.

Soon to meet that fate (probably) is a 111-year-old house at the south edge of midtown with a brawny stone porch and a Shingle Style exterior done in gray slate (a rare touch). It’s known as the Donaldson House, 4347 Oak St. You can have it for $1 plus the considerable house-moving costsand become a preservation hero, especially to the members of the Southmoreland Neighborhood Association who have long hoped to save it. The Kansas City Art Institute, which wants to build student housing or something else on the site, has been trying to dump the little-used Donaldson House for more than a dozen years. Now an 18-month clock is winding down and a demolition green light is expected to come from the city’s Historic Preservation Office in May.

Southmoreland neighbors have watched for decades as the Art Institute and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art expanded their footprints by demolishing once stately houses.

“We love that the Art Institute is a vibrant place, but we have to balance that with maintaining the residential sense of neighborhood,” said Greg Corwin, Southmoreland president.

For its part, the Art Institute says that after demolition, it will keep the lot as green space until it decides what it most needs to build, something, says a spokesperson, that “will fit well with the fabric of the neighborhood.”

<br />
The Donaldson House, at 4347 Oak St., is owned by the Kansas City Art Institute, which plans to demolish it in mid-May. The prominent circular stone porch and the slate shingles are a rare combination. The home dates to 1911.

The Donaldson House, at 4347 Oak St., is owned by the Kansas City Art Institute, which plans to demolish it in mid-May. The prominent circular stone porch and the slate shingles are a rare combination. The home dates to 1911.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/28/3519528/architecture-a-z-d-is-for-demolition.html#storylink=cpy

Demolition II

One of the most astounding episodes in local real estate history is still playing out, but one aspect has come to a close: the deconstruction of a never-finished office building designed by a global architectural star, Moshe Safdie. For the last six years or so, I’ve watched the 11-story, concrete-skinned West Edge tower go up, stall and now, in the last several months, come down piece by piece. Impossible to recount the saga here, but, in brief: What a waste! Already steel beams are being installed for a replacement office building, designed by 360 Architecture, which will rise above the intact garage. And, eventually, plans might coalesce to finish the adjacent boutique hotel to the south, which was part of the original Safdie complex.

<br />
Recent demolition work on the West Edge complex invovled heavy equipment and torches.

 

Recent demolition work on the West Edge complex invovled heavy equipment and torches.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/28/3519528/architecture-a-z-d-is-for-demolition.html#storylink=cpy

D is for dumb. And dust-to-dust.

Steve Paul, senior writer and editor, 816-234-4762, paul@kcstar.com, @sbpaul.

via Architecture A-Z: D is for demolition – KansasCity.com.

Green Plans For Disney Studios

This mural (painted by Alexander Austin) at 31st and Troost includes images of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
Laura Spencer / KCUR

In the early 1920s, when Walt Disney was in his early 20s, he was heading up a struggling animation studio on Kansas City’s east side. A small field mouse became his pet, lived in a drawer in his office, and shared his food. That mouse would later provide the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Disney’s studio, where early animators cut their teeth making black-and-white silent cartoons, is still struggling. There are now plans for a green future.

Paying Tribute in Missouri

Walt Disney was born in Chicago. But he spent much of his childhood in Missouri, firstMarceline (about 125 miles northeast of Kansas City), and then Kansas City. Disney was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1993. And Butch Rigby – a film buff and founder of Screenland Theatres – recalls a conversation from that time with a Kansas City radio DJ, John Hart.

“And he (Hart) said, ‘Hey, there is not one single place in Kansas City that reflects the fact that one of the most famous people in the world came from here, worked here, started here,'” says Rigby.

At first, the idea was to build a statue in honor of Walt Disney. Then there were talks about a possible Disney Museum in Union Station. But those ideas fizzled out. Today, plans are still in development to re-open Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram studios, just east of Troost.

Laugh-O-Gram Studio: A Training Ground for Animators       

Butch Rigby stands outside the two-story red-brick building at the corner of 31st and Forest. “This is still just a small 10,000 foot building,” says Rigby. “And it’s not a giant museum project like people want to imagine. It is, however, equally as important.”

The second floor of the McConhahay Building housed the first cartoon studio owned by Walt Disney. It was a training ground for pioneering animators like Ub IwerksHugh Harman and Rudolph Ising. But Disney was not known for his financial prowess, and the company filed for bankruptcy in July 1923. Disney then moved to Hollywood, California with an unfinished “Alice’s Wonderland.”

“What’s significant is that some of those kids would follow Walt (Disney) and Ub (Iwerks) out to California and they would literally found 20th century cartoon animation for the movies,” says Rigby.

“Ub Iwerks was the prolific genius artist who would draw, a few years after they left Kansas City, Mickey Mouse; Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising, they founded a little company, Harman-Ising (Cartoons). They came up with “Merrie Melodies” and “Looney Tunes” (at Warner Brothers). Those two guys would end up training two young animators, Hanna and Barbera.”

Back from Collapse

By 1996, this building was slated for demolition. The roof had collapsed on to the second floor, and that floor nearly collapsed on to the first. When Rigby and Shipp bought it on behalf of Thank You Walt Disney for just over $12,000, it was thought that the building couldn’t be saved.

