Gallery: 6 Amazing Green Renovations That Turn Industrial Buildings int...

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 or but
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!







Wunderland Kalkar Amusement Park

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.

Southern Pacific Brewing Company

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

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.

Umbau Wasserturm – Water Tower

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.

Battersea Power Station

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.

780 Brewster

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.


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  1. CM_KKM September 9, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Amazing, well done!

  2. clinttolliver May 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    polished concrete installed by concrete solutions USA is far the best type of Leed certified flooring for industrial warehouses

  3. r_krebs April 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Helen Morgan, thanks for covering these 6 interesting projects. These are great examples of re-purposing existing buildings; we would be interested in knowing how energy efficient these buildings are over time. Creating an efficient building envelope reduces resources used to heat and cool a building over its entire life. This can lower the environmental impact throughout the entire life of the building. See for studies on how specific building elements can reduce energy usage.

    Rob Krebs
    American Chemistry Council

  4. kheinbo April 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    The Plant in Chicago (old meatpacking plant) - – and the City Museum in St. Louis (old shoe factory) – – are other great examples.

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