7 Outstanding Transformations
Society changes but buildings remain firmly in their place. And so, it follows that the purpose for which a building was initially built will eventually have to be revised. Thus, most buildings will at some point enevitably face a conversion of either its original program or structure, or both.
Often the succes of a building transformation relies heavily on the architect’s ability to balance old functions with new, as well as to employ the history of the building to frame its future use. Noteworthy examples of such considerate conversions include Peter Zumthor’s Kolumba Museum in Cologne and Hiroshi Sambuichi’s Seirensho Art Museum on the island of Inujima, Japan.
In these cases, the past and the present functions are interrtwined and almost indistinguishable from one another, whereas in MVRDV’s converted silos at the Copenhagen harbour front and Herzog & de Meuron’s Caixa Forum the opposite seems to be the case: the new functions cling on to the existing building in an almost parasitic way. In this way, the difference between the old and the new function are emphasized.
We have collected a handful of the most remarkable building transformations below.