“Very slowly, but very surely, we’ve taken it one step at a time,” says Rigby. “(We’ve) removed all the demolition, put up scaffolding to hold all the walls up, brought in bricklayers, brought in framers, brought in new concrete floors, so now we have a cool shell that is ready for programming and for use as an interactive historic site.”

But getting that “cool shell” ready has taken more than a decade, and it’s been expensive. Rigby estimates about $700,000 has been invested so far; this includes in-kind services and the bulk of a $400,000 match from the Walt Disney Family Foundation. Doors and windows remain boarded up, covered with cartoon figures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=EJMlruV2RD4

Continue reading Green Plans For Disney Studios

Design*Sponge | Your home for all things Design. Home Tours, DIY Project, City Guides, Shopping Guides, Before & Afters and much more

I’ve always loved exposed brick walls inside homes, but it can be difficult to bring warmth and coziness to these industrial spaces. I love so many elements in this apartment renovation from Cassidy Hughes, an interior designer living in London: the open shelving in the kitchen, the minimal new bathroom layout and the eye-catching citron-colored quilted sofa in the living room, just to name a few. This space feels relaxed and lived in but not overcrowded, and I love that they kept the salvaged look consistent throughout with industrial-style lighting fixtures and rustic furniture pieces. Nicely done, Cassidy! — Kate

via Design*Sponge | Your home for all things Design. Home Tours, DIY Project, City Guides, Shopping Guides, Before & Afters and much more.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

What do you do with retired wind turbine blades? Why, you turn them into a super fun playground of course! Wikado Playground in The Netherlands is a renovation of play area in desperate need of attention. 2012Architecten handled the design and renovation of the area for Kinderparadijs Meidoorn and made use of five discarded rotor blades to create a maze-like play area with slides, towers, nets and plenty of interactive elements.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Group Launches $100 Million Home Rehab

An innovative non-profit group has launched an aggressive $100 million campaign to rehabilitate thousands of homes left to decay in blighted urban neighborhoods as a result of the U.S. foreclosure crisis. The organization has qualified for financing to repair vacant homes from bankers to help damaged neighborhoods.

The group’s chief executive says a new initiative launched by Builders of Hope, based in Raleigh, North Carolina will help rebuild neighborhoods that have had thousands of homes left vacant by the real estate collapse.

“The Upcycle program is specifically designed to address the many interconnected housing issues that the nation is struggling with,” said CEO Nancy Welsh. “The lack of affordable rentals, the surplus of foreclosed houses, the neighborhoods suffering from blight and the inefficient state of our existing housing stock.”

The effort will employ thousands of construction workers and real estate agents to help communities re-populate neighborhoods, which may help to stabilize home prices and increase safety in many areas to attract investors.

Continue reading Group Launches $100 Million Home Rehab

Historic pub set to be demolished to make room for new shopping centre – Community – Halifax Courier

CGI of the redevelopment of Pennine Shopping Centre in Halifax.

A 220-year-old pub is set for demolition after as councillors gave the green light to a new shopping centre.

The Pump Room, on the junction of Church Street and New Road, Halifax, will make way for car parking and access to the new development.

The Pennine Shopping Centre, will be sited on Horton Street and Union Street, and will house large retail units designed to attract big names to Calderdale.

Calderdale Council Planning Committee met to discuss the plans put forward by Royal London Property Fund for a three-storey development.The plans show two lower levels containing 500 car parking spaces while the top floor will include retail units and a cafe and restaurant.

CAMRA pubs officer Peter Robinson spoke at the meeting highlighting that The Pump Room is one o fthe oldest buildings in the area.

“It was erected in 1791. It pre-dates most of the other buildings round there by at least half a century,” he said.

“Here we have a case where a someone wants to demolish a viable pub. The Pump Room offers something distinct and attracts a diverse cross section of people – the loss of the Pump Room could have a knock-on effect for nearby pubs.”

Also facing the bulldozer is the old filling station on Church Street and the New Road business park.

Access to the site for shoppers will be on Church Street with delivery access on New Road.

Concerns were raised about the increase in traffic on what is already one of Halifax’s most congested sections of road.

Councillor David Hardy (Lib Dem, Elland) said: “Articulated lorries struggle to pass each other on this road already because it’s so tight.

“I have great concerns with how this application is now. Particularly Church Street and access for wagons up New Road. To me large vehicle access ought to be from Church Street not New Road.

“I cannot back it as it is now.”

Coun Martin Peel (Con, Sowerby Bridge) said: “This is an excellent scheme. Our officers have drawn up conditions to work with the developer and overcome many of the concerns raised by this committee.”

Graham Connel, of Colliers, who is acting as agent for Royal London, said they would work with the Council and a further application will be submitted once finalised plans are in place.

via Historic pub set to be demolished to make room for new shopping centre – Community – Halifax Courier.

A Win-Win for Packers, Moving Houses Slated for Demolition – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News

Packers News Release

With the Lambeau Field expansion project underway, a few houses are in the way of a new parking lot.

