Author Archives: Ian Milliss

Barn to playpen

This barn conversion by leading equestrian facility designers Blackburn Architects is in Leesburg, Virginia. The New River Farm barn has been adaptively reused as an entertainment area for guests. The glazed end wall overlooks panoramic views of the Potomac River. Links Blackburn Architects

Fight climate change, not war

We are supporting the March 19 blogswarm marking the fifth anniversary of the start of the insane and unjust Iraq war. From the beginning it was nothing more than an unjustified war of aggression by a group of countries, the US, UK and Australia, whose historical pretensions of moral superiority can now clearly be seen […]

We told you so

According to the great Gore Vidal, the sweetest words in the English language are “I told you so!” and here’s where we get to use them. We’ve always argued that in most cases the best building is the building that is already there. In sustainability terms, at least, the reasons for adaptive reuse of existing […]

Auto repair to studio residence

The Villa de Murph is a formerly abandoned 1947 auto electrical repair shop and 60’s warehouse in West End, a “transitional part” – don’t you love that euphemism? – of Atlanta. David Yocum and Brian Bell adaptively reused the warehouse as an 1,850-square-foot office for their architectural partnership bldgs and a living space for Yocum […]

Chapel to lodge

Corrour Estate lies at the end of Loch Ossian in the west Scottish highlands. The chapel on the estate has been converted to a lodge by London designer Suzy Hoodless using recycled doors, radiators and fittings, timber from the roof of St Pancras Station and wallpaper courtesy of The Scotsman newspaper Links: Corrour Estate Suzy […]

Our gallery is open for business

We’ve just posted the first two projects on our new feature Gallery page. We’ll be posting photos and links there of some of the many admirable loft/barn/factory/warehouse/etc conversions that we find but can’t write about at length. The first two are a garage converted into a tiny house in Portland Oregon an 1879 apartment adaptively […]

Apartment to office

The Barcelona studio headquarters of Roldán + Berengué architects is an adaptively reused 1879 apartment. The studio features spectacular tiled floors while doors are reused as tables and shutters are used as screens. The furniture contains a ladder system within it so that you can sit near the ceiling – you know you’ve always wanted […]

Garage to house

This garage adaptively reused as a tiny house of 400 square feet is in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. It features a mezzanine bedroom, alternating steps staircase and plexiglass porthole in the mezzanine floor lighting the kitchen below, a typically well thought out detail. The blog tells a fascinating tale of the bureaucratic […]

Don’t be brutal to Robin Hood Gardens

Some suggest that Alison and Peter Smithson were the first examples of starchitecture, as Norman Blogster calls the “more PR than architecture” careers of stylists like Hadid and Liebeskind. But when our reader Kristian Seier challenged us to find something bad to say about the Upper Lawn Pavilion (later known as the Solar Pavilion), their […]


Maya Lin is an architect with an extraordinary ability to find the symbolic form that will reconcile all the conflicting elements of a public design brief. Most famously she did this in the Washington Vietnam memorial, (Photo genenphotos) that deep black scar in the earth that paralled the scar the war left in the American […]