REUSING LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE MARIUS-BOGDAN DRĂGAN
REUSING LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
MARIUS-BOGDAN DRĂGAN Department of Architecture University of Strathclyde Glasgow, March 2016
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2: INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
BENEFITS OF PRESERVATION
LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
CHAPTER 3: REUSE
SAME SPACE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS
THE CONVERSION PROCESS
CHAPTER 4: CASE STUDIES
DONMAR DRYDEN STREET
CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSIONS
LIST OF FIGURES
The industrial heritage represents all the
The function of a building can change at some
testimonies of industrial culture which has
point over the years, due to several numbers
historical, technological, social and architectural
of factors such as social, environmental and
significance. These testimonies can be buildings,
economic factors, which influence the purpose
of a building. By adapting and reusing industrial
mines, warehouses that weâ€™re mostly built in
the industrial Revolution between 1750 and
materials, loss of energy, and it can be a
1850. Although many of these buildings weâ€™re
sustainable strategy by activating abandoned
destroyed and demolished over time, industrial
sites and maximizing the use of urban space,
buildings are valuable to the community by
helping to control the urban sprawl.
giving people an important sense of identity, also maintaining the distinct character and
The purpose of this dissertation is to get a
cultural background of the place.
chance to explore and research the idea of reuse by explaining and presenting the
The most important sites should be fully
importance of Londonâ€™s industrial heritage, also
protected and should not be allowed any
the methods and strategies used to preserve
interference which would compromise their
and adapt historic buildings to new functions
and architectural programs.
can be a beneficial and sustainable way to maintain the character and identity of industrial buildings, and it should be a strategy adopted by all architects and local authorities for future developments.
Fig. 1 Winchester Rifle Factory (2013)
â€œIt is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.â€? Charles Darwin
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Cultural and industrial heritage has always been
The aim of this study is to raise awareness
a big inspiration for me during my architectural
of the importance of Londonâ€™s cultural and
studies. The buildings unique character and
industrial heritage by presenting the main
their historical context has a great impact over
benefits of preservation and reusing them to
the community and city because they evoke
regenerate degraded parts of the city. In order
memories of the place that once was in a
to understand the value of industrial buildings it
different scenario, which served different needs
is necessary to describe the main characteristics
and functions. In a time where technology is
of industrial buildings as well as the possibilities
moving at a fast pace, and the need for constant
they offer to adapt to different uses.
change is mandatory, these historical heritages are often abandoned or demolished to make
Another important part of this dissertation
space for new developments that often destroy
is to explain how the concept of reuse can be
the character and identity of the place.
used as a sustainable strategy by using the existing industrial buildings in new ways which
I believe that maintaining the identity of a
helps maintain the identity of the surrounding
place, preserving the surrounding context and
enhancing it, will be a more sustainable and beneficial strategy than demolishing buildings
A series of case studies will be presented and
filled with history and character.
analyzed to better understand the possibilities that Londonâ€™s industrial buildings offer, as well as the constraints such as structure, materials, faĂ§ade, lighting, ventilation etc. These projects will help solidify the main argument for the study to set the final discussions and conclusions.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS MAIN QUESTION When will the reuse of industrial heritage be used as the main strategy for future sustainable project developments? SUB-QUESTIONS Why preserve industrial heritage? How can we use old buildings for new uses?
Fig. 2 Tate Modern (2003)
The reuse of industrial buildings has evolved
Similar to the conversion of the former power
significantly over the past ten years, especially
station, on a smaller scale, many former factories
in former industrial cities. London for example
or small warehouses have been transformed
has a wide range of industrial heritage from
into office buildings, art centers (Fig. 3 Donmar
large scale buildings such as Bankside Power
Dryden Street, London) or even houses (Fig.4
Station or Battersea Power Station to small
Shoreditch Warehouse Conversion).
scale warehouses such as Donmar Warehouse. These buildings offer an amazing potential
These projects inspire architects and future
for architects to create something unique,
developers to push the boundaries of reuse as
filled with character and history. The biggest
a form of reinventing the future of architecture,
inspiration for London’s industrial heritage is the
while staying faithful to the past.
conversion of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern, one of the most famous art museums to date. The flexibility of the main space, where the former turbine hall used to be, has offered an opportunity to create a wide range of public manifestations and unique exhibitions that caught everyone’s attention. One of the most iconic exhibitions held in Tate Modern was Olafur Eliasson’s weather project. The project consisted in the installation of an artificial light which was an abstract representation of the sun (Fig. 2 Tate Modern, 2003). Famous photographers around the world gathered in the turbine hall to capture this unique exhibition, which ultimately transformed Tate Modern into the main source of inspiration for the idea of reusing industrial heritage.
Fig. 3 Donmar Dryden Street (2014)
Fig. 4 Shoreditch Warehouse Conversion (2013)
The first chapter was used to illustrate the basic
made with the referenced ideas from Miles
introduction to the research. In this part the
Glendinning(2013) and Keneth Powell(1999).
problem statement and research questions
The dissertation is strictly focused on London’s
we’re asked in order to understand the scope
industrial heritage as it offers a wide range of
of the research. This dissertation intends to
examples of industrial heritage sites which
identify the link between industrial heritage,
are in a constant state of decay. An elaborate
preservation, reuse and sustainability.
description of King’s Cross Gas Holders, Gillete
Factory in Brentford, Millennium Mills, Lots
which provided the visual motivation for the
Road Power Station, and the iconic Battersea
outcome of this research. The reaction from the
visuals provided the general concept of the idea
diversity and importance of industrial heritage
between old and new, adaptation and reuse.
in London’s skyline and how the proposed
development projects will influence London The second chapter contains an elaborate
and its inhabitants. The research continued with
a detailed approach on how buildings can be
this research, which is industrial heritage.
converted to have a different use or purpose, as
Definitions and characteristics we’re presented
well as the entire process of converting industrial
to fully understand the importance of industrial
buildings. The references used for explaining the
heritage, while the benefits of preservation
entire process we’re from Michael Stratton(1997)
provided the main argument for the dissertation.
and James Douglas(2006). Finally the last part
A further research was made to explain the
of this chapter was devoted to the sustainability
benefits of preservation by investigating the
aspect of the process of reuse and how it can
work of Jean Carroon(2010) and Johannes
be a beneficial and optimal strategy for future
Cramer(2007), who have a similar approach
development projects, mainly referenced from
towards the preservation of heritage.
the work of Carroon Jean(2010).