The expansion on the south end of Lambeau Field means parking spaces for the media have to be pushed back to make room.

The only problem?

“The media parking lot itself will stretch out over the two lots where these homes are,” Packers Director of Public Affairs Aaron Popkey said.

But instead of a wrecking ball, the Packers sold the houses to DeVooght House & Building Movers.

The Valders business approached the Packers about buying the homes. They’re being moved intact and put in storage for a future owner.

“As soon as we knew these houses were going to be removed or demolished, we contacted them right away and said ‘We’re the Green Bay Packers, we have to go green,’ so let’s salvage these houses and recycle them,” co-owner Don DeVooght said.

The process takes careful planning and operation.

“Just about everything you see done here, especially working with the Packers and Myron Construction, they’re very safety conscious so are we,” DeVooght said.

“We put these large steel beams underneath that you we slide them in, and once they’re in we jack the house up, once that’s done we roll it off the foundation.”

The process started on Wednesday and will be finished when the houses are moved Sunday. The garages will be moved on Monday.

The $6,000 profit the Packers made from selling the houses will being paid forward for more housing.

“We said, hey, let’s turn that right around in the spirit of things and donate it to Habitat for Humanity,” Popkey said. “Their mission is obviously to work with folks who are unable to obtain homes on their own.”

Next week, the Packers can begin building the new parking lot to be completed this summer.

If the team needs to move any other homes due to the stadium expansion, it will try to repeat this.

“That’s the best way to go. It’s the most sustainable way,” Popkey said.

via A Win-Win for Packers, Moving Houses Slated for Demolition – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News.

Failed Nuclear Power Plant Transformed Into Amusement Park : TreeHugger

Amusement parks can seem banal if you’re fed up of overpriced food, long lines and not-so-great rides. But this extraordinary amusement park in Germany has an edge over its competitors — it’s built out of an abandoned nuclear power plant.

The immense cooling tower houses a swing ride, while its outside walls have been converted to a 130 foot tall climbing wall. In addition, there are more traditional rides like a carousel, merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, attracting approximately 600,000 visitors each year.

Wunderland Kalkar/Promo image

Located near Kalkar, Germany, this “Wunderland” park is a great example of adaptive reuse that could also solve the problem of what to do with the country’s nuclear power sites as it plans to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022.

According to the Daily Mail, this nuclear power plant was never used, though it was supposed to be the world’s most hi-tech nuclear power plant when it was constructed in 1972. But after many protests and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the multi-million dollar project was cancelled 12 years later, with a Dutch businessman stepping in and buying the plant in 1995.

harry_nl/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The park now boasts several hundred hotel rooms, bars and restaurants (operated out of the plant itself it seems), dozens of rides, a museum, miniature golf and tennis courts. But is it safe? Well, the Daily Mail quotes a park spokeswoman as saying:

People come from all over the world because they are completely fascinated by the park. It’s totally unique and that’s what draws people in. It’s not something you see every day. Some people worry it’s unsafe but it is 100 per cent safe. Because the nuclear power station has never been put to use, the whole complex is guaranteed free of radiation.

Good to know; thrill-seekers can find out for themselves at Wunderland Kalkar(website).

via Failed Nuclear Power Plant Transformed Into Amusement Park : TreeHugger.

Ala. foundation builds architectural salvage business

A doorway and transom light on a 19th century home in New Orleans. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A doorway and transom light on a 19th century home in New Orleans. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) – Decades of local history lie almost forgotten in a warm, musty basement downtown.

Doors that once swung open to show off new bungalows or even mansions are neatly stacked, waiting to be refurbished. Windows that looked out on Huntsville’s evolution from watercress to Wikipedia are piled high, ready to move back out in the sunshine.

At the bottom of a steep staircase, architectural doodads like doorknobs and light fixtures plus more than a century of history fill the dusty basement of Harrison Brothers Hardware on the Courthouse Square.

Access to these treasures was once limited, but now the Historic Huntsville Foundation Architectural Warehouse is open to the public. Warehouse hours are 10 a.m. to noon on the first and third Saturday of each month, other times by appointment.

Read the entire article via Ala. foundation builds architectural salvage business.

Medieval barn rescued by English Heritage – SalvoNews.com

The Great Barn at Harmansworth rescued by English Heritage [photo cc by-sa Jim Bush / Pollards Hill Cyclists

Middlesex, UK – The Great Barn at Harmonsworth near Heathrow has been bought by English Heritage for £20,000. After repair work the building will be open to the public in April 2012.

The oak framed Great Barn was built in 1426 and used to store grain. It is 60 metres long, 12 metres wide and 11 metres high, with 13 huge oak trusses. ‘The cathedral of Essex’, as it was called by John Betjeman, was put on the buildings at risk register in 2009.

English Heritage say ‘Grade I listed, the barn ranks alongside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace for its exceptional architectural and historic interest.’

English Heritage

via Medieval barn rescued by English Heritage – SalvoNews.com.

Surgical Intervention Modernizes Space in Abandoned Barn | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Dornob is a great source for design information like this – go check them out.

