Conversion, adaptation, reuse – these architectural practices are as old as architecture itself. However, once the construction industry became industrialized and modern architecture flourished in the early twentieth century, the architecture of conversion fell into oblivion. Demolition and new buildings were suddenly the order of the day.
Today, things have changed. The construction industry has become an environmental liability, and while new buildings continue to be erected regardless, more and more older buildings are being abandoned, in particular department stores, churches, and offices. Frequently, these are single structures, but sometimes the future of entire neighborhoods or inner-city areas is at stake.
Making use of these brick-and-mortar resources is not just a matter of common sense, it also holds surprising architectural potential, as more and more contemporary conversion projects demonstrate. The architects involved take a confident approach to what is already there, embracing experimentation and finding unexpected answers to the questions of our time.
Including texts by
Marc Angst, Koenraad van Cleempoel / Bie Plevoets, Georg Giebeler, Christoph Grafe, Andreas Hild, Markus Jager, Andreas Müsseler, Muck Petzet, Tim Rieniets, Eva Stricker and a preface by Architects for Future