The main chapter of theis paper
The fourth chapter of the research involved three
third chapter, where the concept of reuse is
case studies, which presented built projects of
described with reference points from Serban
industrial buildings being reused for a different
Cantacuzino(1975) and Douglas James(2002).
The word “adaptation” was also defined, as it
range in terms of scale, from the large scale of
is commonly used along the concept of reuse
the famous project Tate Modern, to the small
for a better understanding of the research.
scale of a warehouse on Donmar Dryden Street
On the other hand, the difference between
transformed into an artist rehearsal studio.
reuse and conservation was made to point out the key elements that distinguish these two interventions on industrial buildings. This was
The case studies offered a diverse
The research for the concept of reusing industrial heritage must firstly seek to include an exploration of the idea of conservation and preservation. In order to understand the
“Because their structure tends to outlive their function, buildings have continuously been adapted to new uses.”
concept of adaptive reuse firstly it is necessary Cantacuzino, 1975: viii
to have a detailed presentation about industrial buildings. This chapter will contain a coherent description about industrial buildings can be found in Michael Stratton’s book Industrial
The books portrays different types of building
England(1997) where he illustrates the outcome
conversions, such as churches, barns, mills,
of the industrial revolution and how the major
warehouses and other industrial buildings. The
cities across the world have been industrialized.
terminology of reuse and adaptability will come into play to help us understand the meaning
The third chapter will explore the principles of
of reuse. Regarding industrial buildings, due
adapting buildings and how can the building
to their size, structure and characteristics,
layout be changed while maintaining its
they are subjected only to particular new uses.
structural elements. In his book, Building
The suitable new uses for industrial buildings
Adaptation, Douglas James (2006) describes
are: industrial museums, residential use, new
three essential requirements for a successful
industrial use, offices and hotels, sports centre,
building conversion: appropriate development
art galleries and cultural centres(Douglas, 2006).
approach, driving force and a suitable building (Douglas, 2006). The author provides principles
In Michael Stratton’s and Barrie Trinder’s
for improving the adaptation of buildings, and
book, called Industrial England, the main
also the process and technology behind the
ideas regarding the importance of industrial
adaptive reuse of buildings. This chapter will
buildings, their functions, how they we’re built
also explore the concept of adaptive reuse
to meet their requirements and how they can
and its benefits. In his book, New uses for old
adapt in time are presented.
buildings, Cantacuzino explains that buildings need to be adaptable in time in order to
The final part of this chapter will describe the
respond to the constant change of people’s
sustainability behind the the process of reusing
needs(Cantacuzino, 1975). In this book the
author describes the general benefits of reusing
Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings by
old buildings and their historical value.
Carroon Jean(2010) will provide the idea of
sustainable preservation can be a key factor for future development projects that will not only reuse industrial buildings but also transforming them into green, self-sustainable buildings.
Fig. 5 Battersea Power Station (2012)
â€œThe heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future.â€? Wendell Phillips
The word “heritage” can be explained as being “the combined creations and products of nature and of man, in their entirety, that make up the environment in which we live in space and time.” (Us, français and standards, 2016). The meaning of heritage has constantly changed over time, while not usually directly associated with industrial buildings, it is presently associated with many domains such as history, tourism, conservation, preservation etc. Heritage is “a reality, a possession of the community, and a rich inheritance that may be passed on, which invites our recognition and our protection” (Us, français and standards, 2016). This gives us the starting point in the process of understanding the significance of industrial heritage as being not just a term that refers to abandoned industrial sites, but to the idea of recognizing the value of old industrial sites and the importance of restoring the character of the place.
Fig. 6 Elegance Unravelling (2010)
Industrial heritage sites often are associated
with abandoned areas left to decay, commonly
buildings in order to maintain their character
located in central areas of the city due to the
and cultural value. Although most of the
fact that 19th century cities weâ€™re developed
abandoned industrial buildings arenâ€™t practical
and organized around these industrial sites,
or provide energy efficiency, the main reasons
opposite to the present situation where these
for preserving and converting them is to
industrial areas are located at the edge of the
maintain the unique character they provide to
the city. Maintaining the memory of the once well-known factory or warehouse, its unique
The present challenge for architects and
architectural features, the original construction
conservationists is to take these industrial
materials and enhancing it, will create a higher
sites, which are currently wasted voids in the
value for future development projects, while
urban fabric, identify the potential value and
keeping the character and individuality of the
transform them into usable spaces for the
community, while maintaining the essence of the site unharmed.
Industrial sites weâ€™re the main key areas of the city that influenced not only the surrounding context but the future development of the city as well. Industrial buildings have unique characteristics that differentiate them from the surrounding context, making them stand out providing the sense of cultural identity. These unique features and cultural identity supports the idea of preservation as a sustainable method not only to keep the sites value but potentially increasing it by reusing it to new contemporary uses for the community.
BENEFITS OF PRESERVATION
With the basic knowledge about industrial
By adapting and transforming these buildings
buildings being set, the importance and the
for new uses can benefit the community by
benefits of preservation will provide the main
creating a place where people can gather,
argument of this dissertation.
interact or even work. Therefore, the once known factory, which was a centre point for
The preservation and the reuse of old industrial
the community, will continue to maintain its
buildings can be beneficial in many different
importance but in a different scenario.
ways, such as maintaining the heritage, avoiding demolition can be beneficial environmentally
Along with the social and environmental
as well as economically, and it can have a great
benefits, adapting old industrial sites has its
impact on the community by keeping the
economic benefits too. Using the existing
character and identity of the place intact.
materials and resources will help manage the expenses to focus on rebuilding and preserving
James Douglas describes demolition as a
the site, rather than spending it on demolition.