Picturesque and idyllic in an organically aged way, there was little about this lot’s aesthetics that Architecture Abaton images by Bethlehem Imaz wished to change.

On the outside, every attempt was made to preserve the character of this quaint old structure – additions like wood-and-steel doors look intentionally rusticated to match the aged stone walls, while a pool out front appears likewise timeless.

On the inside, simplicity itself: wide-open spaces, but done in stark white to make it fit for dwelling. Concrete comes into play but only as needed, and primarily in inward-facing exterior spaces like the courtyard.

Around the property, retaining walls made of local stone are clearly new on close inspection, but again reinforce the original elements as well.

via Surgical Intervention Modernizes Space in Abandoned Barn | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Kevin Riordan: Woodbury seeks to boost its profile and build its brand – Philly.com

Workers finish up inside the new County Seat Diner in Woodbury. "Woodbury was a historic town center. That was the identity that was stolen from it," consultant Cindy Williams says. (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)

Workers finish up inside the new County Seat Diner in Woodbury. “Woodbury was a historic town center. That was the identity that was stolen from it,” consultant Cindy Williams says. (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)

Woodbury was trying to revitalize its downtown when I was a young reporter there in 1980, and this likable little city hasn’t stopped trying since.

So I’m tempted to suggest “Woodbury: The Work’s Never Done” as a new slogan for the Gloucester County seat.

Fortunately, civic leaders have a better idea. They’re asking citizens, businesspeople, and others to help them come up with the best way to “brand” Woodbury.

The timing looks auspicious: New dining spots are opening; $26,000 has been raised to install a handsome clock at the former train station on Railroad Avenue; and the vacant G.G. Green building on Broad Street is being saved from demolition.

via Kevin Riordan: Woodbury seeks to boost its profile and build its brand – Philly.com.

Pitt’s foundation to help redevelop long-closed Kansas City school | oregonlive.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ A bond forged in storm-ravaged New Orleans between actor Brad Pitt and a local architecture firm is bearing fruit in Kansas City _ and may show the path forward to reusing dozens of empty schools.

The long-closed Bancroft School will be renovated into affordable apartments and a community center with the aid of the Make It Right Foundation founded by Pitt, a Hollywood superstar with deep Missouri roots, and the creative talents of BNIM Architects, his helper in New Orleans.

“Brad Pitt is a frustrated architect,” said Bob Berkebile, a founding partner at BNIM. “If he wasn’t making millions as an actor, he’d be an architect.”

The $14 million project calls for the existing 103-year-old brick school building to be converted into 29 affordable apartments with a 6,250-square-foot community center on the main floor. A new building with 21 apartments will also developed.

The community area will house the office of the Manheim Neighborhood Association and provide space for outreach programs offered by Truman Medical Center. A foot patrol station for the Kansas City Police Department also will be part of the mix.

The development also will include a secure garage for 50 vehicles that will feature an environmentally friendly green roof.

The two-story school was closed a dozen years ago and occupies a 2.7-acre site. Currently, the Kansas City School District has 38 closed buildings scattered throughout the city, including 26 shut down two years ago in a major downsizing.

Backers of the Bancroft renovation say it could be a good model for how to redevelop other closed schools. The district had set a deadline of last week for proposals to reuse or “repurpose” its inventory of shuttered buildings.

“I hope it will inform the other repurposing projects,” Berkebile said. “We’ve submitted proposals for three schools.”

BNIM was one of several firms chosen by Pitt and the Make It Right Foundation in 2007 to create designs for affordable homes that could be built in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, a neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Katrina. About 150 homes have been built so far.

Continue reading Pitt’s foundation to help redevelop long-closed Kansas City school | oregonlive.com

Giving old concrete buildings new life – Journal of Commerce

The Pacific Palisades twin concrete towers are being refurbished with a new exterior and interior to give the structures, built in the 60s, new life.

Vancouver architect Wing Leung calls it giving old concrete buildings new life.

Others call it renewing or recycling buildings.

While heritage buildings are often recycled, there is an emerging trend to reuse concrete buildings constructed in the 1960s and 70s.

“It will become more and more prominent in the future,” said Leung, who is spearheading the redesign of one of the largest such projects in Vancouver – the Pacific Palisades twin towers.

This trend is one that architects like Leung said he sees catching on as larger cities, such as Vancouver, become more concerned with sustainability and the environmental impact of removing large concrete structures from congested city areas.

It’s just not Vancouver that’s thinking this way.

In Toronto, the Mayor’s Tower Renewal project is a major effort looking at up to 1,000 buildings from that era and attempting to upgrade these older highrise residential concrete structures to become more sustainable.

A 2011 University of Toronto symposium on tower recycling focused on the Mayor’s project and the worldwide impact of this kind of activity.

The Pacific Palisades Hotel twin towers started out as apartments in 1966, but then became a 233-unit hotel and apartment complex.

They were recently acquired by Austeville Properties for conversion back to rental units.

“This is a very enlightened client,” said Leung, adding the work could have been phased in.

But, Austeville decided to strip the exterior and gut the interiors.

“It was also an interesting project,” he said.

Removing some finishes restored the era’s post-modernist design on exterior lower faces.

