DORODESIGN LIKES: Old Is New Again

We love order and minimalism in buildings. New, freshly planned, pristine and perfect are great attributes for new structures , yet we also find ourselves drawn to things that aren’t so flawless. Recycled, repurposed, previously loved, salvaged. Buildings that have a previous life carry a character that brand-new ones just cannot master.

When old structures are preserved and lovingly restored, we gain in so many ways. Not only do we preserve materials that would otherwise end up in the waste stream, we also respect the heritage of each building, and add to the character of the surrounding area. Sadly, restoring the old is often more costly than building anew, yet we believe that more and more people and companies will continue to do it.

We see combinations of materials that would probably not end up side by side if the opportunity to do something radical didn’t present itself in the often impossibly complex demands of creating livable space from the old and unlivable.

We see solutions to gain more space – add height, increase the number of rooms, expand the footprint –   that would never be used in a new structure. Creative ideas that do not really follow any known rules of style, yet produce a unique, cool style of its own.

Combining existing structures with a linking new segment is also gaining popularity. The resulting combos are often unexpected, fun and practical as well.
Often, there is a need to add light – larger windows and  more openness in general – to older structures that have tiny openings due to the cost of (or unavailability) of window glass, or the cost and labour-intensity of heating.
In some cases, a new superstructure combines a disparate group of existing buildings and makes the entire cluster seem coherent and cosy.
The coolhunter
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