2022 09 15

Deutsches Architekturmuseum presents Adaptive Architecture – Building Upon the Existing

14.09.2022 - Events

The exhibition Adaptive Architecture – Building Upon the Existing, to which Mecanoo also contributed with the model of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, will open on September 15, 2022 in the interim quarters of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM Ostend).

The exhibition devote itself to a selection of contemporary international designs displaying the possibilities of versatile transformations and new uses of embodied architectural heritage. By respecting the existing building stock, architecture can make a much-needed contribution to sustainability – after all, 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the building industry. Even though conversion and upgrading already account for two-thirds of construction work in Germany, the architectural and ecological potential of retrofitting and repurposing is far from being exhausted.

Demolition and new construction are often still the default answers when dealing with structures where design and space no longer appear to meet modern standards, the current market situation or efficient and economical usage. The values, resources and ‘grey energy’ embodied in buildings since their construction often go unnoticed.

Transformative designs are as old as architecture itself. Although the culture of conversion has waned in recent decades, climate crisis and dwindling raw materials underscore the urgency of its revival – not least because the building industry consumes more resources than any other sector of the economy. Other challenges such as pandemics or population growth are changing the classic images and profiles of urban as well as rural areas.

Retail department stores are increasingly disappearing from city centers; multi-story car parks and other infrastructure buildings are becoming obsolete due to new, sustainable mobility concepts – and even religious structures are affected by vacancies. At the same time, social change offers the potential for new functions and design forms that can be respectfully integrated into existing buildings.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive program of events and educational activities.
More information available at dam-online.de

If you would like to discuss a press enquiry reach out to us at pr@mecanoo.nl
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