If these walls could talk, what would they say? Transforming older buildings and repurposing them into something new, known as adaptive reuse, is the latest buzz-worthy renovation trend that is influencing how we look at design.
Over the past 10 years in the United States, there’s been over 40,000 adaptive reuse projects. And that number is expected to triple in the next 10 years. Rather than manufacturing a rustic or industrial look, we are maintaining the character and brand story of historic spaces by exposing elements in their original environment and adding modern functionality. People appreciate the toughness and sweat that went into these old spaces—telling a brand story. It’s not something you can recreate.
But adaptive reuse is more than exposed brick and concrete floors. Adaptive reuse spaces are changing the way we develop neighborhoods for the modern day. It shows people are choosing the more sustainable option, the more environmentally friendly approach to development.
It makes people realize that not everything has to be new or perfect. Instead it’s about paying homage to these abandoned spaces that were once full of life instead of tearing them down.
We want people to walk down the street and say, “Wow, I never thought that space could be used for this." It’s fun to go into spaces before renovation and take photos to use as art or graphics in the space or capturing old signage or other things the building originally started with.
It can take longer. It’s not the “easy way”. You always run into unpredicted issues, but the end result is much more rewarding. You uncover new things along the way and help tell the brand story of a neighborhood. There’s a satisfaction of bringing something from the past and recreating it for the future.