Top Ten Reasons to Reuse an Existing Building – Material

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING


MATERIAL


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You find great materials in old buildings- just look underneath the wallpaper, acoustic tile, and vinyl floors.


Screen saved from Nippon Kan Theatre


Reclaimed wood paneling made from heavy timber joists salvaged at Chophouse Row. Designed in collaboration with our friends Graham Baba Architects.


TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING

History | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

Top Ten Reasons to Reuse an Existing Building – Big

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING


BIG


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Subtraction is easier than addition. Large, dramatic gathering spaces are created by simply carving away parts of the old building.


Before and After: Big community hall at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle.

In this example, the existing Kong Yick SRO building could not be converted into a museum because it is four stories tall, more than allowed by code. By removing parts of the second floor, four stories became three, allowing the museum to work.

At the same time, large public gathering spaces at the ground floor are introduced into the building.


TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING

History | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

Top Ten Reasons to Reuse an Existing Building – Character

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING


CHARACTER


 

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“It takes a long time… Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


Examples of irreplacable character retained as part of the Wing Luke Museum’s historical immersion tour, which leads visitors through secret, untouched areas of the building.

“Uncle” Jimmy Mar in his Yick Fung Co. Store, which was carefully preserved for the tour. Historic Family Association Room, also part of the tour.


TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING

History | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

Top Ten Reasons to Reuse an Existing Building – Place

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING


PLACE


 

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“Why come to Trude? I asked myself. And I already wanted to leave. ‘You can resume your flight whenever you like’ they said to me, ‘but you will arrive at another Trude, absolutely the same, detail by detail…. only the name of the airport changes.” – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Preservation Green Lab’s Older, Smaller, Better report (May 2014), shows that “districts consisting of smaller, older and mixed-vintage buildings support a greater density of residents, businesses, jobs, and creative jobs per square foot than newer areas. Or, in the words of Jane Jacobs:

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”


TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING

History | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

The chickens looked me in the eye

Gladys Ly-Au Young
Categories: Project Updates

We were at the Madrona School Lowery Farm on Wednesday. It’s a beautiful afternoon after some heavy rain and storm earlier this week. The site is wooded on the north, east and south with good sun exposure. As we were walking around, we saw some chickens the school is raising on the highest ground. Some of them made eye contact as if they want to know what we are doing. What a great place for kids to roam around, play and explore!

10 Reasons to Re-Use an Old Building – History

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING


HISTORY


 

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“…the greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, nor in its gold. Its glory is in its Age, and in that deep sense of voicefulness, of stern watching, of mysterious sympathy… which we feel in walls that have long been washed by the passing waves of humanity.” – John Ruskin, Seven


The image to left is of a retained lightwell at The Wing Luke Museum in the Chinatown-International District neighborhood which surrounded the rooms inhabited by Chinese immigrants in search for a better life. An art installation hangs above, “Letter Cloud” by Erin Shie Palmer and Susie Kozawa, honoring past generations.

Original plans had called for the light wells to be demolished. Though razing and starting anew would free the architecture to embrace the program, keeping existing conditions in this case enhanced it, keeping the past a little present in the future.


TOP TEN REASONS
TO REUSE AN EXISTING BUILDING

HISTORY | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

10 Reasons to Re-Use an Old Building – Intro

SKL
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

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We believe in the intrinsic value older buildings offer their communities, and we work hard to incorporate new program into them. Their history grounds us in our relationship to our city, their texture a unique backdrop to modern life.

As our city grows and our current building stock ages, it is time to look at our attitudes and developmental strategies in regards to our existing urban fabric. What’s beyond the “façadism” dominating Seattle’s new construction? How do we improve what we have without abandoning heritage, community, and urban cohesion while also addressing changing demographics in a fair and just manner?

Other than the myriad of City incentives, such as the Pike Pine Conservation Overlay District and State and Local Incentives for Historic Properties in Seattle, we find there are 10 great reasons to re-use an old building. Stay tuned for a 10 part series!

 

Stay tuned for the following 10 posts!