Continue reading Giving old concrete buildings new life – Journal of Commerce

INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Talks to Housing Reclaimed Author Jessica Kellner About Debt Free Homes | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

If you’re one of the hardcore DIYers out there looking into building your own home, be sure to pick up Housing Reclaimed: Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing by Jessica Kellner.

As editor at Natural Home & Garden Magazine, Kellner has come across her fair share of beautiful and sustainable homes and now she expands on how a number of people around the country have built their houses without debt despite the economic hardships of the last few years.

While it may seem daunting to design an energy efficient house, source sustainable and reclaimed materials and finally build it, Kellner provides a slew of tips and ideas on how to tackle this challenge for practically nothing down.

INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Talks to Housing Reclaimed Author Jessica Kellner About Debt Free Homes | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

The green dividend from reusing older buildings | Kaid Benfield’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

adaptive reuse of older building in the Pearl District, Portland (by: Patrick Dirden, creative commons license)

 But is it good for the environment?  Lots of people think so, including architect Carl Elefante, who coined the wonderful phrase, “the greenest building is one that is already built,” because you don’t have to use environmental resources in constructing its replacement.

 

Read the rest of the article at  The green dividend from reusing older buildings | Kaid Benfield’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

New Study Shows That It Can Be Better to Renovate Existing Green Buildings Than Build New Ones | Ecocentric | TIME.com

Phil Ashley

PHIL ASHLEY

 A study by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation shows building reuse almost always has fewer environmental impacts than new construction—which means we’d be smart to spend at least as much time renovating existing buildings as we do lionizing fancy new green construction.

 

via New Study Shows That It Can Be Better to Renovate Existing Green Buildings Than Build New Ones | Ecocentric | TIME.com.

Pacific NW | Seattle’s old buildings: Opportunities, not obstacles | Seattle Times Newspaper

 

A jazzy "streamline moderne" storefront spruced up the post-World War II commercial district of Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood.

Seattle’s old buildings should be maintained and upgraded as the city evolves, says writer Lawrence Kreisman, program director of Historic Seattle. Reusing these old buildings, he says, is one of the best ways to improve the environment. It’s much greener than building green from scratch. And it can make good business sense.

via Pacific NW | Seattle’s old buildings: Opportunities, not obstacles | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Beams from elevated I-40 Crosstown to be given to counties across Oklahoma | NewsOK.com

Parts of the elevated Interstate 40 Crosstown, which should be gone from view later this year, will be used to build county bridges across the state. Steel beams from the nearly 50-year-old structure will be used in building as many as 300 county bridges.

photo - Steel beams supporting the deck of the elevated Interstate 40 Crosstown, such as these near Bass Pro Drive in downtown Oklahoma City, will be salvaged and made available to county bridge projects across the state.<br /> <strong>PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND - THE OKLAHOMAN</strong>

 

Beams from elevated I-40 Crosstown to be given to counties across Oklahoma

“We think that’s a great deal for the taxpayers,” Deputy Transportation Department Director Gary Evans said. “It’s a great deal to re-task those beams. It shows how state government and county government can work together.

 

via Beams from elevated I-40 Crosstown to be given to counties across Oklahoma | NewsOK.com.

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet

tiny pixel hotels tel aviv, Israel

Lifeguard shack on drummer’s beach in Israel is soon to be upcycled into a unique new boutique “pixel” hotel.

We’ve heard of pixelated screens and buildings, but pixel hotels are a new phenomenon that started as an art project in Linz, Austria. Now these tiny hotels established in unusual, typically abandoned urban settings – whether in a garage or an art gallery – are coming to Israel.

green design, sustainable design, upcycled, bograshov beach, tel aviv, boutique hotels, tourism

The Atlas hotel chain and Tel Aviv municipality recently unveiled plans to upcycle spacious lifeguard shacks on Bograshov Beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea into unique boutique hotels that thrust visitors directly into the city action, rather than sheltering them in a large chain hotel setting.Local designers Lilach Chitayat, Anat Safran, and Alan Chitayat have purchased the rights to initiate the Pixel Hotel project in Israel. In addition to the lifeguard shacks, this creative team hopes to establish similar projects in Jaffa Port, Neve Tzedek, and at water towers throughout the country. Tel Aviv already boasts a hot design scene, but this latest project is one of the revolutionary we’ve seen in a while.

via Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet.

Buyer sought to save historic church | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Shown Dec. 20, 2011, the former Revival Temple Church 1226 Martin Luther Kiing Jr. St. is a Classical Revival style brick building now owned by Indianapolis Public Schools. It was destined to be demolished late this year to make way for a parking lot for Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School. But now IPS has agreed to allow Indiana Landmarks through 2012 to find a buyer for the save the building for reuse. According to Indiana Landmarks, the church was built by African Americans and was for most of its history the Phillips Temple CME Church. It's in the Flanner House Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.  When the Temple vacated the building, they took with them the stained glass windows and the large organ.

A 91-year-old stately brown-brick Downtown church building, which had been a longtime gathering place for African-Americans, has a chance to avoid demolition.

