Unwanted Places into Beautiful Spaces: 14 Creative Conversions

Railroad to Recreational Promenade

(images via: 3s studio)

Another High Line-reminiscent project is a rehabilitated railroad in Italy, which has now become a modern seaside promenade with sweeping vistas of the Ligurian coast. The retired railway was a waste of space, taking up valuable coastline that is now a major tourist attraction for the area. Architects 3S studio and Voarino Cairo Voarino used low-impact materials and careful construction to protect the sensitive site.

Sewage Plant to Apartments

(images via: dick van gameren)

Would you want to live in a sewage plant, even years after it was last used for that purpose? Perhaps most people wouldn’t, but Dick van Gameran architects have made this one a bit more appealing than it sounds. The defunct Dutch sewage plant located in Amsterdam-West consists of three concrete drums, transformed into various parts of an apartment complex. With the plant left in its original state rather than ‘made over’, the project isn’t exactly the most beautiful example of structural reuse, but it shows that just about any building has the potential to become something new and unexpected.

Coal-Washing Plant to Museum

(images via: hg merz)

Here’s a great example of how unattractive industrial facilities can be reused in a way that acknowledges their origin, but elevates them to cultural landmarks. The new Ruhr Museum was once Zeche Zllverein’s coal washing plant in Essen, Germany. All of the existing infrastructure and old industrial machinery has been repurposed for visual purposes inside, giving it a layered, almost steampunk-like effect.

Coal Mine to Cultural Center

(images via: 51n4e)

A red brick coal mine and power plant in Belgium is now a cultural center that highlights the historic aspects of the building while also bringing it into the 21st century with shiny new additions. C-MINE has retained its old mechanical equipment including its compressor hail and lift building and gained two concrete structures that hold a theater hall, office space and other cultural and design functions.

Abandoned Airport to Community Garden

(images via: hinkelstone)

Seen above in its previously abandoned state, Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport has now become a community garden. Empty since 2008, the site has no set plans for its future, so it’s been the ideal grounds for all sorts of experimental projects. The Stadttellgarten Schillerklez gardens give the local community a large space for growing their own food inside movable raised beds filled with fresh earth (to avoid possible contamination in the existing soil.) See photos of its current splendor at Inhabitat.