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 Waterhouse hotel in Shanghai

Good Morning!

In a country like China where new design, manufacturing and technology are so commonplace and lauded, it’s really nice to see when a historic space is reused. The Waterhouse hotel in Shanghai was converted from a 1930’s Japanese Army headquarters built in the 1930’s. NHDRO  architects’ designed the hotel which included the restoration of the original masonry and concrete walls, and new additions built using Cor-Ten steel, creating a very cool modern industrial 19-room hotel.  They also designed the interior of the hotel, attractively melding the old and new creating stark yet interesting common spaces and comfortable, modern rooms for guests. And the rooftop patio has gorgeous views of the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline.

Via this post by Deseen (Photos, 2 – 5 by Pedro Pegenaute, photos 1,6,7,8 by Derryck Menere)

Brilliant conversion. And I would expect staying there would be a really cool experience.

By any chance have any of you stayed there before?

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: 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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Convert it: Stables to Stylish Modern Home

Good Morning!

This morning I’m sharing the conversion of the historic Manor House Stables in the UK which were turned into modern 3 bedroom home.  These stables were once the home of Lovely Cottage, the horse that one the 1946 Grand National Horse Race in the UK.  The converted space was design by AR Design Studio in the UK who came upon the stables while working on the main Manor House and saw a vision.  They maintained many of the original architectural features and fixtures but still managed to create a sleek contemporary space.

Photos and Story via Inhabitat and Design Milk  Photos byMartin Gardner

I mean who hasn’t always wanted a trough for a sink?  And those restored stall doors are amazing.  I really like how they used the original stalls to separate the spaces.  If it were my space I’d add more colour for sure, but the design it very cool.  What do you think?

Happy Trails!

XO,

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Converted: Water Tower in NYC

Good Morning!

It’s time for a another episode of Converted.  Today’s fab conversion project is a water tower turned rooftop addition in New York City, designed by the architectural firm Messena O’Rorke.  Their client wanted a calm serene getaway space, so he bought the rights to this water tower and had it perched on top of his roof deck and transformed into a minimalist man cave of.  But people…this is clearly NOT a cave.  It is a complicated (and I expect extremely pricey) endeavor.  But one with a very cool result.

The structure now seems like it “belongs” on this deck.

This is the owners existing apartment.

With a staircase that leads to the water tower space.

And a trap door leading to this simple space. (Who doesn’t love a trap door??)

The architects created an ambient oculus by pulling the walls away from the ceiling. (NOTE:  Ambient occlusion is a fast technique for producing soft, diffuse lighting in open spaces by using ray tracing. An oculus denotes a circular opening in the centre of a dome or in a wall.  Sources:  1,2)

A large steel window with pretty views.

Beautiful even at night.

Isn’t this space cool?  People really are a wealth of  amazing ideas.  I personally wouldn’t want to be alone in this space with only a chair and some books.  Well, I would  if it was a big comfy chair you could curl up in, but not a plain wooden chair like that.  But that ambient oculus is pretty sweet.

What do you think of this space?

XO,

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All photos and information from Remodelista.

From Sweat to Sweet: School Gym Conversion

Good Morning!

With my love of making old into new again, you can guess that I’m a huge fan of home conversion projects.  I recently was reminded of this love when I caught an episode of the show You Live in What?  on HGTV where they provide home conversion projects from the fabulous to the weird and wacky.  Anyhow, it prompted me to find some new interesting conversion projects to feature on the blog.  Today’s home is a former school gym of a Victoria-era schoolhouse turned  into a unique apartment located in London, England.  However, currently no one actually lives here.  It’s (owned?) operated by JJ’s Location Studios and it is rented out for movies, photo shoots, events, and meetings.

I love the massively high curved ceilings and the gorgeous casement windows.  This place doesn’t lack in natural light, that is for sure.

I want that wire sailboat they have on the wall! I’m also a big fan of random old-school pics of people you don’t know…something about being able to imagine stories about who they might have been.

Photo’s via JJ Location Studio (found via Curbly)

Sadly there is no information on JJ Location’s website about who designed or photographed their conversion space.  However, the interesting mix of art, function and whimsy in this space is pretty cool.  Would I decorate this massive space differently?  Probably, but I still enjoy the spin that has been put on it.

XO,

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