When MAD architects won a competition to build two condo towers in the City of Mississauga, just west of Toronto, they became the iconic symbols of the city; the Chinese architecture firm knows how to make an impact. Founder Ma Yansong is trying to create "a new balance among society, the city and the environment through new forms of architecture. " Now he marches on Rome, finally getting approval to do an adaptive reuse of an existing building, converting it into apartments.
The approach being taken recognizes how 20th century buildings are different, with facades structurally separate from building frames, and how they can be adapted:
Instead of demolishing and reconstructing the entire building, MAD will simply remove the existing facades, retain the structural framework, and insert new living units to transform the building’s function. New balconies and gardens will emerge from the “gaps and voids” between new residential units and the original framework structure. The boundary between the building and the street blurs as the new design peels away bulky facades and replaces them with a more open, transparent scheme.
So the existing structure of beams, pillars and slabs are saved and treated as a "bookshelf" with "urban villas with facades made of custom metal and glass, [which] will be intricately inserted. And tons of CO2 is saved in concrete not poured, and a serious number of trucks are kept off Roman roads.
Nicely done. Lots more images on Designboom.