Conversion - Balancing Cost Effectiveness and Historic Preservation

Renovation and conversion appear to be the order of the day. The economical and ecological limits of growth have probably been reached and, although the demand for space continues to increase, the number of occupier-users continues to decrease. In the 80´s the prevalent philosophy was that everything we needed already existed: there was no need to build further. The architecture of the future was seen to be one of conversion. The ecological price of demolition and renewal appeared to be sufficient reason to avoid a hasty exchange of built forms. The motto of the 90´s was that the existing built fabric – at least in the areas of commerce, trade and logistics – was usually of the wrong type; either in the wrong location, no longer economically viable, too small, not representational enough, or technically and organisationally no longer up to standard. Today, however, a different situation can be experienced: namely just how liberating demolition can be, under certain conditions.
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