What the heck is adaptive reuse? A NXT crash course


What the heck is adaptive reuse? A NXT crash course

Submitting to the NXT City Prize this year? The NXT City Prize Challenge #1 is one of the most exciting we’ve had to date, inviting a bold new vision for the Wellington Destructor. The former incinerator has sat vacant for more than 30 years, and now offers countless opportunities for transformation.

Adaptive reuse is a sustainable way to breathe new life into abandoned or historic buildings that no longer serve their original purpose.

5 inspiring examples of adaptive reuse

  1. Tate Modern / London, UK
    Formerly the old Bankside Power Station, the historic building was converted by Herzog & de Meuron into one of the most iconic cultural hubs in the world. Today, the landmark museum sees an average of 4.6 million visitors every year and has revitalized the South Bank of the Thames.

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  1. Stony Island Arts Bank / Chicago, IL
    Artist / social activist / urban planner Theaster Gates transformed a crumbling old bank on Chicago’s South Side, now a vibrant cultural space that hosts Gates’ Rebuild Foundation; the magazine and book collection of John H. Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines; a vinyl collection of Frankie Knuckles and Edward Williams’ negrobilia collection of negrobilia. The tour alone is worth the trip.ec7800615-mobile
  2. Landscape Park / Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany
    Landscape Park leverages architectural features of an old steel mill to create a blend of industry and parkland. Old structures are not torn down but repurposed – a climbing wall from an old bunker, a diving pool in the old Gasometer, a lookout on the now-defunct blast furnace and an event space for concerts and films in the blower house.

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  1. IM VIADUKT / Zürich, Switzerland
    Adaptive reuse can also mean transforming the city’s in-between spaces. With the IM VIADUKT project, EM2N reclaimed space beneath 36 viaduct arches and bridges, adding space for art galleries, shops, restaurants, public space and more.

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  1. Gasometer City / Vienna, Austria
    After Europe’s largest gas plant was decommissioned, the massive gasometer tanks once used for coal storage were gutted. Today, the structures are home to its own community – 615 apartments, offices, day care, events hall and the Vienna National Archive.



  1. Battersea Power Station / London, UK
    The old electrical station will be the cornerstone of a brand new neighbourhood on formerly industrial land. In the works: homes, workspaces, retail, cultural venues and 18 acres of public space.

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