Architecture and design are at the core of our towns and cities. But in a post-industrial age, the changing face of the urban landscape has seen many (often ornate) structures abandoned and even demolished, as well as an emerging emphasis on re-purposed buildings and adaptive reuse that puts a creative twist on modern architectural design.
The stunning Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen, located in Maastricht, the Netherlands, is an 800-year-old former church that is arguably the world’s most beautiful bookshop.
Four gasometers in Vienna, Austria, have been protected landmarks since 1978. In 1995, four leading architects were tasked with giving each one into a unique urban complex.
The Fichte-Bunker in Berlin, Germany, is a 19th century gasometer and former World War Two air raid shelter that has been transformed into some extremely chic homes.
Designed by the quirky and modernist architect Piers Gough (who designed many of the Canary Wharf buildings) in 1993, this half-toilet half-florist was commissioned by local resident John Scott
The Wuppertal Northern Railway in Germany was closed in the late 1990s. Since then, groups have looked for exciting new ways to engage the space. Enter street artist MEGX, creator of this unique ‘LEGO’ bridge.
The ornate yet relatively unassuming exterior of Antwerp’s old Stock Exchange building hides a hidden treasure that has become a holy grail for urban explorers.
One bombed-out ruin that has been positively reimagined for the postwar world is the church of St Dunstan-in-the-East in the City of London. Destroyed during the Blitz, it’s now a public garden.
Dan Barrasch and James Ramsey have proposed a mini utopia below the streets of Manhattan in the form of the ‘Lowline’, a repurposed streetcar depot abandoned since 1948.
Fire escapes are designed to serve a purpose and one purpose only, but that doesn’t mean they must be ugly. This Edinburgh fire escape is a neat solution to public safety in a confined space.
The Madrid Rio Project started when the section of the city’s ring road which ran parallel to the Manzanares River was moved underground, resulting in an empty stretch of land reaching 10 kilometres in length.
We’re big fans of adaptive reuse at Urban Ghosts and The Temple – a converted gentleman’s toilet from the Victorian-era – at 100 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, is a fine example.
Known for having built the tragic Tay Bridge, which collapsed in 1879 killing an estimated 75 people, Sir Thomas Bouch’s railways were nevertheless marvels of Victorian engineering.
In the early 1970s, Charles Simonds (born 1945 in New York) began creating tiny primitive settlements for an ancient race of nomadic ‘Little People’, who have long since disappeared.
Surrounding a 1960s housing estate in the Lodge Moor area of Sheffield is a wall that clearly dates to an earlier time. Its original purpose is revealed by a brass plaque on a stone gate post that reads…
Several weeks ago leading up to October 31st, it suddenly seemed apt to go and investigate the abandoned remains of Upminster Old Chapel, now being restored after the discovery of WW2 bombs.