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2011 Open Architecture Challenge | Precedents


Below we have compiled an inspiring and creative array of installations from around the world that exhibit exemplary levels of local involvement, historically respectful adaptations, and/or significant socioeconomic and environmental gains for impacted communities. While each case study presents their own benefits and drawbacks, all of them are worthy of further study into how we can start thinking differently about the tremendous potential of previously restricted sites often situated on prime real estate with endlessly interesting built structures to be explored, restored and given new life and meaning.

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Arsenal Music Center | Metz, Lorraine, France: weapons arsenal turned concert hall and exhibition gallery. the realization of this structure was the subject of an international design competition. named one of the 20 most beautiful concert halls in the world, this distinction qualifies the arsenal as an acoustic diamond. we can hear the Erudite music playing now...
BEE-FREE | Ex-Iron Curtain, Europe: a permanent transformation of the former death zone along the Iron Curtain to a connecting landscape corridor that is positively unique and holds supra-regional support functions. Bee colonies and beehives represent the border strip; a simple idea with a complex variety of possible interpretations.
Bunker 599 | Diefdijk, Netherlands: split directly down the middle by a diamond-edge saw, this bunker serves as a striking reminder of the inundations of war, giving visitors a peek at what life was like on the New Dutch Waterline. experience this vital part of Dutch history from the inside out.
Chinati Foundation | Marfa, Texas, USA : army base turned contemporary art museum. Donald Judd, established New York based artist, was initially drawn to Marfa for its natural beauty. it has since become one of the most important locations for permanent large scale installations done by a limited number of artists.
Concrete Mushroom | Albania: with an estimated 750,000 bunkers located throughout the country, opportunities abound for communities to turn leftover stigmas of a communist era into a sustainable, profitable and viable solution for promoting eco-tourism in Albania. proposed solutions include cheap eco-hostels, restaurants, and hiker information kiosks.
Cranston Street Armory | Providence, Rhode Island, USA: formerly used to house the RI National Guard, this armory has proudly and prominently served the state since inception. having held inaugural balls, political rallies and even circuses, it is asserted that returning the armory to functional use is critical to the continued revitalization of its surrounding community.
Dashanzi Art District | Beijing, China: weapons manufacturing facility turned art exhibition gallery. serves as the central hub for Beijing's world renown dynamic and provocative art scene. district's popularity and growth has skyrocketed since the gallery opening as evidenced by cafes, high-end shops, design companies and restaurants popping up nearby.
Diamond Mountain Resort | Mount Kumgangsan, North Korea: a full service resort lying just 9 miles from the Demilitarized Zone on the north side of the inter-Korean border. complete with golf course and duty-free shopping, enjoy the scenic ride through the DMZ into Korea's most beautiful and rugged mountainous region...never mind the mobile rocket launchers dotting the hillside.
East Side Gallery | Berlin, Germany: over 100 artists came together to express their reactions to the fall of the Berlin wall by painting a 0.8-mile stretch of an inner section of the wall. in 2009 the vast majority of paintings were restored to their original glory, with a few changes made, mostly by the original artists themselves.
Headlands Center for the Arts | Marine Headlands, USA: military base turned residence for art professionals and writers. the historic military buildings and barracks on site were renovated by artists. the center serves the public through several programs that build understanding and appreciation of the arts in society.
L’Arsenale | La Maddalena, Italy: naval military base turned nautical activities center. effectively changed the public image of the island through extensive environmental remediation, the creation of new public space and the reuse of existing structures in addition to new ones. these elements perfectly coalesced to spur economic revitalization for the island's community.
Loring Air Force Base | Limestone, Maine, USA: chosen for its proximity to a large number of Soviet targets, this base was one of the largest projects taken on by the US Army Corps of Engineers at the time. once known as one of the most heavily armed of the Strategic Air Command bases, the base now serves as a fully functional industrial and aviation park.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center | Governor's Island, New York, USA: munitions storage facility and offices turned artists' studio and residency program. the environment offers much needed space and time away from the bustle of the city to allow artists to work within a collaborative atmosphere. the open season allows the public to view the artists’ work and to even observe them as they work.
Lower Moravia Biosphere Reserve | Lednice, Czech Republic: located within what was once the most divisive border zones in history, this UNESCO biosphere demonstrates the harmonious balance that can be achieved between man and nature in the infamous 'death strip'. envisioned as a trans-boundary endeavor, this project contributes greatly to mending the destructive effects of the former Iron Curtain.
Marine Mammal Center | Sausalito, California, USA: anti-aircraft military launch facility turned marine mammal rescue center. have rescued and treated 16,000+ marine mammals since inception in 1975. with the recent renovation, the center has been able to teach nearly 30,000 students and adults every year about ocean conservation in first class facilities.
Pionen White Mountain Data Center | Stockholm, Sweden: former Cold War defense facility turned corporate headquarters. located 30 meters below ground in central Stockholm, a near direct nuclear bomb blast wouldn't phase the senior staff of Banhof, one of Sweden’s largest internet service providers. shareholders must feel more secure, the transformation was a huge marketing success for the company.
Raketenstation Hombroich | Neuss, Germany: NATO missile station turned alternative living space, cultural center and art museum. extensive landscape with only 1/10 of land occupied by buildings. unlike most museums, outdoor art installations here are left unmarked, leaving it to the imagination of every visitor to determine the significance of each piece for themselves.
Spitbank Fort | Solent, England: sea fort turned luxury retreat. a fascinating example of victorian engineering worth preserving with renovations in progress. once finished this never-used fort will begin to see some action once it starts hosting private events in upgraded 5-star facilities.
Subic Bay | Luzon, Philippines: US naval base turned commercial zone and eco-tourist destination. fourth largest shipbuilding facility in the world. when the navy withdrew, 8,000 residents- led by mayor Richard Gordon- came together to protect and transform the area into a thriving tourist destination and major economic engine of the Philippines.
Tropical Islands | Krausnick, Germany: zepplin hangar turned tropical waterpark. housing the world's largest indoor rainforest, tropical islands essentially operates its own miniature ecosystem. while providing local jobs for 600+ people, this tourist destination also provides respite for 6000 visitors daily from harsh German winters.
Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus | Philadelphia, USA: naval ship yard turned Urban Outfitters headquarters. with a strong emphasis on material reuse, employees can find restored artifacts creatively incorporated into several aspects of the redevelopment. inspired the rebirth of an area of historical significance in Philadelphia while doubling existing jobs.
Vauban | South of Freiburg, Germany: french military base turned car-free sustainable neighborhood. a civilian group pressed for eco-friendly site development and expanded public participation in the project while working with the city council to develop the master plan. Vauban showcases several sustainable innovations carried out at an impressive scale.
Francazal Air Base | Toulouse, France : Former military air base about 10 km from Toulouse, this 45-ha parcel has been decommissioned since 2009. In 2011, Bruno Granja, a 36 years old architect contacted the most important Hollywood studios, to propose them his project: to transform it into the biggest European filming studio. Raleigh Studios showed his interest and the project went ahead.
more precedents coming soon..

Project posted by challenge team

Project Details

NAME: 2011 Open Architecture Challenge | Precedents
LOCATION: Unspecified location
START DATE: April 07, 2011
CURRENT PHASE: Design development

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