That is, if someone with plenty of money and an idea for reuse of the deteriorating structure comes forward next year.

Located in the Flanner House Homes historic district, the building at 1226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. was scheduled to be demolished in September to make way for parking for Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, a short distance to the south.

Indianapolis Public Schools purchased the building with the four towering white columns at its entrance — and some adjacent land — in January for $319,000.

However, IPS Superintendent Eugene White and his administration recently accepted a request from Indiana Landmarks to give preservationists until December 2012 to try to save the building by finding a buyer willing to rehabilitate it.

A progress report on the search will be given to White in about six months, said Mark Dollase, Indiana Landmarks’ vice president of preservation services.

“There are few buildings left in the city built by African-Americans for African-Americans,” Dollase said, citing losses due in particular to redevelopment in the heart of the city.

“For that,” he said, “it is an important goal for us to see this building remain standing. We’re thrilled that Dr. White and IPS will work with us on finding a solution to a continued use.”

Continue reading Buyer sought to save historic church | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

G.G. Green building dodges demolition, likely to be redeveloped | NJ.com

082611 Green Building web.jpg

WOODBURY — Just when people had all but given up hope on the G.G. Green block building, in a surprising turn of events, city council has announced a tentative agreement with the RPM Development Group to sweep in and save the structure from anticipated demolition.

After a closed-session following Wednesday night’s regular council meeting, Councilman William H. Fleming announced the Montclair-based company had agreed to stabilize the long-neglected and run-down South Broad Street structure for redevelopment into a mixed-use site.

Continue reading G.G. Green building dodges demolition, likely to be redeveloped | NJ.com

Re.Wind Camping « 2012Architecten

 

.

Cutover pieces of windmill wings are used to create all the camping facilities like compost-toilet, sun-shower, solar-cooker  and compost-heated outside bath.The potential of the site as well as the potential of the material are used, resulting in a positive impact on the environment. Only by reusing the windmill blades about 30.000kg of CO2 emissions are saved from being released into the atmosphere.

 

via Re.Wind Camping « 2012Architecten.

Floating UFOs: Oil Rig Escape Pods Turned into Hotel Rooms | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

 


Designed as survival structures, each unit is necessarily independent – they are only connected by location, having been gathered into the same canal and tied off to the same sidewalk, making for truly autonomous stays despite close proximity to city streets (especially if some prankster cuts the lines while you are sleeping! But hey, at least they are designed for surviving on the open seas).

via Floating UFOs: Oil Rig Escape Pods Turned into Hotel Rooms | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog

Earlier today it was the interior of a cottage, and now, a modern barn conversion! We can’t help all these rustic modern interiors and exteriors we’ve been showcasing lately. The upcoming fall season makes us crave warm woods, snugly hearths, earthy textures, and from-nature materials. You can usually find that in abundance in cozy cottages and beautiful barns. But of course, this is a modern design blog, so we also happen to love when someone manages to mix, quite deftly, a rustic exterior and a modern/rustic interior, as seen in this barn conversion we spotted on the Architectural Digest website. Interior designed by S. Russell Groves, you can see how heavy, personality-filled materials like stone and rough-hewn wood make a backdrop for more simple, sleeker modern furnishings. An earthy, soft color palette fills the whole space up like a warm hug. While probably still a little too rustic for minimalists and modern purists, we see the modern in this space.

Do you?

via Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog.

Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail

For 112 years, the schoolhouse at Sir Guy Carleton elementary was abuzz with children reading, writing and doing arithmetic.

But Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse fell silent in 2008 when it was nearly destroyed by arson. It appeared set for demolition until Tuesday, when a local theatre company swooped in to save the landmark yellow building.

Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. - Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. | Handout

 

Green Thumb Theatre unveiled a $1.2-million plan to transform it into a rehearsal hall. The theatre company, which develops plays relevant to the lives of children and young adults, said it’s confident it will raise the money in time for a grand opening next fall.

“We’re delighted because Green Thumb Theatre will be restoring our much-cherished heritage schoolhouse to its original splendour and beyond,” said Pat Munton, the school’s principal. “It’s just amazing, it brings tears to my eyes, frankly.”

The Carleton schoolhouse was erected in 1896; other buildings were added in later years. The schoolhouse was in continuous use until three years ago, when fire gutted its insides. A section of the roof remained under a blue tarp on Tuesday.

Patti Bacchus, chair of the Vancouver Board of Education, called the arrangement between her organization and Green Thumb Theatre a win-win. Not only will the heritage site be repurposed, she said, but students at the school will get the added benefit of exposure to some of the top theatre educators in B.C.

“The fire that occurred here was, indeed, devastating,” Ms. Bacchus said. “We have been very concerned about finding a solution to that. I have to be honest – for quite some time, it looked fairly bleak. We made several approaches to the provincial government to fund the repairs of the building, and those were declined. At one point, it was recommended to us that we proceed with demolition.”

Ms. Bacchus said the board was “delighted” when it was approached by the theatre company.

What to do with the schoolhouse, located in the city’s Collingwood neighbourhood, has been a controversial issue since the fire. Heritage Vancouver recently placed the building at the top of its list of endangered sites. Dwindling enrolment has also led to questions about whether the rest of the school should be kept open.