“wasteful, hazardous, polluting, disruptive and
Also by gathering people, these industrial
costly process” (Douglas, 2006: 97). This process
sites filled with character and cultural identity
can be avoided by preserving and adapting the
become tourist attractions which generate
building to fulfill a new purpose, which will
benefit both the society and the environment. The reuse of the building is part of a sustainable strategy that uses the available materials and structure, rather than demolishing it which causes pollution and energy waste. Jean Carron states: “Waste is the physical evidence of the heedless way we utilize natural resources, creating environmental and social impacts at every stage of the process.” (Carroon, 2010: 254). The demolition of industrial heritage sites has an social impact as well as Johannes Cramer states: “demolition of old buildings is now perceived not only as an ecological waste but also as the eradication of local identity, of cultural heritage and of socio-economic values.” (Cramer and Breitling, 2007: 9).
LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
Historic industrial buildings have been the
The purpose of these ornaments wasn’t only
main anchor point for many british cities, as the
for the company’s image, but it was to blend
process of manufacturing allowed the city to
the industrial building with its surroundings
prosper, usually around the factory sites. Most
by using a vernacular treatment of the facade.
of the factories and warehouses we’re made
Factories and warehouses, often associated
from brick or stone, from one to five stories high,
with wide structural openings that allowed the
similar characteristics such as large open
building to accommodate a large number of
spaces, exposed structure, façade rhythm and
workers and machinery. Their unique structure
repetition. These individualities, along with the
and architecture gave the neighborhood a
brick ornaments and offers a unique character
distinct character, which is maintained until
for each building.
the present day as industrial heritage sites. Although they are described as more functional than architectural buildings, these structures can revive the communities and have the potential to make a big impact in the urban context. These factories are places filled with
“Over time the treatment of historic buildings has encompassed a curious mix of reverence and sanctity, abrogation and destruction”
memory and character, they are the proof of
Hobson, 2003: 3
the Industrial Revolution that influenced our present days and our cities.
Many of the british industrial sites, which “The factory, according to some interpretations
are now under ruins and their landscape is
of the Industrial Revolution, supplanted the
contaminated by trash and building materials,
home as the scene of manufactures” (Stratton
are neglected and forgotten by the authorities.
and Trinder, 1997: 13). Factories we’re designed
These industrial buildings that have remarkable
not only for their utilitary purpose, but also
architectural brick and steel structures we’re
to accommodate a large number of people,
proven to be valuable for the community and
machienery and the protection of goods.
the city as they provided economic stability
Factories and warehouses usually we’re strict
and work places for the society. Michael
Stratton states: “Britain was the world’s first
it became an architecturally ornate icon,
industrial nation. It was also one of the earliest
to experience the full trauma of decline in
image.” (Stratton and Trinder, 1997: 99). The
traditional manufacturing and dock handling,
ornamentations used for the factories and
and has pioneered the conservation and re-
use of redundant factories and warehouses”
around the windows, entries and roofs.
(Stratton, 2000: 8).
Fig. 7 Shad Thames Crossing (2013)
Sustainability in present days, due to climate
Some of the most important industrial heritage
change, has become a necessity for all new
examples in London include: King’s Cross Gas
buildings. Converting old industrial buildings will
Holders, Gillete Factory in Brentford, Millennium
raise awareness by using the available materials
Mills, Lots Road Power Station, and the iconic
rather than wasting it, also avoiding demolition
Battersea Power Station.
which causes pollution, as Hobson states “an ever-closer relationship between planning and
conservation has seen planning providing the
London are perfect examples of how important
means and muscle previously lacking to prevent
industrial heritage can be for the community
the last late lamented demolition of a valuable
and for the city skyline as well. It doesn’t just
historic feature” (Hobson, 2003: 59).
provide a sense of forgotten history and stories of a time when London’s industry was at its
London, although it has no coal mines or
peak moment, but it also creates diversity and
steelworks, during the Industrial Revolution it
character, things that undoubtedly makes
had the biggest concentration of Boulton & Watt
London the unique city it is today.
steam engines, which started the expansion of the industrial activity in London, making it an
By demolishing these industrial buildings,
industrial centre (Marshall, 2013).
not only will it destroy the city’s legacy and its history, but also it will be an environmental
The Industrial Revolution bloomed in London,
disaster due to pollution, energy and material
with industries such as cars manufacturing,
waste caused by the demolition of these large
airplanes, ship building, brick factories, glass
buildings. On the other hand, by reusing the
factories, potteries, which transformed London
industrial heritage, not only will it maintain the
into a thriving industrial capital. Although many
history, character and skyline of the city, it will
of these industrial buildings we’re the pride of a
be a more sustainable and rational approach
nation which lead the way in terms of industry
towards the conservation and reuse of heritage.
and technological innovation, in the present days London’s industrial heritage remains at risk of permanent destruction due to continuing decay and lack of conservation. The English Heritage has stated that 40% of the listed industrial buildings could be reused in terms of economic and industry development, while 60% can be reused as public buildings with social and cultural values due to their large size, such as museums, cultural centers, art galleries etc.
Fig. 8 King’s Cross Gass Holder (2015)
KING’S CROSS GASS HOLDER
King’s Cross Gas Holder is a Grade II listed
shape of the structure, while in the middle
industrial heritage site built in 1850s, which used
there’s a large green space where people can
to be part of the largest gasworks in London
gather and take part in social activities.
(Morris, 2015). This large circular frame has been transformed into a park by Bell Phillips Architects, as well as new social housing blocks will surround the Gasholder Park forming a small community that will help solidify the idea of appreciating the industrial heritage and adapting it to new contemporary uses. The park is formed from a stainless steel canopy that follows the circular
Fig. 9 Gillette Factory (2014)
Gillete Factory in Brentford is another Grade II
The factory stopped production in 2006 and a
listed industrial building that was built in 1937
future reuse of the building was set to become
and designed by Sir Banister Fletcher (The
a new hotel and business park (The Gillette
Gillette Factory, 2014).
This two storey Art Deco style building, mainly built from bricks, is famous for its size and large window openings as well as the central tower with four-faced clock is considered a landmark for the community of Brentford.
