New Lease On Old Buildings

What do we do with our beautiful old buildings? It’s always been a matter of debate. Do we ignore their historical value and raze them to make way for the new? Or do we keep their façade and rip out the inside and infuse a more techno-modern style ?

The best solution has to be with retaining a buildings heritage. And then successfully fusing a contemporary aesthetic.

Here are some examples...

The Henry Jones Hotel
This former IXL jam factory in Hobart is a fantastic example. It’s a historic building that has had a truly remarkable transformation into a slick modern hotel. From its inception, the Henry Jones has been designed as an Art Hotel. The original textures and colours of the old industrial site are mixed with art, supplied mainly from the Tasmanian School of Art.

Morris-Nunn Architects are widely regarded as Tasmania’s most innovative and adventurous architects. They are recognised internationally for their ecologically sustainable architecture. Their philosophy is to explore new approaches towards a more “enlightened, socially humane architecture” alongside trying to produce architecture that brings “tangible economic and cultural benefits to the immediate surrounding neighbourhoods”.

MN+A advocated the recycling of the histories architectural elements of Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses. They wanted to match this with innovative, contemporary design alongside the visual and performing arts, to create a new cultural precinct for Hobart. A unique combination that has resulted in a avant-garde luxury hotel that featured in Conde Nast International Travellers Magazine: World’s Best New Hotels 2005.

Henry Jones Art Hotel

Morris-Nunn + Associates

House in Bled
If you thought that a heritage listing on your home means a real headache when it comes to renovations, take a look at Slovenia. Cause there, putting in a new set of glass bi-folds into your 15th century home or castle is nothing short of a nightmare. But whilst they’re still particular about preserving their heritage, they’re still keen to herald in the new.

How do you successfully blend an old 19th century house with the new? Renowned architects Spela Videcnik and Rok Oman from Opis Architects in Ljubljana have done just that in their incredible ‘house under construction’ in the picturesque town of Bled in northern Slovenia. The original house and surrounding area are heritage listed, so the design would have to conform to the strict outlines set by the council to gain building approval. The extension could not interfere with the original structure and would have to blend in to the hilly surrounds. Ofis came up with the idea to extend under the house. The extension forms a rounded base ‘pillow’ beneath the first floor and terrace. This unique shape and the clever use of glass meant that the building’s added level melds into the hillside. In fact, from the island on Lake Bled, and the opposite lake shore, you can only see the original building.

OFIS ARHITEKTI (Ofis Architecture)

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