Handling rightly the disintegrating remnants of history can be tricky. Pastiche is rarely as impactive as juxtaposing the old and the new. Once grand ruins provide an intriguing opportunity to insert, bolt or cover with striking steel, cool concrete or elegant glass. Here are few structures that, thanks to brave architects, are turning heads once again.
Filling in the gaps of history. Blencowe Hall in Cumbria, England, uses glass and wood to ‘fill in’ the cracks in this beautiful building.
Dovecote studio was literally lifted in to this ruin. I love the rusted exterior complementing the remnants of red bricks.
This Spanish building incorporated ancient arches with angular stone. Keeping the tone consistent makes this marriage of old and new a restful one to behold.
Oh this is nice. Such a dramatic location, very brooding. The strong boxy structure inside this shell of a lead smelt mill fits perfectly.
I didn’t spot this on my previous visits to Prague, but isn’t it wonderful? So elegant and harmonious. Corso I now houses office buildings, but as you can see this structure once had very industrial roots.
Astley Castle in Warwickshire, England, is a bold renovation full of confidence but handled with understanding.
Smart use of environment here. The life-worn brick walls are simply filled with panelled glass and steel allowing this office to feel a connection with its urban surrounds.
A Scottish cottage gets more than a renovation, it pretty much doubles in size! Quite an idyllic island retreat that seamlessly blends in to its rocky landscape.
This steel and glass structure doesn’t detract from the gorgeous original design. The German castle has been made into a striking museum.
With these once grand old buildings, beauty really can come from within. Whether a seamless narrative captured in colour and material, or more like a ‘an alien has landed’ approach I think this form of old meets new helps secure the importance of these spaces for the future. I wonder where the next few hundreds years will take them!