Category Archives: heritage

Dig, dig, dig

(Photo by busymonster) This blog developed from our search for adaptively reused quarries and when we relaunched it back in April last year our first post was about the adaptive reuse of a cement works near Vancouver, now the Butchart Gardens, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Canada. We were trying to prove […]


The history of prefab buildings is long and honorable (even the First Fleet sent out to set up a British colony in Australia in 1788 brought prefab buildings), and the importance of old prefab buildings cannot be understated for they are among the most vulnerable elements of the built environment. It is especially true of […]


(Photo Colin Gregory Palmer) It’s one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, certainly the most famous power station. You would think its adaptive reuse would be so obvious and simple, yet the devious twists and turns in its recent history, the trickery and betrayals, would make baby Jesus weep. Yes, it’s Battersea Power […]

The gardener on the roof

There can be no doubt that urban agriculture is going to get more of our attention in the future but we draw the line at the adaptive reuse of entire city buildings for intensive urban farming, a dubious idea that seems to be yet another attempt to extend corporate control of food production, an issue […]

The carcass of western capital

Although the developed world is full of abandoned mining and industrial sites like the Bethlehem steel works, the problems they pose are nothing compared to the difficulties of numerous sites in the third world. Africa is now facing major pollution issues, for instance, but South America has an even longer history of western exploitation. Now […]

Double dutch

We’re having a dutch day because last week Architectural Record announced its annual Design Vanguard for 2006 and one of the winners was the Rotterdam architectural firm BAR architects (yes even more crap flash animation). We had seen their bridge house but we didn’t know about several interesting adaptive reuse projects. The retirement home for […]

Down by the old mill stream

The opponents of heritage conservation and adaptive reuse are usually overjoyed when a mishap like fire destroys a building on a site that they would rather see redeveloped as a big box shopping mall or something equally visionary. But sometimes all is not lost – the Parthenon for instance was blown up when being used […]

A blue grass original

We tend to be uninterested in adaptive reuse projects that are little more than renovations or restorations. It’s not that they are unworthy because they are extremely important – contemporary adaptive reuse is based on sustainability principles on the one hand and heritage conservation as a basic social building block on the other. It’s just […]

Dream castles

It’s beautiful, but we can find very little about it. What we do know is that it is the adaptive reuse of Schloss Rothschild, Umbau, Austria as a museum by the Viennese Pritzker Prize winning architect Hans Hollein (who has an excellent website with NO FLASH!) and it is due to be finished in 2007. […]

Heritage Spam

We’ve talked about spam before but this time it’s Spam, the real thing, if you can say that about Spam. The Spam Museum is in an adaptively reused K-Mart, appropriately enough. It’s in Austin, Minnesota, “otherwise known as Spam Town, USA” (but not to us). The museum also houses the offices of the Hormel Food […]