History | Place | Character | Big | Material | Challenge | Energy | Cost | Karma | Vision

Gladys’ take on What Architects Can Do to Fight Climate Change

Myra Lara
Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Theory & Practice

As COP21 is underway in Paris, Curbed asked various architects on how the profession, practice, and discipline can help to fight climate change.

You can read the whole article here. Gladys’s extended features is below.

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Borrowing from Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse”, the four stages of collapse due to climate change can be represented as followed: First stage is failure to anticipate climate change. Second stage is failure to perceive climate change once it arrives. Third stage is failure to solve it after becoming aware of climate change. Fourth stage, climate change becomes insolvable.

The architecture profession has contributed a fair amount to climate change when we went through stages one and two as building operations account for the largest single use of energy in the U.S. 47.6% of our energy use is attributed to that sector while 28.1% goes to transportation and 24.4% to industry. (Data: Architecture 2030.) Clearly, architects have a lot to do at this critical stage three when we have to solve climate change before it becomes insolvable. With so much urgency, there is still optimism for architects because as a profession, we can actually change all three energy use sectors by realigning a built environment that is sustainable by our planet’s carrying capacity.

I recently heard an alarming factoid from the International Living Building Challenge Institute: between 1976-2007, the U.S. spent $7.3 trillion on military intervention in the Middle East to protect our oil supply and that’s equivalent to spending $59,000 per US household to convert each one to a net zero energy home. That seems like a big misalignment in our priority in fighting climate change (or an indication of collapse from stages one to three). Architects can help fight climate change by designing buildings that only operate on clean energy with no fossil fuel source. Another way for reducing building energy use is to significantly cut energy consumption in buildings by leveraging passive strategies that are right for the climate zone.

In addition to reducing building energy use, we should think about building material carbon footprint as well. Architects need to creatively think of ways to reuse our existing building stock where it makes sense. Large number of buildings are bulldozed to make way for new buildings in neighborhoods that you can no longer recognize. Older buildings are built with layers of cultural influences and each one contribute to the character of distinct neighborhoods. It wasn’t too long ago that when our appliances broke down, we would take it to a repair shop, fix it and use it again. Nowadays, in our “throw-away” society, not only appliances but even buildings are disposable after a very short life cycle.

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Having said that, buildings need to be designed with the mindset that it will last a long time so not only the spaces need to remain flexible for changes and inspirational to future generations, materials should be carefully considered for durability and do not contain harmful materials to human and the environment. Materials without toxins will enable us to reuse or recycle the building materials in the case that the building has out-lived its useful life. We can further reduce our building embodied carbon footprint by “right-sizing” our structures. U.S. has one of the largest average home size in the world. With the average size of 2,164sf, it is 2.5 times bigger than a home in Sweden (893sf) and U.K. (818sf). (Data: Shrinkthatfootprint.com.) Architects should definitely help their clients imagine smaller but more efficient spaces. Adaptive reusing our building, recycling toxin-free materials and right-sizing our structures are ways architects can help reduce the industry energy use as extracting material from our finite resources has serious climate change consequences.

Lastly, in terms of reducing our transportation energy footprint, architects can help by designing communities that are clustered around transit, jobs and amenities. These walkable, pedestrian-orientated neighborhoods will help reduce the reliance on fossil fuel transportation.

These are ways in which architects can help fight climate change by reducing all three major energy use sectors but there is also one resource we as architects need to protect and that is water. The scarcity of potable water in many areas around the world is a very serious concern. Climate change definitely plays a role in this together with our unsustainable water use pattern. Architects can help by siting projects in areas that have enough captured precipitation to meet the projected water use and by reducing/reusing/recycling water, much like all our other resources.

Westside School Ribbon Cutting

Mika Sundberg
Categories: Westside School

We braved the wind and the rain to attend the Westside School Ribbon cutting ceremony. It looks like the building is a hit with students, faculty and staff. Have a great year in your new home Westside Wolves!ribbon cutting wingyee wingyee- exterior walk mika- pascal in the windowwingyee exterior entrance