Fig. 10 Millennium Mills (2013)
Millennium Mills is a former flour mill located
The project will create office spaces, public
on East Londonâ€™s Royal Docks, which impresses
spaces, restaurants and social housing that will
by its Art Deco style as well as its large size,
help regenerate this industrial heritage site.
inhabiting 450,000 sqm (Flour milling and the
Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales adds: â€œThis
port - Trades, industries and institutions - Port
multi-billion pound transformation is a fantastic
Cities, 2016). This building was considered a
opportunity to reinvigorate the Royal Docks
landmark in the beginning of the 20th century
area, giving it a new lease of life benefiting
but it was closed in 1980 and remained under
Newham and the capital as a whole.â€?(Taka and
continuous decay until recent days. A recent
development project is set for the reuse of Millennium Mills and its entire surrounding site to create a new social and economic centre for East London.
Fig. 11 Lots Road Power Station(2010)
LOTS ROAD POWER STATION
Lots Road Power Station is an old coal power
the power station switched from coal to oil fuel.
station located near Thames River in Chelsea.
In present days Lots Road Power Station sets to
The power station was buit in 1904 and it was
be the biggest development project in Chelsea,
the longest-serving power station in the world,
as the project designed by Sir Terry Farrell sets
which was shut down in 2002 (Lots Road power
to reuse the power station to inhabit social
station gets a new life in ÂŁ1bn flats and shops,
2013). The entire site will be used to its maximum This industrial building was made out of
potential with new buildings of social interest
traditional red brick forming two halls that
such as offices, restaurants, residential areas,
where lit by large arched windows. The main
sports centres , while the power station will
hall initially had four tall chimneys of 84 meters
be flanked by two towers,which frames the
each, which weâ€™re later reduce to only two when
Fig. 12 Battersea Power Station (2013)
BATTERSEA POWER STATION
Perhaps the most iconic and well-known
Battersea Power Station is currently on the
verge of becoming one of the biggest future
in London is the Battersea Power Station
developments of adaptive reuse to date.
designed by Sir Giles Gillbert Scott, which has two individual power stations built separately
The future reuse of this iconic industrial building
in 1930 and 1950 is currently the fourth largest
will be designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, and
brick building in Europe (Largest brick buildings
it will host public space, conference centres,
around the world [Infographic] | Architecture
restaurants, commercial spaces, offices and
And Design, 2016).
on top of the building two levels of residential areas. The masterplan will also include a series
Designed as a symmetric plan on a 15 acre site
of residential, leisure, commercial and cultural
on the bank of Thames River, the station was
buildings that surround the power station,
an imposing landmark that stood out not just
transforming the 15 acre site into an architectural
by its impressive size, but by its symmetric
harmony between old and new, past and
composition and its 4 famous chimneys. The
present. On this project famous architects are
concrete chimneys, placed above a boiler room
involved such as Norman Foster and Frank Gehry
with an neighboring turbine hall, are 103 meters
who will design the surrounding buildings of
tall, which made them an obvious signal point
the masterplan. Frank Gehry states: “Our goal is
in London’s cityscape (History of Battersea
to help create a neighbourhood and a place for
Power Station - construction, 2016). It’s sheer
people to live that respects the iconic Battersea
size and distinct architecture made it a symbol
Power Station while connecting it into the
of technology and power, metaphorically and
broader fabric of the city” (Frearson, 2013).
literally speaking, which marked the beginning of a new era in the development of London’s industrial scene with a grand and bold gesture. The power station been declared an industrial heritage site for 33 years, and although it is currently under advanced forms of degradation and decay, merely a brick skeleton, it still has an immense significance to London’s skyline and it has the potential for future development projects that could transform the site into a new cultural and economic center (Graham, 2015). Similar to Bankside Power Station, which was transformed into the famous Tate Modern Art Museum by Herzog and de Meuron in 2000,
Fig. 13 Battersea Power Station Proposal (2013)
“To restore a building is not to repair it, nor to do maintenance or to rebuild, it is to reestablish it in an ultimate state that never existed before.” Eugène Viollet-le-Duc 1855
function, capacity or performance to fit new
that is often associated with old buildings or
uses (Douglas, 2006). Although the term reuse
industrial sites which suffer changes in order
and adaptive reuse have a broad meaning and
to have a different purpose than the initial
often can be related to any type of modification
one. Buildings, due to their characteristics and
made to a building, in order for to maintain its
presence throughout time, often outlive their
true meaning, the changes made to the building
purpose and function, which forces the fact
must be significant and substantial. In other
that they need to be adaptable in time in order
words the building needs to have a complete
to respond to the constant change of people’s
new use or function, which changes its entire
needs (Cantacuzino, 1975).
typology in order to fully illustrate the concept of reuse, while small changes such as the
The reuse of these sites have social, economic
refurbishment of a room, or new construction
and environmental benefits and it also helps to
materials implemented into the building do
control the sprawl of the city by using existing
not fall in the category of reuse.
buildings or structures to inhabit different functions needed by the communities. Usually these industrial sites are well linked within the city along main roads and public transport, which prove to be valuable requirements for the new and adapted building to be integrated within the city infrastructure. Close related and commonly used with the same meaning as reuse are terms such as conversion, refurbishment, adaptive reuse which portray the main idea of using buildings for new uses other than their original ones. Douglas James defines reuse as a significant change to an existing building function when the former function has become obsolete (Douglas, 2006). The word “adaptation”, according to the British Dictionary is “A change in structure, function, or behavior by which a species or individual improves its chance of survival in a specific environment” (The definition of adaptation, 2016), but in the context of buildings it means any intervention to a building that changes its
Fig. 14 Abandoned Power Plant
Conservation, on the other hand, is close related
Apart from the economic and cultural values
to the idea of maintaining the heritage the same
that conservation undertakes through heritage,
as it was, as a part of history and cultural value
the main attribute that makes conservation
retained in its original form. Conservation has
such a demanding field in the contemporary
an important role in architecture and it is a part
society today is the social value. Maintaining the
of the society and its environments, which we’re
identity and unique character of the industrial
made, destroyed, then remade again to retain
and cultural heritage of a city will benefit
the historical value of the place (Glendinning,
the society by providing a sense of place and
belonging for the people and the communities formed around these heritage sites. These often
The main difference between conservation and
abandoned industrial sites scattered around the
reuse is that conservation is strictly associated
city provide future development opportunities
with repairing and preserving the heritage
to connect and revitalize the existing urban
such as preventive and helpful interventions
fabric by creating new uses in once inaccessible
to materials, structural elements, façades in
areas of the city, while maintaining the sense of
order to reconstruct the building back to its
place and character of the surrounding context.