B.C. New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix attended Tuesday’s announcement at the school, which is in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding. Mr. Dix declared it a “wonderful day” and tipped his cap to members of the community who spoke against the schoolhouse’s demolition.

“We were in public hearings, and students at the school who were in this building came and talked about it,” Mr. Dix said. “… They talked about how important it was to them that this building be restored, that the tradition they were part of and that goes back in this community for so long be restored and brought back. I think it’s an extraordinary thing when young people in Grade 3, or 4, or 5, take up a cause.”

After his remarks, the NDP Leader donated $1,000 to the project.

Patrick McDonald, Green Thumb Theatre’s artistic director, said the company hopes to raise much of the $1.2-million through municipal and federal arts programs.

“This is a very attainable goal,” he said.

via Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail.

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online

News photo

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda

By JUDIT KAWAGUCHI

Chuya Onda, 68, is the president of Ondagumi, one of Japan’s biggest hikiya companies. Hikiya specialize in deconstructing, rebuilding and moving buildings. They are also experts at lifting up houses in order to make them earthquake-proof with special high-tech materials. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, Onda’s company has been overwhelmed with the demolition aspect of his business. If a building is too dangerous to use, Onda and his team must demolish it. If it is merely tilted, then Ondagumi will straighten it out. Onda is well known as a tough guy who knows no fear when it comes to blowing up buildings, but when it comes to his wife — even after 42 years of marriage — he still gets weak in the knees.

Anyone can demolish a structure, but the real trick is to lift up and move a whole building without spilling the tea on the table. That’s what we do. We prepare for two weeks and then voilà, we raise the whole building with all the furniture inside it and move it so smoothly that everything stays exactly as it was when we began our work. The furniture, the dishes — nothing is disturbed. The homeowners could even sit on the sofa and sip tea as we move their whole house, but usually they want to watch the process so they remain outside taking photos.

Japanese buildings might look weak, but they are strong. Three top U.S. demolition teams came to Japan and tried to blow up typical Japanese homes with dynamite. The results were surprising: no team succeeded! The spots where the dynamite was placed were damaged, but the rest of the building was undisturbed. The kind of effect one sees in other countries, where even high-rise buildings crumble once some floors get severely damaged, just doesn’t happen in Japan because all structures are built to withstand quakes.

Instead of cutting down a tree or demolishing a house, save it by moving it to a new location. Japanese cities grew quite organically, so their roads are very narrow. Once the need for wider roads arose, starting in the Edo Period, Japanese moved trees and buildings by a few meters to make room for road construction.

Continue reading this article here

via Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online.

Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent – NJ

The High Line in Manhattan — a defunct elevated railway retrofitted into a dynamic public park — is a raging success. While said success is a complicated equation, for art lovers, one of the major attractions the High Line offers is a revolving schedule of temporary artworks in and around the park — for the pleasure of visitors and neighborhood locals alike.

Here in Jersey City, the 6th Street Embankment is the rogue cousin of Manhattan’s High Line. While experts and architects differ on whether a redeveloped Embankment could actually replicate the High Line’s success, the six-block former rail spur, long abandoned and overgrown with foliage, is an untapped resource begging for artistic intervention.

That’s where ReNew ReUse ReConnect (RRR) comes into play. The project, organized by Anne McTernan and Sophie Penkrat, is a Jersey City public art initiative dedicated to the Embankment with a curated program of temporary installations that are designed to draw attention to the structure. McTernan and Penkrat were awarded $695 at one of last year’s Pro Arts Art Eat-Ups by for their RRR proposal, and now they need artists.

RRR will be a two-day temporary exhibit taking place during this fall’s Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour on the evenings of October 1 and 2, from 7 to 10 pm. The site-specific installations will be located in the alley adjacent to the Embankment, running between Jersey Avenue and Monmouth Street.

Initially, the deadline for participation was July 29. McTernan and Penkrat have extended the deadline to solicit more proposals, so if you have an idea, email them ASAP at annemacdesign (at) gmail.com or sophie.penkrat (at) gmail.com.

via Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent.

Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland – ARTINFO.com

Photo by Anthony Spinello
An old rollercoaster at Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park outside of Berlin

If you put your mind to it, pretty much anything can be converted into an art experience: basements become art galleries, factories become biennials, entire cities become art-world playgrounds. Adaptive reuse is all the rage, a postmodern urban balm that uses the power of art to resuscitate abandoned and irrelevant buildings and neighborhoods. “Kulturbahn” is such a project, a proposal to turn Spreepark Berlin, a forsaken amusement park built by the German Democratic Republic in 1969 and transferred to private hands after the Berlin wall fell, into a multimedia art playground.

Photographs of the site — located in in the city’s Treptower Park — show a constellation of amusement park attractions abandoned after Spreepark closed for good in 2001. Defunct swing rides sway next to weed-choked spinning teacups and “Dinoworld,” an overgrown field of colossal, graffitied dinosaur figures. Viewers can explore the current state of Spreepark through Kulturbahn’s Web site, scrolling through a satellite view of the site with flags pinning down different park landmarks. The dreamlike landscape certainly looks like fertile ground for an artistic intervention.

