10 Repurposed Industrial Buildings That Were Previously Abandoned

4. Sea Salt Processing Building, Canada

salt-factory-craft-beer-vancouver-2 (Image: Recollective)

Originally built in the 1930s, Vancouver’s sea salt factory was another industrial building that once formed the backbone of its community. Working in conjunction with another factory in San Francisco, Vancouver’s salt processing plant was a second stop for unrefined salt, where it would undergo further refinement into the product that was shipped to dinner tables all over the country. By the 1950s, other plants were built to help this one keep up with the demand for salt, but by the 1980s it was put to use as a paper recycling plant. After that plant closed its doors, the space sat empty for years.

salt-factory-craft-beer-vancouver (Image: Recollective)

When the 2010 Winter Olympics went to Vancouver, though, the building was given new life. For the duration of the Olympic events, it was outfitted to become a venue for the athletes; the Olympic games only last so long, though, and plans were in place from the beginning to make sure the old salt factory retained its usefulness even after the world had gone home.

salt-factory-craft-beer-vancouver-3 (Image: Recollective)

Incredibly eco-friendly and LEED-certified, the refurbished building was raised more than a meter to connect it with the modern roads and to make sure it was on the same level as other buildings in the area. The space inside, outfitted with timber trusses, vintage wodworking and reinforced with steel, is destined for a new life as a food destination spot. A micro-brewery, craft pub, bakery, cafe and restaurant will all be making sure that the old processing plant has become the new place to go on a Friday night.

3. The Cement Factory, Spain

repurposed-cement-factory-barcelona-3 (Image: Ricardo Bofill)

The idea of giving new life to abandoned industrial (and commercial) buildings certainly isn’t a new one, even though it’s just becoming a rather more popular thing. In 1973, an architect named Ricardo Bofill bought a cement factory in Barcelona. Built at the turn of the century then abandoned, the factory was a mess of broken windows, piles of debris, and a tangle of abandoned industrial jungle.

repurposed-cement-factory-barcelona-2 (Image: Ricardo Bofill)

Two years later, the entire complex had been turned into offices for 40 architects – including his son. The property, which had originally included 30 silos, was partially destroyed with the rest being not only preserved, but worked into the overall design of the massive complex. The whole thing has the feel of a place that was simply cleaned up to expose the beauty beneath rather than remodeled; silos are still there, along with a lot of the factory’s cement equipment.

repurposed-cement-factory-barcelona (Image: Ricardo Bofill)

In addition to the offices, the complex also contains an exhibition space, private apartments, an archival space, extensive gardens of eucalyptus, olive and palm trees, and cypress, and silos were covered with ivy.



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