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December 2017/January 2018 on New into Old

Teget | Wingårdhs | O-office | ZHA | Duggan Morris | Diederendirrix | Heatherwick Studio | Flores & Prats | MVRDV | LOWDO | Jørn Utzon | Rafael Moneo | Cedric Price

Adaptive reuse and retrofit is an increasingly significant subject in a world with a growing awareness of the environmental implications of building anew. The AR New into Old awards celebrate the successful adaptation of original architecture to contemporary functions as well as the varied remodelling strategies, such as innovative insertions, that make imaginative reuse possible.

The re-appropriation of disused infrastructure is a recurring theme with Heatherwick’s Zeitz MOCAA carving a gallery out of the innards of a grain silo in South Africa’s Cape Town and the reclaiming of a motorway flyover in Seoul for pedestrians at MVRDV’s Seoullo 7017 skygarden. Flores & Prats’ light touch at the Sala Beckett theatre in Barcelona preserves the building’s encrusted layers of history in a frozen state of ruination, while hidden behind a controversial facade of aluminium composite cladding, Utzon’s Melli Bank in Tehran is uncovered as one of the architect’s neglected masterpieces.

Catherine Slessor, on the other hand, squares up to the fetishisation of ruins and our ‘ruin porn’ obsession, while in this month’s Outrage The Gentle Author calls out London’s plague of facadism – once beautiful and notable historic building reduced to a superficial crust grafted onto cheap surrogates. In the inaugural Soane Annual Lecture, Rafael Moneo questions how we can define architecture today when architects have severed their connection to the past, and this month’s Reputations remembers Cedric Price’s disdain for the conservation movement, fighting against the preservation of buildings including his own.

Of the AR New into Old awards shortlist of 15, six projects around the world were selected by the judges and visited by independent critics from which the winning and commended projects were chosen. The results are presented here as in-depth building studies. The winning project – the Yapı Kredi Culture Centre in Istanbul by Teget – transforms not just its former incarnation as a nondescript bank building but also adds depth and sophistication to the public space that surrounds it.

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