“Upcycling” is a trend that is sweeping the globe. When you upcycle, you reuse in such a way as to create something that is even better than the original. These dilapidated buildings should have been scheduled for demolition, but thanks to some creative minds and this incredible trend, something better happened. Broken bricks and sagging roofs were transformed into something completely different. Whoever bought these buildings didn’t just recycle what was there. They improved upon it… with awesome results.
1.) An underground bomb shelter was turned into an urban farm.
Zero Carbon Foods built a farm in this London air raid shelter.
2.) A church was turned into a bookstore.
The 13th century Dominican church in Maastricht, Holland, was converted into a store for a popular Dutch bookstore chain.
3.) A train car was turned into an artist’s home.
The 1949 the Pullman-Standard sleeper car was purchased by Liz Mapelli, who converted it into a unique home.
4.) A plane was turned into a kindergarten.
This Yakovlev 42 plane in the country of Georgia is actually a kindergarten.
There’s plenty of room in this Georgian Airways plane.
5.) A church was turned into a bar.
This Presbyterian church in the Muswell Hill district of London was changed to attract a different crowd.
6.) A jail was turned into an upscale hotel.
The Liberty Hotel in Boston was actually the Charles Street Jail years before.
7.) A boiler house was turned into a modern office.
The Ambler Boiler House generated power for a Philadelphia suburb, but now is a swanky modern office building.
8.) A public restroom was turned into a private home.
Architect Laura Clark was able to convert a disgusting public restroom in south-east London into a stunning one-bedroom apartment.
9.) An air hangar was turned into a resort.
This giant airship hangar in Krausnik, Germany, was transformed into the Tropical Islands Resort by its Malaysian owners. It has the world’s largest indoor rainforest.
10.) A water tower was turned into a bed & breakfast.
The Braithwaite Engineering Company of London originally built the tower in 1923. Instead of housing thousands of gallons of water, the House in the Clouds is now a bed and breakfast.
11.) A power station was turned into an art museum.
The Bankside Power Station was an oil-fired power plant. A Swiss architecture firm converted it into a museum and it’s now Britain’s national gallery of international modern art, the Tate Modern.
12.) Gasometers were turned into apartments.
In 1896, Viennese authorities built Europe’s largest gas plant, complete with four gasometers, which were gas tanks. Those tanks are now being turned into apartment buildings.
You’ll never see any other apartments like this one.
13.) A meat packing plant was turned into an urban farm.
The old meat packing district of Chicago is now full of decaying buildings. Entrepreneur John Edel chose to upcycle the Peer building into a net-zero energy food business incubator.
93,000-square-foot facility has both indoor and outdoor farms.
14.) A water processing plant was turned into a cafe.
The Pumping Station Haarlemmerweg of Amsterdam doesn’t provide just drinking water anymore. Now it’s the Cafe Restaurant Amsterdam.
15.) A theater was turned into a clothing company’s headquarters.
Comvert, a clothing company, was searching for a new headquarters in Milan. Interior architects Studiometrico remodeled a 1950’s movie theater, Cinema Istria, just for the brand.
16.) A grain silo was turned into a country inn.
This 1940′s grain silo in New Braunfels, Texas, stood empty for decades. It was recently converted into a one bedroom apartment and the iconic Gruene Homestead Inn.
You’d never imagine it looks like this on the inside.
17.) A train car was turned into a cafe.
This 1960s train car was converted by designer Morag Myerscough in 2008. He turned it into a colorful café in South London.
18.) A WWII bunker was turned into an apartment.
UK resident Elizabeth Sutton bought and converted an old military bunker.
She made it into a modern home for herself (albeit one without windows).
19.) A sugar factory was turned into a rock climbing gym.
The Redpath Sugar Refinery Complex in Montreal was the first of its kind in North America. Now, it’s a rock climbing fitness center (a new trend and another first).
20.) A Walmart was turned into a public library.
In McAllen, Texas, the remains of a Walmart was converted into a public library.
There are countless abandoned urban areas throughout the United States, where grand buildings stand vacant. Share this article and inspire others to stem the flow of urban decay. The process can be reversed and the buildings can be upcycled.
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