Coopers Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Restoration and conversion of a three storey grade two listed horse and carriage repository into commercial office accommodation. This consisted of retaining and restoring key features, producing an attractive building environment to flexibly meet business needs, whilst preserving the building’s history and character and dramatically improving natural light levels into, and views out from, the building.

Cooper’s retains its original internal configuration which includes ramps to allow horses to walk up to first and second floor stalls, a central atrium which was formerly the auction parade area, a first floor ladies’ viewing gallery and an open plan top floor. New openings maintain the integrity of the historic internal subdivisions.

A simple palette of colours and materials was used to create a bright and modern environment with careful consideration taken to emphasise the beauty of the existing building.

Text and images: Ryder Architects

Yangshuo, China

Alila Yangshuo Hotel takes over a 1960s former sugar mill complex in China’s mountainous Yangshuo region.

Designed by Dong Gong of Vector Architects, with interiors by award-winning Ju Bin of Horizontal Space Design, the vision for Alila Yangshuo is to integrate the new with the old, paying homage to the unique history of these heritage buildings.

Find out more:

Photography: Via Alila Hotels

Samsung Opera House, India

Built in the 1930s, the Opera House on Brigade Road, Bengaluru, was a popular entertainment venue in the British Cantonment for ballroom dances, theatre performances and Broadway-like operas. The vintage building, once characterised by fine wooden floors, huge chandeliers and a large dance floor, subsequently fell into disuse.

Until 2018, when Samsung Electronics announced that the heritage structure has been turned into the company’s biggest experience centre ever.

Imagine Studio, Mumbai, India

In the Mumbai suburb of Vikhroli, Indian architectural firm Studio Lotus and GPL Design Studio have given a disused industrial complex new life as a modern, mixed-use center. Dubbed the Imagine Studio, the project serves as an experience center for ‘The Trees,’ a flagship adaptive reuse project for Godrej Properties Ltd. Imagine Studio provides new public and private functions while celebrating the site’s industrial heritage.

Text and photos via

The Tate Modern, London, England

Text by ArchDaily

London’s Bankside Power Station stood disused from 1981 until 2000, when it opened to the public as The Tate Modern. Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron approached the conversion with a relatively light hand, creating a contemporary public space without diminishing the building’s historical presence. The impressive cultural icon has since become the most visited museum of modern art in the world, revitalizing its formerly sequestered, industrial neighborhood.

Herzog & de Meuron chose to enhance the urban character of the building without detracting significantly from its form, allowing it to remain an experiential and visual piece in itself. The most apparent exterior alteration is the light beam set atop its roof, a horizontal contrast to the towering chimney. The light beam’s minimal geometry and translucent glass clearly differentiate it from the dark masonry and detailed brickwork of the original facade. 

Palm Valley Medical Centre, Arizona, US

The 1980’s era cinema is to be transformed into a modern 50,000 square foot Palm Valley Medical Center.

PMB, one of the nation’s leading real estate owners and developers across the continuum of care, plans to complete work in May for a challenging, adaptive reuse project, converting a 50,000-square-foot 1980s-era multiplex movie theatre to a modern medical use. The project is currently 90 percent pre-leased.

The re-purposed facility is being developed immediately west of the Abrazo West Campus, a 188-bed acute-care community hospital and Level 1 Trauma Centre operated by Phoenix-based Abrazo Community Health Network.

PMB pursued the unique conversion in response to the need for class A medical office space in a highly-constrained on-campus market. 

Text, photo and visualisation by PMB.

Zizkov Railway Station, Czechia

The site, built between 1931 and 1934, is now listed as a prime example of Constructivism in architecture, and after a long dispute between the authorities, the developer and the local community, it is hopefully destined to become a cultural and educational centre as planned. It has a distinctly industrial feel and thus serves as the perfect venue for events.

Attribution: Taste of Prague Food Tours, photos by

Archistroj Studio produced a masterplan in 2012 for the conversion of the former freight railway station area to multi-functional urban area, maintaining the main station building and industrial footprint.

Further redevelopment plans were proposed in November 2019. Sekyra Group, in addition to commercial space and rental flats, plans to build residential houses south and east of the building. 

Leo Carrillo Ranch, California, US

Historic stables preserved for use as a community resource

Working with a team of local craftspeople headed by Cruz Mendoza, Carrillo developed his Spanish Rancho between the years 1937 and 1940. The stable, a prominent, vernacular structure sited by Carrillo to take advantage of the rolling topography, is significant for its uncommon multi-level design and use of local materials, including unreinforced stone retaining walls and sun-dried adobe. True to its original construction, the adaptive reuse project seamlessly melds building and landscape improvements to preserve the site’s unique sense of place.

The project re-energises Leo Carrillo’s most iconic structure to create the park’s largest indoor activity space, including a multipurpose room suitable for events hosting 150 people. Executed in conjunction with a new contextually sensitive restroom building and site improvements, the stable and its outdoor event space are an added resource to the community and a new source of revenue for the City.

Text and images via the California Preservation Foundation.

Fábrica La Aurora, Mexico

Mexican textile factory turned art gallery

The La Aurora textile factory was one of San Miguel de Allende’s most important industrial operations from its opening in 1902 to its closure in 1991. In 2004, it was reinaugurated in its current form as something of an art shopping mall. This iteration of La Aurora was spearheaded by Francisco Garay and a number of San Miguel’s North American migrant artists.

Among the most impressive industrial apparatuses you can still find on La Aurora’s grounds are looms, engines, and controls. Perhaps the most striking of these is the pair of massive green Zinser looms. Specifically designed for worsted wool production, these machines, also known as ring spinners, occupy about half the floorspace of one of the galleries and are used as something of a storage area for paintings.

A hallway features a metal behemoth of an engine, built by the Lang Bridge company of Accrington, England. One of the galleries has an industrial boiler in its storage room. The green of the Zinser looms reappears in one of the former factory’s control areas, located below floor ground level and with tiles in this shade. Bright red pipes and metal tubes flow along the white walls, tracing the path that electrical power followed and continues to follow to light up the space.

Text from Atlas Obscura.

Future Mumbai textile museum, India

From mill to museum
While run profitably until the 1960s, the group of mills were nationalised by the National Textile Corporation (NTC) in 1974, and over the past decade wound down. In a plan first proposed in 2009 — when NTC gave the India United Mills 2-3 to the city as a reserved public space — the Municipal Corporation will open the 15-acre compound to the public in 2019, a century and a half after its launch as one of the city’s first mills.

The museum is planned with exhibits on the history and future of textiles in Mumbai, Maharashtra and India, from handlooms to mills to modern powerlooms. Sadly, NTC still has no clear plans for its 12 remaining mill compounds in space-starved Mumbai.

Dr Shekhar Krishnan is a historian and social scientist who works with the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation Estates Department. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @bombayologist

Photos by @bombayologist