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May 24, 2024

The future of adaptive reuse & sustainable architecture

This sets the stage for the future of adaptive reuse in Singapore, an uncertain but promising one that these winning architects are tapping into. As Chio delineated, three types of buildings are the most likely candidates for adaptive reuse in our city, going forward: historic buildings with heritage status, private buildings whose owners strive for preservation, and run-down institutional structures, such as schools, ripe for adaptive reuse.

Rene advocated for a very practical approach to the future of building: “One needs to be discerning because we should not be just trigger-happy and try to retain everything we see. We need to ask ourselves whether certain things are worth saving or not.”

Hassell, on the other hand, invited the audience to dream: “I think what would be interesting is to let the city talk back to us and tell us what it might want to be.”

Towards the end of the conversation, the four panellists were invited to share their favourite adaptive reuse projects around the world, comprising Rene’s choice of 21 Carpenter by fellow panellist Hassell, Chio’s pick of the landmark Fullerton Hotel, Hassell’s favourite restoration works and interventions by Carlo Scarpa, and Szue Hann’s appreciation of the new Abattoir in Shanghai, a traditional slaughterhouse turned into a brutalist lifestyle space housing art galleries and cafés.

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