Reclaim the ordinary

In the context of a finite planet with limited resources, the necessity for restraint in the consumption of materials, and the need for reuse and recycling strategies, unavoidably affects the built heritage in its broadest sense, including the most ordinary buildings.

Such buildings currently make up the majority of cities and should be considered as the most important element in combatting the obsolescence of the public domain. In order to stay relevant and keep pace with changing lifestyles, it needs to be reinvented, whilst preserving or transforming its initial purpose. It must not only be updated to meet technical and environmental standards and regulations, but should, moreover, conform to and anticipate the new demands and needs of its users.

The architect’s task, therefore, takes on a new dimension. He must work with, and find inspiration in, an existing support with its given spatial, aesthetic and material characteristics, and with its existing relationship with the surroundings such as the local heritage, landmark features and symbolic nature.

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