Convert It: A Waffle Factory Turned Family Home

Good Morning!

Today’s Convert It post features a former waffle factory in Lille, Norway which has been converted into a light and airy home for a young family.  Often times factory conversions can have a cold and industrial feel that is less than inviting, but this couldn’t be further from the case in this space.  With the help of Lille-based architects from Bo Architectures, they have created a beautiful cozy home full of flea market treasures and fun accessories, while taking still preserving/restoring many unique elements of the original factory. The floors, stove and the wood paneling are all original, and the windows, although new, were replicated to match the originals.

Via Rum Hemma. Design by Fanny and Pascal Francois and Bo Architecture, Photography by Pascal François

This couple truly saw potential in the whole factory property not just the building, as evidenced by the beautiful terrace and garden.  And that big picture vision is what I think really sets this conversion apart.  To see more lovely photos of this space go to Rum Hemma.

XO,

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Convert It: Prahran Hotel Pub

Good Morning!

This lovely Monday morning I’m bringing you another adaptive re-use project for my Convert It series. Today’s post takes us to Melbourne, Australia and the Prahran Hotel Pub. Designed by Techné Architects for the hotel group Sand Hill Road, the project is the redesign of the hotel’s pub (which was previously just a small add-on in the back) into an awe-inspiring 3-level facility.

The pillar of the adaptive reuse is, of course, the 17 1/2 concrete pipes used in this project which are visually captivating both the from outside and the inside.

Concrete and steel are the main materials used, along with recycled spotted gum slats within the round banquets and on the floors and ceilings.

In addition to the cool design features, what also struck me was the number of plantings around the space, which I think helps to softens the harsh industrial feel of all the concrete and steel.

Photography: Peter Clarke via the Cool Hunter and Inhabitat

This space combines both the whimsy of a playground and the seriousness of an industrial factory in just the right balance. If I ever make it to Melbourne, I would love to have meal in this pub. You can see more photos and learn more about the space at the Cool Hunter.

XO,

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Convert It: Washington School House Hotel

Good Morning!

Boy oh boy do I ever get excited about a good conversion project. Especially ones that I could actually visit if I was so inclined. Today in my Convert It series, I’m featuring a lovely hotel in Park City Utah, the Washington School House.  The hotel was originally one the first three schools built in Park City in the late 1800’s. While the school survived the great fire of Park City in 1898, after declining enrollment in the depression era the school was sold to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and then used for social events and dances into the 1950’s.  It wasn’t until 1984 that it was purchased and renovated into a bed & breakfast which operated as the Washington School Inn. In 2011 the current owners completed a massive renovation and the it became the gorgeous Washington School House that you see in the photos below. Very few places can be described as both luxurious and quaint, but I think you’ll agree when you scroll through the photos below that this really is both.

All photos via, Washington School House website

The hotel was Paul and Shannon Wehsener and they did a beautiful job creating an elegant cozy space and preserving the exterior charm.  I love the furniture, the bright white walls, and gorgeous lighting choices. I spent a couple of days in Park City to do some skiing after I went to Alt Summit  in Salt Lake City a few years ago.  I happened to be there during the Sundance Film Festival so accommodations were scarce and very expensive for even the sketchiest of the rooms (mine).  I expect these beautiful rooms were booked but some elite movie producers at that time.  But at a less busy time of year, it would certainly be a cozy place to spend a few days.  Perfect for either a ski getaway or a few days in the Midwestern sun.

XO,

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Convert It: The Darling Foundry, Montreal

Good Morning!

As some of you know I spent the Labour day long weekend with some of my girlfriends in Montreal.  Lots of food, wine and fun in a great city. Such a great city especially the beautiful Old Montreal. In today’s Convert It post, I’m highlighting an adaptive reuse project in…you guessed it….Montreal! It’s the Darling Foundry buildings.

The Darling Foundry buildings were constructed between 1880 and 1909 by the Darling Brothers for their large metal works operations in Griffintown.  At one time, this foundry was the second most important foundry of Montreal, with more than more than 100,000 ft2 of space. The Darling got its nickname, “the snake,” from the elaborate rooftop ventilation system visible to passersby. The Darling Foundry continued to prosper until 1971, when it was sold to Pumps and Softerner.  The building remained in operation until 1991 and was then was abandoned for 10 years.  The group Quartier Ephémère, which was founded in the early 1990’s, stepped in and raised funds to create a compound of art galleries, artist studio’s and workshops in the old foundry.