original form, while the idea of reuse not only reconstructs the building, but it modifies it to fulfill new uses, by enhancing and adapting it to new social and economic demands. Alfrey and Putnam considers that conservation “tends to be concerned with only a part of the industrial heritage – it can validate and help to protect the structures and appearance of things, but may not be able to sustain the patterns of use which have justified them” (Alfrey and Putnam, 1992: 8). Reusing industrial buildings, however, not only helps maintain their original value, but also can provide new purpose and uses for the community.
conservation started with the idea of preserving historical monuments, but over the time it gradually started to think about urban form as well, and how it can relate and interact with the surroundings (Powell, 1999).
SAME SPACE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS The
the intangible can be described as lighting,
the nature of human relationships, or the
acoustics, ventilation etc. These necessities of
advancement of technology, has developed
the space provide the functionality of the space.
specific architectural functions to meet the
The specific purpose of a building requires the
demands of the people. The evolution of the
spaces inside to provide specific qualities and
architectural space developed along with the
necessities such as shape, size, illumination,
evolution of society itself, fitting the needs
ventilation, furniture and equipment.
of different types of human activities: work, leisure, sports, living etc. Historically speaking,
Since society is under a continuous evolution,
each period had its own unique characteristics
the need of adapting and reusing buildings
regarding architecture functions, which was
to fulfill different functions is a necessity for
conditioned by the forms of activities held in
future architectural projects. The evolution
that period. This influenced the architecture
of human activities has influenced the way
of the buildings to be in direct relationship
spaces are designed, not only to fulfill a specific
with its function. Factories and warehouses by
purpose, but to embody a series of different
definition we’re built to fulfill a specific purpose
configurations. The flexibility of a space can
or function depending on what type of industry
provide a higher value for the building, as it
it was meant for.
can adapt to future needs. Due to the constant evolution
space gains new principles and possibilities regarding its configuration. The space becomes
“Factories are regarded as functional suggesting that they we’re built to last and that they look right because they are unselfconscious, honest structures”
an adaptable and flexible element, capable of changing its function in correlation with the necessities. The word “functional” can portray three different
Stratton, 1997: 50
meanings. It can be used in the context of historic architecture when it was associated with the word “modernist”, it also was used in the 19th century to describe factories or other industrial
The purpose of a building influences the way the
buildings, and finally it is used in a more literal
space was designed. The activities held inside
way to describe buildings in general, as the way
the architectural space define the functionality
a building is designed to fulfill a specific purpose
of the space itself. In order for the space to define
or to host a specific activity (Stratton, 1997).
a specific type of activity it must contain tangible and intangible things. The tangible things can be described as furniture or equipment and
Regarding industrial buildings, most of London’s
building must be combined with a new one,
factories we’re built from brick and timber
usually combining the old brick structure of the
which we’re the main materials used until
building with a new steel structure.
the Industrial Revolution, where steel offered greater possibilities for building new factories.
An example of this combination is the conversion
Although industrial sites we’re built for specific
of a warehouse in London into an office building
functions, in order to preserve the character
for Analog Folk (Fig. 15 Warehouse Conversion:
of the abandoned sites, new functions would
Analog Folk). This project makes use of the
be needed to take place in the newly adapted
industrial structure of the warehouse to create
wide open spaces, which facilitate different flexible office layouts. The use of black steel
The wide structural openings and large spaces
frames, timber and exposed ventilation system
can be used for different functions such as
emphasizes the industrial feel of the building.
industrial use, offices and hotels, sports halls, art galleries and cultural centres (Douglas, 2006). Depending on the layout and size of the building, it can be compatible to different functions.
reused to inhabit apartments, small office or commercial spaces, functions which are close related to human proportion and small scale. Large industrial buildings can be used either for museums, art galleries, theatres or sports halls, which need large open spaces to be functional. Rare situations offer the possibility to develop mixed use activities, transforming the once industrial building into a small neighborhood with leisure, commercial, working and living spaces combined together. The spaces provided by abandoned industrial buildings
reconfigured in order to provide the required flexibility to inhabit different functions. In order to achieve flexibility, the old structure of the
Fig. 15 Warehouse Conversion: Analog Folk (2014)
THE CONVERSION PROCESS
The process of reuse and conversion can be
Listed buildings or industrial sites can have
continuum, in constant progress, because it
takes in consideration a wide series of factors
allowed interventions to the building, which
can significantly limit the future development plan (Douglas, 2006). Based on this research and
architecture and society is under a continuum
investigation, the optimal solution can be taken
into consideration and create the development
identities. Due to the process of globalization, of
way future development projects are being
approached. Reuse has the potential to solve both the past and the future of buildings, but the process of reusing and converting buildings
is often complicated due to the many factors
The driving force is usually a project leader that
takes the idea and convinces investors or the development company to invest in the project
According to James Douglas, the conversion
(Douglas, 2006). After a substantial research and
process of industrial buildings usually needs
investigation of the industrial building, the next
phase is to provide a plausible and profitable
suitable building (Douglas, 2006).
reuse project that will not only provide a social and financial benefit for both the community and the investor but also a sustainable solution, which will benefit the surrounding environment as well. Usually these kinds of projects can
Appropriate development approach
attract investors just by the fact that it could be
This requirement is based on the identification
something different and unique that promotes
of the potential building to establish the needs
sustainability and the preservation of cultural
and requirements of the community (Douglas,
2006). Applied to industrial heritage this can be related to the phase of identifying the
Depending on its size, the project can potentially
state of decay of the industrial building, what
be either a local center for the community, or
percent of the building is usable and what are
a small conversion of social housing, office and
the possibilities to transform the building to
fulfill new uses and how that will influence the surrounding context and community.
