Building reuse and architectural adaptation typically lend themselves to green ideals, and over the years we have found some incredible sustainable renovations around the world. But some of the most surprising and imaginative designs weren't old churches or updated Victorian buildings, but instead, former industrial or factory buildings that were seen as nothing more than a blight on the landscape. From a nuclear power plant turned into an amusement park to a defunct factory converted into a glittering museum space, read on after the jump for some of the most interesting and innovative green industrial renovations around the globe!
In the wake of last year’s news that Germany would completely phase out the use of nuclear power by 2022 in favor of renewable energy sources, we spotted an equally pleasing report that one of their former nuclear plants had been converted into West Germany’s Wunderland Kalkar. The incredible adaptive reuse project transformed a never-used nuclear reactor into an amusement park that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
San Francisco’s brand new Southern Pacific Brewing is a beautifully renovated industrial space. The site is the latest adaptive reuse project by Boor Bridges Architecture who transformed the Mission District’s aging C.A. Kilger Machine Works into a sunlight-suffused brewery and pub. Within their work the designers make use of recycled materials, even incorporating living trees into the interior. Some of their green building strategies include furnishings made of reclaimed wood from the renovation, massive skylights, and a glittering glass facade that looks out onto Portrero Hill.
ABC Museo in Madrid gave an old factory building in an industrial sector an artistic facelift while still maintaining the building’s historical integrity. Featuring a shimmering reflective facade, the exterior of the museum glitters in the sunlight. The team behind the renovation project are Aranguren & Gallegos Architects who ensured the building echoes the creativity of the works it holds within.
Forming a connection between sustainable design and historic preservation, a team of architects from the Madako group in Essen, Germany, transformed a historic water tower into an imaginative space for living and working. The site showcases a fusion of old and new with lasting environmental considerations. It is an extraordinary and unusual project that we think looks fantastic and lends itself well to sustainability.
One of the most recognizable power plants in the world, the Battersea Power Station has been out of operation since 1983. But its incredible eco-renovation looks set to make it an even bigger impact on London’s skyline. Once the renovation is completed, the space will supply the capital city with clean, renewable energy in addition to carbon-neutral apartments, offices and parks.
Situated within a former five-story industrial factory in Montreal, Canada, 780 Brewster has been transformed into a LEED Silver certified, multi-tenant office building. It was completed back in 2007 when the renovation upgraded the brick and timber building with larger windows to bring in more daylight. New energy-efficient mechanical systems and 75% of the building’s original structure was retained, and the building now serves as the home of the city’s Southwest Borough Hall and Lemay Associés – the architectural firm responsible for the renovation.