Build-On, old structures get a new life

When a structure breaks down in many parts of Africa (mud and straw don’t last forever), the inhabitants build a new one nearby without tearing the old one down or making use of its parts. In Las Vegas, casinos only a decade old are imploded to make way for something bigger, grander and most importantly, new. Everyone has their own methods, but, in general, they all involve too much waste. What if there was a way we could update and reuse old buildings, “bringing new life and function to existing structures?” Europe, with its centuries-old collection of abandoned buildings is prime breeding ground for this creative new branch of architecture, and Gestalten’s latest release “Build-On” documents some of the biggest projects. There’s the library within a church, the house within a house, and, my personal favorite, the stunning rust-covered vertical add-on that transforms an otherwise bland, Band-Aid colored building into an architectural show-stopper.