Front and back cover Oodi, Helsinki, by ALA Architects. Staircase word-based artwork by Otto Karvonen. Photography by Paul Raftery. Blueprint masthead set in Reduct by Dylan Kendle
Do we really need any more new buildings? Well yes, we probably do, but in the years to come we’re going to need fewer buildings than we think. One main reason is the massive saving of resources that can be achieved through building reuse and we are celebrating that in a big way this year. First, issue 362 of Blueprint has adaptation as its theme and features a host of buildings that might have been pulled down to make way for the shiny and new in the past, but which have been retained and adapted to new use.
Then, to round out the decade, this year, the Blueprint Awards will also be introducing a new category — Building Reuse — to celebrate the adaptation work already going on in many areas, from residential to leisure. We’ve decided to swap out Sustainable Project as a category, because that truly has become something that should be (and nearly always is now) a key part of any new project, new-build or otherwise. Sustainability is a given, building reuse isn’t and so needs some light shone upon it. The Awards open for entries in March.
Adaptation, of course, is not a new thing. It’s been around a while, probably most notably in urban regeneration through the reuse of old industrial and warehouse buildings initially as artists’ studios and latterly as housing. Adaptability has also always been a key part of the work of architect Nick Grimshaw, whose lifelong achievement in the field of architecture is (finally) being recognised with the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in February. I lent my voice, well, pen, well, keyboard, to the nomination campaign initiated and coordinated by AHMM co-founder Simon Allford, and on page 54 you can hear from him exactly why he did it. That piece is contained within my broader profile feature on Nick Grimshaw which begins on page 46.
It seems right to be celebrating the renaissance of old buildings at the beginning of the year when all seems new and fresh, and in 2019, Blueprint also has a whole series of great new seminars planned. We’ll also be staging the second edition of Blueprint For The Future in Clerkenwell (9–11 July). Once again, we’ll be bringing the very best of London’s Part II architecture graduates together in one place for three days, backed up with seminars and events. And, as was always the plan, we will be looking to broaden its horizons beyond the capital and start to bring in schools from around the rest of the UK in 2019. All in all, this year promises to be very exciting. Happy New Year everyone. Johnny Tucker, editor
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