Until recently, it has been common practice to hide away old structures during adaptive reuse projects.
However, the architects in this list embrace the past by stitching domestic spaces with the remains of former buildings, creating inventive encounters with preserved architectural remains.
This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring clever outbuilding interiors, homes with mid-century modern furniture and residential spaces with playful net floors.
20th-century plaster finishes have been stripped back to expose the 400-year-old apartment’s original stonework, reestablishing its visual prominence against modern white-rendered walls.
The interiors of this 16th-century Spanish clergy house were restored by Atienza Maure Arquitectos to create ambiguity between the existing structure and new interventions.
Concrete vaults, white-painted walls and limited fixtures sit alongside heritage-protected arches to create minimal differentiation between the materials and spaces.
According to the studio, the steel insertions add another layer to the home’s visible “memory” and draw attention to the historic building fabric.
David Connor Design and Kate Darby Architects enclosed the decaying remains of a 300-year-old building under a steel-framed shell in England’s West Midlands area.
The bold new studio maintains every aspect of the heritage-listed structure within the internal living spaces, including the rotting timber, dead ivy and old birds’ nests.
The existing beams and trusses of the distinctive barn roof had lost their structural integrity, leading the studio to layer a new roof atop the timber without disrupting the internal aesthetic.
Moxon Architects expressed eye-catching details of 19th-century ruins within this outbuilding refurbishment in the Scottish Highlands.
Alongside new finishes of uniform clay plaster, pieces of the crumbling masonry were preserved within the guesthouse‘s renovated walls and doorways as subtle connections to the earlier building.
New interventions were intended to be discreet, exposing original structural elements internally, while configuring glazing to look out onto uncovered ruins from the ground floor.
Aiming to distinguish between old and new, the studio lined contemporary wall finishes and wood panelling against remnant stone walls, while using existing columns to dictate the house’s layout.
To encourage layered encounters of the site, views of the landscape were also aligned with existing window apertures from the bedrooms.
This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with net floors, mid-century modern furniture and perforated brick walls.