Fig. 16 Brunner Showroom Clerkenwell (2013)
sustainable approach for future developments, Suitable building
it also involves a lot of financial risks in order to
In order for the reuse project to be successful the
come to a desired and successful reuse project.
building configuration and structure must be
Proven that reusing buildings that are currently
suitable for the new function (Douglas, 2006). In
in a state of decay or near demolition has
other words you cannot propose a new sports
environmental, economic and social benefits
hall into a small factory with narrow spaces.
a new formula that predicts the potential for
The compatibility between the old purpose and
a successful reuse was developed by Craig
configuration of the building must be on par
Langston and Li-yin Shen. The formula predicts
with the new purpose Douglas, 2006). In special
the physical life of a building that determines
cases, where the existing industrial building
the environmental attributes of the building. By
is in an advanced state of decay, but it has a
knowing the exact life spam of a building and
meaningful significance for the community the
calculating the â€œdecay curveâ€? you can identify
faĂ§ade is the only thing that remains preserved as
in resulted diagram when will the optimum
an exterior shell for the building, and the interior
point for adaptive reuse intervention (Shen and
of the building is completely reconfigured with
Langston, 2010). The algorithm also produces
a new structure and layout. This type of project
an overall score for the building from 0 to 100%,
can illustrate the concept between old and new,
thus buildings who have a score below 20%
past and present, where architecture can blend
have a low reuse potential, the ones between
these two different typologies into a coherent,
20-50% are considered to have a moderate
unique and expressive building.
value, and buildings who receive a score above 50% have a high potential for reuse (Shen and
These three requirements must be taken into
consideration everytime before any attempt of an adaptive reuse project, as it provides a basic
This will be a great tool to identify the potential
strategy for architects to follow. Each industrial
for industrial heritage future development
building has its own unique design and
projects. Not only will it provide fewer risks
character and in order to use it to its maximum
when it comes to investing in a future adaptive
potential it needs to be taken into series of site,
reuse project, but will also help identify the
building and structural analysis to obtain a
most valuable cases fit for reuse.
viable reuse project. The potential of reuse is most of the time just an optimistic idea of what could be preserved and utilized from buildings that have lost their purpose, whether its functional, economic or cultural. Although, for the very best reasons it is a
Fig. 17 Bombay Sapphire Distillery (2014)
So why reuse the industrial heritage? Why not
sustainable strategy for future projects and
just demolish everything and start from scratch?
reuse of old buildings to be suitable or even
How will that affect the environment and the
better than the new ones (Carroon, 2010).
people? The answer to all of these questions can be simply associated with the idea of
In a time when usually it’s easier and cheaper
to replace something rather than repairing it, where technology is rapidly progressing,
Sustainability is the number one driving force
environmentally speaking, the construction
that can, and will be able to provide the deciding
of new buildings will only do damage to the
argument of reusing the industrial heritage as
environment. In order to repair the damage
we know it today. The reuse of buildings had
done, we must change this mentality into one of
many driving forces over time. Initially it was
repair and reuse of our resources, buildings and
mostly functional and financial due to the fact
materials (Carroon, 2010). By reusing buildings
it was cheaper and rational to reuse an existing
for a different purpose than its original one,
building rather than demolishing and building
it provides a different approach to the old-
a new one. In the 19th century the driving
force for reusing historic building was closely
which causes crucial energy and material
associated with heritage and preservation of
waste, affecting both environmentally and
the historic value (Powell, 1999). In recent days
the main driving force for reusing buildings is sustainability.
The key factor in a sustainable reuse of industrial heritage is to identify the possibilities and the
Sustainability has been an important subject of
suitable solutions for the building. To do so, a
our recent times since the drastic changes in the
clear analysis of the current state of the building,
world’s climate have been considerably getting
such as structural elements and materials,
worse by each year. The definition for the word
needs to be done to identify what can and
“sustainability” is described as “the quality of not
can’t be restored. This can also help make the
being harmful to the environment or depleting
decision-making process easier, whether if the
natural resources, and thereby supporting
building has the potential to be reused in order
long-term ecological balance.”(The definition
to save energy and materials or not.
of sustainability, 2016). Although sustainability has many different approaches, in architecture
is often described as a way to minimize the use
environment is the use of physical space to its
of energy, materials, and use of space in order to
maximum potential. Better use of the existing
help preserve our natural environment. In a time
space not only will help financially, but also
where natural resources are getting limited,
environmentally by reducing carbon emissions.
architects need to provide an environmentally
Reusing these industrial heritage sites, not
Fig. 18 Bombay Sapphire Distillery Section (2014)
only takes advantage of using the existing
do so. Most of these buildings weâ€™re built for
buildings and space, but also it helps control
manufacturing, storage, or energy supply, they
the expansion of the city.
are lacking many key features such as thermal and water insulation or even ventilation systems.
sustainable design principles that describes the maximum reuse of building materials and structure, as well as the renewal of the passive aspects of that building should be included in the process of reusing historic buildings too (Fournier and Zimnicki, 2004). Although the prospect of reusing old industrial buildings is a sustainable approach, in order to be bring these old structures to contemporary standards, it requires a long and complicated process to
The process of transforming industrial heritage
approach towards the natural environment.
into contemporary buildings is often a slow
This approach will be implemented in the
and complicated process, which firstly involves
near future as the only way to adapt to the
the repair and reconstruction of the original
sustainability issue, which is becoming more
structure and materials, reconditioning them to
and more present.
their original characteristics then implementing new, contemporary materials, structures and systems that will coexist and blend with the old ones. Future development projects based on reusing industrial heritage will produce architecture that remains faithful to the historic values of the building, will be a more economical and the most important part, it will provide a sustainable
â€œSustainability canâ€™t be like some sort of a moral sacrifice or political dilemma or a philanthropical cause. It has to be a design challengeâ€? Bjarke Ingels
Fig. 19 Tate Modern (2001)
â€œAs an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.â€? Norman Foster
The first case study is the iconic Tate Modern by Herzog and de Meuron finished in 2000, as well as the new extension project for the museum which will be finished in June 2016.
Fig. 20 Tate Modern (2000)
The second case study is the conversion of a former shoe-polish factory into a office building. The project was designed by Architecture00 in 2014.