Photo by Lori Zimmer via Inhabitat

The first phase which included Quartier Éphémère’s offices, and the two public exhibition galleries opened in 2002 and was designed by 02, and was conceived by the architects In Situ (www.insitu.qc.ca). Phase 2, which houses artists  studios and workshops was designed by  the environmental architectural firm, “L’Œuf.

“Courte-Pointe” the visually bold installation at the entrance to the Foundry is by Philippe Allard and Justin Duchesneau, and is made from milk crates.

You can also rent out some of the space including the main hall shown below.  What a cool space for an event!

They also have an artist’s in residence program so artists from all over the world can come and create beautiful art at the Foundry.

 

Except where specified, all photos via Darling Foundry Page

On top of this being a really cool reuse of old buildings and preservation of the industrial history of Montreal, Quartier Éphémère’s vision for this place as a way to support and promote art in Montreal is pretty awesome.

XO,

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Convert it: The Ace Hotel LA

Good Morning!

This morning in my Convert It series, I’m sharing the adaptive reuse of the United Artist’s building and theatre in Los Angeles which was recently converted into the Ace Hotel.  This theatre building was the flagship for United Artist’s Circut’s West Coast operations. The United Artist’s Circut was started when director D. W. Griffith and screen stars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin broke from the studios to form UA  in order to gain complete control over the creation, production and distribution of their work.

The building, built in the mid 1920’s in the Spanish Gothic style, includes a thirteen-story steel-framed office tower which was designed by Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, and the UA theatre  designed by C. Howard Crane.

The office building above the theater was occupied for many years by Texaco.  In 1989, the building was bought by the University Cathedral Church of Dr. Gene Scott, and it served as the headquarters of the church until 2011. You will note on the right side of the picture below, sticking out from the back of the building part of a “Jesus Saves” neon light that is a remnant of the previous owner, which remains there today.

The restoration and design the new Ace Hotel was led by the LA design collective Commune.  From the modern style rooms to the morrocan-esque rooftop patio, they have merged the gothic/early art deco feel with a modern LA hipster vibe.  And surprisingly, it works really, really well.

 

 

 

The newly restored 1600-seat theatre.

Photos  1 to 3 via the LA Conservancy Website (from the LA Public Library), Photos 4 to 12 via Remoldelista, Photo 13 via Commune, Photo 14 via Curbed

An amazing upgrade and re-design.  I love the entryway, the interesting lighting and the super stylish rooftop patio.  It is no surprise that this adaptive re-use project won the LA Conservancy Preservation Award this year.  You can learn more about the history and significance of the building on the LA Conservancy website.  And you can find a lot more pictures of the hotel and theatre space in the posts by Remodelista (here and here), and Curbed.

XO,

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Convert It: Sonoma Power House

Good Morning!

Today I’m sharing lovely conversion project in Sonoma, California.  Owner and designer Todd R. Cole purchased and redesigned this former PG&E power plant 17 years ago to make it his own.  It was originally converted to a home 50 years ago, by Arthur W. Foster III, who named it “the Power House”.  Cole, an avid flea market shopper, has added many eclectic details to the space while keeping many of the original elements.  For me, this  seems like the perfect space to curl up and read a book or take a nap.

Photo credit:  John Merkl   Designed by: Todd R. Cole  Via California Home Design

Lovely spot and great conversion.  You can see more pictures and learn more history of this space over at California Home Design.

Have a great day!

XO,

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Convert it: The Hudson

 Good Morning!

While I was in Victoria last month, I was strolling down the street and came across a big beautiful old building that appeared to have been restored.  Of course, this is a common occurrence in Victoria as they have done a great job preserving their historic structures.  But I was particularly curious about this one so I immediately looked it up.  It turns out it was the former Hudson’s Bay Company building which has recently been converted into a residential building.

Photos via buzz buzz home

This Georgian Revival style building was designed by Toronto architects Burke, Horwood and White and built in 1915.  As described in the “Canada’s Historic Places” website:

The palatial design and grand elevations of this four-storey Georgian Revival Style building was chosen to establish architectural permanence and portray the luxury, grandeur, and modernity of Canada’s most successful and oldest company.” 

