10 Most Impressive Uses Of Old Architecture Article

10 Most Impressive Uses of Old Architecture (published on 22 May 2013 on www.whatculture.com)

We live in a world where resources are short and space is limited. That’s why it’s so important to breathe new life into the bones of old buildings. Beautiful structures have been put to use time and time again.  The Troxy in London , for example, opened as an art deco cinema in the 30’s before being converted to a London Opera Centre as a result of wartime damage. The Grade II listed building then lived out its life as a Mecca Bingo hall until 2006, when it was converted into the still standing  events venue, playing host to live concerts and sports event.

Some people, however, are much more content to leave the older, more traditional buildings untouched. Swapping bricks and mortar for recycled shipping containers and making their homes and businesses in unconventional places, such as;

10. B&Bs from grain silos


As simple rural living is dissolving into a way of the past, the unused grain silos have become a valuable commodity for some hotels. The structure and sturdiness is perfect for adaptation into a contemporary living space.

The Abbey Road Farm B&B in Carlton, USA, has made use of three silos in one industrious structure, boasting an eye-catching exterior and a luxury interior for countryside visitors.

9. New churches in old train cars


Desolate and disused train cars in Russia haven’t been left to rust in peace. Instead, they have been converted into a place of worship, complete with steeple and even entirely redesigned facades.

These unusual Orthodox Christian churches have become a widespread phenomenon in Russia. Not only do these strange conversions give new life to discarded train carts, but they also help keep religious souls on the right track.

8. Old-world shipping vessel turns vacation home


Originally built by Henry Ford in 1924, the Benson Ford shipped coal for 50 tireless years before being decommissioned in the early 80’s. The majestic structure then found its new home in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, where it juts out across the lake to overlook the island’s rocky cliffs.

The striking residence has gained notoriety and has starred on MTV Extreme Cribs and Home & Garden TV’s Extreme Homes, as well as featuring in various publications.

7. Sky house converted from water tower


Water towers can become lumbering eyesores on the skyline once they lose their purpose. The tall structures do however tend to make very nice living spaces. A 60ft tower in London was recently converted into a breath-taking round room, shooting designer Tom Dixon to fame.

But before this concrete, cylindrical space took shape, a disused water tower / bed and breakfast was reaching for the skies in Suffolk, England. Originally constructed nearly 90 years ago, this remodelled tower has been dubbed the “house in the clouds” and no doubt boasts amazing views.

6. Billboards make compact modern living space


Billboards don’t tend to spring to mind when considering places to live. But if you enjoy the single life and don’t mind climbing a fair few steps to reach your front door then Polish designer Front Architects has the solution for you.

The design proposals aim to capitalise on the prime locations of billboards, encouraging residents to swap space for settings. The compact homes can only accommodate a single person, but with a spacious balcony and breath-taking views it’s a masterpiece in solitary living.

5. Grounded planes become cosy home


Airplane homes have started to land around the world, becoming popular due to their cost and environmental friendliness. Electrical engineer, Bruce Campbell began work on his Boeing 727 home project in 1999 after being inspired by a radio program about JoAnn Ussery.

Ussery lived in a converted Continental Airlines 727 in a beautiful lakeside plot in Benoit, USA. It cost her just $2,000 to purchase the plane and a further $24,000 to convert the interior into a fully functioning home, complete with original fold-down stairs and Jacuzzi.

4. Building studios on WWII bunkers


When World War II ended all the cold, grey bunkers were left without a purpose. Safe in the assumption that the remains of the Nazi bunkers wouldn’t need to be reused for their original purpose, Germany spent its treasure trove of indestructible bunkers on creating high-end alternative homes. But refurbishment isn’t always that simple.

A collection of bunkers in Frankfurt were criticised as an eyesore by residents. Demolishing them proved too costly and the non-residential area meant that they couldn’t be turned into commercial homes. Index Architects therefore came up with the solution to use the bunkers as a platform to build artist studios and the Institute of New Media on. The bunkers have also been put to good use as musician studios.

3. Happy Magic Water Park opens in old Olympic Water Cube


After the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were over the stunning and elegant Water Cube became pretty much useless. Instead of letting the bold piece of architecture wash away, the Water Cube instead made waves as the Happy Magic Water Park.

Opened in 2011, visitors to the Happy Magic Water Park can enjoy extravagant interiors as well as breath-taking flumes and slides. In its first year after opening the park attracted 786,000 visitors and is now China’s second most visited tourist spot, second only to the Great Wall.

2. Luxury accommodation on abandoned oilrigs


Morris Architects have made the bold proposal to transform 4,000 soon to be abandoned oil rings into luxury homes and resorts. These fascinating and offbeat designs would see people flown by container ships to their condos and hotel rooms.

With the attractive settings of the sunny Gulf of Mexico and a massive 80 million square feet available to play with, Morris Architects are hoping that abandoned oilrigs will provide the upcycled luxury living of the future.

1. Old airplane hangar becomes home to a tropical island resort


On the outside the old Soviet airplane hangar in Germany, south of Berlin, is exposed to the changing seasons and harsh winters. But take a step inside and you will be transformed to a Caribbean-esque tropical island.

Opened in 2004, the Tropical Islands Resort has made its sunny home in the world’s largest freestanding building, set in the 360 metre long, 210 metre wide and 107 metre high space. The biggest indoor tropical pool complex and water pool is set with a beach, lagoon, rainforest, swimming pools, water slides, spa and several restaurants and bars. An artificial sun keeps the air temperature at 26 degrees Celsius, offering visitors 365 days of nonstop summer.

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