Fig. 21 The Foundry (2014)
DONMAR DRYDEN STREET
The third case study is a small conversion of an old warehouse into a rehearsal and educatutional
The project was finished in 2014 by Haworth Tompkins Architects.
Fig. 22 Donmar Dryden Street office (2014)
Fig. 23 Turbine Hall, Tate Modern (2000)
Tate Modern is one of the most famous modern
Although Tate Modern has had an incredible
art museums in the world due to its uniqueness,
success in terms of reusing industrial heritage
being the former Bankside Power Station built
and to this day it is one of the most iconic
in 1947. The former power station is considered
buildings in London, the museum is set
to be the one of the biggest and most
expand its gallery spaces furthermore due to
notable adaptive reuse projects, which raised
an extension project which will be finished in
awareness in terms of reusing old industrial
2016. The extension of the famous museum was
buildings, transforming them into architectural
designed by the same architects Herzog and
de Meuron, which treated the project in a more
encouraged architects and local authorities to
contemporary approach but still having the
take in consideration the industrial heritage, but
same style and visual language as the existing
it offered a new sustainable strategy of dealing
building. The main argument for the extension
with abandoned historic buildings (AD Classics:
project was that art is in a constant process of
The Tate Modern / Herzog & de Meuron, 2013).
change and a new way of exhibiting art was
needed (AD Classics: The Tate Modern / Herzog Herzog and de Meuron won the competition for
& de Meuron, 2013).
the renovation of Bankside Power Station and transforming it into a modern museum, which
The new extension of the building provides a
aimed to keep the quality of the old building
greater variety of spaces and connects with
while introducing new innovative elements
the main turbine hall through the former oil
(Powell, 1999). The architects chose to maintain
tanks of the power station, which will be used
as much as possible from the original structure,
as spaces of artistic performance. From these
keeping the facade and the big chimney, which
large circular spaces, going up through the new
acted as a signal point for local visitors. However,
building, there are ten levels for live art galleries
they changed the entire structural system of
and film, while the top of the building will be
the building, and introduced a rectangular
a public viewing terrace that provides great
glass volume at the top of the building, which
views of Londonâ€™s skyline. The idea of the new
allowed light to come into the building.
building is not only to extend the gallery spaces, but to provide different kind of experiences
The museum accommodates different types of
created through an extended diversity of space
gallery spaces, but the most important space
typologies. The faĂ§ade of the new building is
of the museum is the former turbine hall that
made from brick, which matches very well
was initially designed for the power station
with the old building, but it is done in a more
generators. This monumental space, which
contemporary way as bricks are layered in such
spans over the entire height of the building, was
a way it feels like it is perforated, allowing the
designed as a public experimental place where
interior lights to protrude the faĂ§ade.
different manifestations would take place.
Fig. 24 Tate Modern Extension (2016)
Fig. 25 Tate Modern Diagram (2016)
Fig. 26 Tate Modern Plan (2000)
Fig. 27 The Foundry (2014)
This adaptive reuse project is a former 20th
The main circulation areas are located in the
century shoe-polish factory transformed into
atrium, creating a dynamic space with bridges
offices and spaces for charity organizations. “The
and staircases that are oriented in different
old factory has a beautiful, robust quality that
directions. The new building, which has four
is hard for modern buildings to match” (Can
storeys in total, was designed to have meeting
architecture build a community? | Little Atoms,
rooms, offices, lounge areas, café, administration
2016). The building is a perfect example of how
offices and a large roof terrace.
old industrial architecture and contemporary architecture can merge together in harmony,
The materiality of the projects is faithful to the
creating something unique and inspiring.
industrial feel of the old factory. While the factory is made from bricks which we’re left exposed to
preserve its individuality, the new extension is
wanted the new structure to reflect the existing
mainly made from exposed concrete and wood
building’s industrial nature by keeping its
which actually complements the materiality
structure exposed, hence the new extension’s
of the industrial building. The use of exposed
bare concrete soffits and raw-looking materials,
concrete retains the idea of pragmatism and
such as MDF, timber battens cladding staircases
efficiency close related to industrial buildings.
and recycled carpet tiles used for flooring.” (Can
While the exposed concrete and bricks gives
architecture build a community? | Little Atoms,
the building a more industrial look, the use of
wood tends to provide it warmth and balance (Lutyens, 2016).
A series of gable roofs we’re used to relate with the gable roof of the existing shoe-polish factory.
The project also approached sustainability as a
By using the existing structure, it provided a cost
critical driving force for the entire design. The
effective solution that blended the old with the
difference of thermal performance between the
new (Lutyens, 2016).
old factory and the new extension was an issue in order to maintain the U values very low. The
The interior of the former factory has been
factory was insulated accordingly to avoid heat
reconfigured in order to inhabit new open plan
office spaces. Most of the internal walls we’re removed in order to have larger spaces, while the structure and façade of the building remained intact. Between the old building and the new extension, an interior atrium was formed, which brings natural sunlight into the building. This open void sets the division between the old and the new.
Fig. 28 The Foundry Interior (2014)
Fig. 29 The Foundry Interior (2014)
Fig. 30 Donmar Dryden Street (2014) 63
DONMAR DRYDEN STREET
This project is a conversion of a small warehouse
its own, being beautifully crafted and painted
done for a theatre company in London. The
in nuances of red and blue, which provide an
project was realized by Haworth Tompkins
unique contrast with the old warehouse. The
Architects in a style that emphasizes the
last storey of the building, benefiting from the
contrast between old and new. The main idea
extra height of the pitched roof, was used as an
was to use the old 19th century warehouse as a
education studio for the artists and visitors as
rehearsal and office facility for the main theatre
well. The large studio was designed as a flexible
close by. In a place where artists can come
space with abundant daylight facilitated by
and rehearse their plays and acts, an artistic
the installation of skylights, where the timber
approach was a key factor in the design process
structure of the roof remained visible.