This is picture of the building from the 1930’s.

The building was designated under British Columbia’s Community Heritage register in 1995. In 2002, the Bay department store relocated and Townline Developers bought the property in 2006.  Townline and Merrick Architects has since revitalized the building by converting it into a 152 unit condo building called The Hudson.  Retaining the original facade and some of interior elements, the store was converted in to a unique residential space.

In addition to it’s lovely exterior the building also has great out door spaces.

Photos via buzz buzz home

The building’s interior designer was by Evoke International  Design who were able to retain some of the historic interior elements of the store while making it more modern.

 

Photos via buzz buzz home

This two-bedroom condo model from the building, which was beautifully furnished and styled by The Cross Design of Vancouver, shows you just how awesome these units are.

Photos via buzz buzz home

And as you can see from my photos below the Victoria Public Market has  made it’s home on the main floor of the Hudson.  Which would be pretty amazing if you lived in the building.

 

THe Hudson 1

THe Hudson 2

What a fabulous conversion.  If I lived in Victoria I’d totally consider living here.  So much beauty and history in one space.  My only criticism is that that the big original HBC sign from the roof  isn’t incorporated somewhere.  That would make it just about perfect.

Have a great day!

 xo,

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Convert it: Boutique Hotel in Mexico City

Good Morning!

I hope you had a good long weekend! Today I’m sharing with you another fabulous conversion project, this one from from Mexico City.  Built in the 17th century, the Palace of the Counts of Miravalle is one of Mexico City’s oldest buildings.  The original home to Don Alonso de Ulibarri Davalos Bracamontes and de la Cueva, who was chancellor of the Court of the Holy Cross of the Kingdom of New Spain. Recently, Grupo Habita has given new life to the Palace by converting the building into a gorgeous boutique hotel called Downtown Mexico. This conversion is helping to revitalize the city centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exterior is built from volcanic rock, which was preserved as part of the conversion. The property features 17 rooms, a hostel, multiple restaurants, shops, a gallery and a rooftop terrace.

all photo photo from Grupo Habita via Inhabitat

Isn’t this lovely?   Obviously climate is a factor, but I love the use of all the outdoor spaces.  And it’s only $183 per night to stay there.  You can barely stay at a Holiday Inn in the centre of a North American city for that much!  Sounds like a bargain to me.  You can see more here on Inhabitat.

XO,

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Convert it: Bank to Restaurant

Good Day,

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  The last 2 mornings that I’ve started writing I got errors on my computer and I lost the posts and didn’t have time before work to redo them.  But I’m back (albeit late) today with another adaptive reuse project; the Bedford Restaurant in Chicago.  The space is located in the basement of a former bank building.  The design, by Salita Development, incorporated various elements from the former bank like the walls of lock boxes, and the old bank vault  which is now used as lounge area.

This what it looked like before:

And this is what it looks like now after the transformation:

all photos via the Bedford website

Isn’t this a cool spot? I love it when conversion projects really keep the feel of the original space.  And it certainly makes a for a unique experience for their patrons!

Have a great day!

xo, Signature- new

Convert it: Adaptive Reuse of Mill City Museum

Good Morning!

This morning I’m sharing the incredible transformation of the Washburn A Flour Mill ruins into the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Designed by MSR Architecture, this is a great example of beautiful and innovative adaptive reuse.

The original A Mill was built in 1874, but soon after was leveled by an explosion which destroyed most of Minneapolis’ riverfront business area. The A Mill was rebuilt by 1880, with state-of-the-art machinery and it thrived until the it was shut down in 1965.  In 1991, there was a fire which nearly destroyed the building. In the late 1990’s the Minnesota Historical Society announced that it would rebuild and open a museum in the A Mill.

 

Mill City Museum focuses on the history of flour milling, water power, railroading, food product development, grain trading, and farming, and related stories.

 

 

 

All photos via the MSR Architecture website

Isn’t this such a cool space?  As well as a museum it has become a popular wedding venue as well.  No big surprise there!   You can see more historic photos and learn more about Museum programming at the Mill City Museum website. Have a great day!

XO,

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