Marci Wong of MarciWongDonnLogan Architects writes that their adaptive reuse of the Albert Kahn-designed former Ford Assembly Plant In Richmond, California has won and AIA Honor Award. It is yet another great example of why The Greenest Brick is the One That's Already in the Wall.
Images Credit Billy Hustace Photography
The AIA describes why:
"The envelope is intact despite years of neglect and functioning in a fashion of research and design fabrication not dissimilar to Khan's original intentions. This renovated facility has improved the region by saving an older building and its embodied energy. (The project) provides a large space for the community to bring various diverse groups of the area together."
Such big, flexible spaces can be put to so many uses; according to Archdaily,
Since the project completion, the venue has seen dance (Merce Cunningham), music (numerous professional orchestras), circus (Cirque du Soleil), and countless other types of private and public functions. Rollup glass doors along the south facade further blur the line between inside/outside drawing even stronger connection with the waterfront for both building and user.
More images at Archdaily
Also by Wong Logan: Can One Call Mitch Kapor's Berkeley House "Green"?
There are lessons here for waterfront buildings, factories and warehouses all over North America. I have been watching a battle to save a much smaller building on the harbour in Port Hope, Ontario, proposing the same sort of uses on a much smaller scale; activists want to save it and the town wants to demolish to make room for parking for a new marina. But it takes vision and courage to see what these buildings can become; they have it in Richmond and don't in Port Hope.
More adaptive reuse:
Adaptive Reuse: Turning a Pumping Station into a Monster Home
Recycle and Reuse: The Young Centre for the Performing Arts
Green Building in Louisville Really Is Green, Now LEED Platinum