Musement, the group behind the proposed plan, is an interdisciplinary crew composed of gallerist Anthony Spinello, writer Stephanie Sherman, performance-art researcher and artist George Scheer, and artists Chris Lineberry and Agustina Woodgate. The group’s diverse composition reflects the scope of the project itself — to present “a new model for cultural amusement,” according to a statement on its Web site. Kulturbahn will be a “platform for art creation and exhibition that responds, reflects, and transforms transformative sites,” activating interest in Spreepark as a site of “universal imagination.”

via Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland – ARTINFO.com.

Recycling+Building Materials – International Business Times

In today’s world “going green” has become a top priority in our society, and sustainable buildings and design are at the forefront of this green revolution. While many designers are focusing on passive and active energy systems, the reuse of recycled materials is beginning to stand out as an innovative, highly effective, and artistic expression of sustainable design. Reusing materials from existing on site and nearby site elements such as trees, structures, and paving is becoming a trend in the built environment, however more unorthodox materials such as soda cans and tires are being discovered as recyclable building materials. Materials and projects featured after the break.

Most common building materials today have recyclable alternatives. Concrete, metals, glass, brick and plastics can all be produced with some form of the previously used material, and this process of production lowers the energy requirement and emissions by up to ninety percent in most cases. Studio Gang Architects’ SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center utilized the ability to use left over concrete aggregate from construction sites in the surrounding Chicago area. The project features these different types of aggregate in an artistic expression of how and when the concrete was poured during construction.

Another popular trend regarding recycled building materials is the use of site provided materials. As environmental designers, we continually replace natural landscapes with our own built environment, and today our built environment is embellishing the natural environment in a responsible (while still aesthetic) manner. Projects such as the Ann Arbor District Library by inFORM Studio and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue by Ross Barney Architects are reaping the harvest of their sites. The architects at inFORM researched the site for the Ann Arbor Library to find that ash trees from the surrounding forest were being destroyed by insects and could be salvaged into various surfaces within the building. Ross Barney Architects responded to the more urban site of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue with a similar tactic by repurposing demolished trees into exterior sheathing, torn up paving and pre-existing structure into gabion walls, and even reusing part of the existing building foundation.

When a site has little to give, designers have begun to search within other demolished environments. Juan Luis Martínez Nahuel has found new uses for building elements from other architectural projects in his Recycled Materials Cottage in Chile. The design revolved around the available materials from demolished buildings including glazing from a previous patio as the main façade; eucalyptus and parquet floors as the primary surface covering; and steel and laminated beams from an exhibit as the main structure for the house.

While these methods of reused building materials have become popular in sustainable, contemporary architecture, other designers are experimenting with more unorthodox materials. Archi Union Architects Inc. have developed a wall system that contains a grid of empty soda cans in their mixed-use project,Can Cube. The can filled façade is even adjustable for daylighting by occupants.

Alonso de Garay Architects also discovered a new use for an uncommon object in the building system of their Recycled Building in Mexico City. A series of hanging car tires are constructed to possess and grow traditional species of Mexican plants. While creating a sustainable green wall system, the tires also define exterior space within the complex.

As the process of recycling materials continues to increase as a fashionable and sustainable statement in the architectural world, designers are proposing groundbreaking and futuristic methods that push the boundaries of how we think and build. NL Architects submitted an idea for The Silo Competition that transformed the structure of an old sewage treatment silo into a rock climbing facility and mixed-use residential and commercial spaces. This design addresses the structure and form as a reusable material able to contain an extremely efficient program.

Architects: Studio Gang ArchitectsinFORM StudioRoss Barney ArchitectsAlonso de Garay ArchitectsNL Architects
Photographs:  Paula BaileySteve HallJustin Machonachie, Juan Luis Martinez Nahuel, Sheng Zhonghai, Jimena Carranza, NL Architects

 

via Recycling+Building Materials – International Business Times.

The City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center has a new green home – Houston green economy | Examiner.com

 

The GBRC provides free information to the public on green building through some 50 exhibits and interactive displays, as well as a library of materials and resource guides. All displays are donated, but are included by invitation only after thorough evaluation by the center’s program director. The displays are hands-on and child friendly, offering tips on renewable energy sources, lighting efficiency and sustainable building materials and practices as well as information on sustainable lifestyle strategies.

via The City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center has a new green home – Houston green economy | Examiner.com.

castillo/miras arquitectos: restoration of a tower in huercal-overa

spanish based practice castillo/miras arquitectos has recently restored an observation tower in huercal-overa, spain.

 

 

a winding rustic stone path leads visitors up the sides of the existing plateau towards the contemporary structure 
adjacent to the tower. concealed within the minimalist cylindrical form, visitors climb a spiral staircase with intermittent 
panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. upon reaching the highest point, visitors are directed towards a 
pedestrian bridge leading to the towers entry door. beyond the door lies the interior space consisting of vigilantly restored 
brick vaults and wood floors. 

See more amazing photos via castillo/miras arquitectos: restoration of a tower in huercal-overa.