(Donmar Dryden Street / Haworth Tompkins, 2015). The small four-storey warehouse has an
The materials used for the project we’re mostly
unique character due to its brick façade which
plywood, timber frames and steel which kept
blends in with the surrounding context.
the tone and the natural warmth of the building. The architect Steve Tompkins stated: “The
Although the project had a small budget, the
Dryden St project has been a joint exercise in
interventions made to the building we’re bold
wringing the maximum creative potential from
and challenging. The biggest intervention was
an ordinary London building on a tight budget.
removing one of the floors in order to have a
Working with Josie Rourke and her team has
large double height rehearsal room for the
been great fun and, once again, our ongoing
artists. The room was designed in a way that it
collaboration with artist Antoni Malinowski is
stands out from the rest of the interior spaces,
central to the design.” (Donmar Dryden Street /
which we’re left mostly in their original state.
Haworth Tompkins, 2015).
The rest of the building is occupied by office spaces where the brickwork and timber beams of the building we’re left exposed in order to achieve a more artistic vintage effect. This gave the building personality by using contrasting contemporary furnishing with old structures. The main feature however, considered the hearth of the building, is the staircase that connects all the spaces, making it the backbone for the entire project. Since the building is small and narrow and designed on multiple levels, the circulation was a key component for the design. The main staircase is considered a piece of art on
Fig. 31 Main Staircase (2014)
Fig. 32 Rehearsal Room (2014)
Fig. 33 People discussing (2014)
The concept of reuse can be discussed either
consideration for the reuse process as well.
from a theoretical or a practical point view. The
For instance Tate Modern is a successful reuse
theory contains all the ideas and knowledge
project due to the fact that an art museum
presented in a logical way from general to
requires large, open and flexible spaces, while
detail in order to reach a final conclusion, while
The Foundry was transformed into an office
the practical point of view contains physical
building due to the interior scheme, which
evidence of reuse today, case studies where
provided a series of narrow and open spaces
the ideas became reality. The case studies
ideal for an office layout. This offers the idea of
presented offer three different examples of
compatibility between old functions and new
functions as an important part in an conversion
between them is scale, function and character
which highlight the different possibilities of reuse in diverse scenarios.
Character Character plays an important role in industrial
heritage simply by the fact it provides social and
The scale of industrial buildings is the main
cultural value for the surrounding context and
factor which determines the complexity and
the society. Reusing these buildings will help
challenges faced in the conversion process.
maintain the identity and history of the city,
Tate Modern for example, due to its size and
while providing new opportunities for future
significance, was designed after an architectural
developments. The case studies presented,
competition, where different proposals we’re
submitted for the famous power station. Donmar
commonly address the same idea of maintaining
Dryden Street on the other hand, due to its
the character of the building and enhancing it
small scale was created for Donmar Theatre’s as
by adapting it to a new purpose. The contrast
a necessity for new facilities with a tight budget.
between old and new can be identified in all of
Regardless of their scale, all three projects
these projects, whether if it’s the glazed skylight
use brick as their main structural element,
above the old brick structure in Tate Modern,
which gives them the similar atmosphere and
or the new extension of the shoe-polish factory
separated by the atrium, or the red and blue
metal staircase in Donmar Dryden Street, as a Function
symbolic border between future and past.
All three industrial buildings had different functions: power station, shoe-polish factory and warehouse. The function of the building directly influenced the design process in order to fulfill its purpose. Aspects such as size, form, functionality and structure are taken into
Over the course of history, buildings as well as
projects. In a city as big and diverse as London
humanity has been in a constant process of
it is a priority to control urban sprawl by reusing
change. This process of change is well embedded
the available industrial heritage sites. Despite
in the buildings, which in most cases remain the
of its many advantages, the concept of reuse is
only physical memory of past civilizations. The
still an evolving idea, which hasn’t reached its
historic and cultural value of old buildings offers
full potential yet, but in order to secure a more
the community the understanding of their
environmental friendly strategy for the future it
origins and cultural identity and it also brings
needs to push the boundaries even more.
a sense of place and belonging for them within the city.
The research aimed to follow a sequence of ideas starting from the definition and presentation of
Although the act of reuse has been used on
London’s industrial heritage and its potential,
small scale projects such as houses or barns, the
to defining and understanding in depth the
main concept of transforming and converting
process of reuse both in theory and practice. The
old buildings actually began to evolve in the
researched theories, strategies and case studies
20th century after the end of the Industrial
defined the concept of reuse and established
Revolution when many of London’s industrial
the benefits it has to offer for future sustainable
buildings we’re shut down and abandoned. The
projects. This dissertation acknowledges the
reuse of significant industrial structures will not
potential of London’s industrial heritage and
only benefit London’s community by activating
presents the possibilities for a bright and
these old abandoned industrial sites for new
public uses which brings people together, but also it creates continuity by remaining faithful to the historical identity of these buildings. The concept of reuse has grown significantly in the past years, due to the fact architectural firms have been encountering more and more projects where the initial structure of the building was kept not only for financial reasons by reusing the existing materials to avoid wasted energy and materials on demolition, but also as a sustainable strategy. The sustainability behind reusing London’s industrial heritage will provide a way in which London can stay true to its industrial roots, while providing an environmental friendly solution for future
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Fig. 11 Lots Road Power Station (2010) Available at:
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S h o r e d i tc hWa r e h o u s e Co nve r s i o n - 1 4 2 1 2 6 . a s px
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Fig. 18 Bombay Sapphire Distillery Section (2014)
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sapphire-distiller y-heather wick-studio-secton
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jpg (Accessed: 7 March 2016).
jpg (Accessed: 4 March 2016).
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Fig. 28 The Foundry Interior (2014)
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Fig. 33 People discussing (2014) Available at: https://
man-people.jpg (Accessed: 1 March 2016).
newtatemodernsouthview.jpg?1442915903 (Accessed: 3 March 2016). Fig. 25 Tate Modern Diagram (2016) Available at:https://reconversaourbana.wordpress. com/2011/08/24/tate-modern-history-and-vision/ (Accessed: 3 March 2016). Fig. 26 Tate Modern Plan (2000) Available at: http:// www.ad.ntust.edu.tw/grad/think/Typology(95)/ f i n a l % 2 0 wo r ks / m 9 4 1 3 1 0 4 / m 9 4 1 3 1 0 4 / T a t a % 2 0 modern%20museum%20plan.htm (Accessed: 3 March 2016).