Juxtaposed: Architecture Old and New

Posted on July 23, 2012 by casepops | 0 Comments

Following our “Everything’s a Remix” blogpost, we wanted to share our top picks for the architecture version of remixing. Often, what makes a work of architecture striking is not how crazy the building itself is (like, Frank Gehry crazy) but rather the juxtaposition of an old structure with modern architectural designs and materials. Here are our favorites:

The Louvre

At this point a classic, but cannot be overlooked. I.M. Pei’s glass pyramids somehow “play nice” with the French renaissance and baroque architecture mix of the original museum.

The Louvre. Paris, France. Glass pyramids completed 1989.

The Reichstag

The Reichstag (parliament building) in Berlin was crowned with its current dome, designed by Norman Foster, in 1999. Visitors can actually climb their way up to the top by way of winding ramps.

Reichstag. Berlin, Germany. Dome completed 1999.

Scheepvaart Museum

A 17th century maritime warehouse receives a glass roof and a new life. The original masonry and timber structure was restored, and a glass enclosure - designed by Ney+Partners - was installed over the courtyard. The roof can be dismantled at any time without harming the original building. Now that’s living together in harmony.  Via DesignBoom.

 Scheepvaart Museum. Amsterdam, Holland. 2011

Chiat House

This Vermont barn frame was salvaged and rebuilt into a spacious, open-plan ocean house by Hut Sachs architects.  Living in a barn doesn’t seem so bad, actually.

Chiat House. Sagaponack, NY. 1997

Dancing House

Frank Gehry, whose signature is designing buildings in wildly unusual shapes, designed this “dancing house” with architect Vlado Milunic. To the right, the architecture somewhat blends in to the surroundings, with its relatively regular window placement. To the left, surprise!  A twisting column of metal and glass that seems to be trying to wiggle away from the old building adjacent.

Dancing House. Prague, Czech Republic. 1996.

Dovecote Studio

Haworth Tompkins added a prefab steel structure to an existing crumbling brick building to create an outbuilding at Aldeburgh Music School. The result: it looks like the new is literally growing out of the old, like a snake shedding its skin. Talk about rebirth! via Busyboo.

Dovecote Studio. Suffolk, UK. 2009.

1978 Airstream

An Airstream trailer home gets a modern interior by Matthew Hoffman.  Not what you’d expect looking from the outside.   Via Cubeme.

1978 Airstream. California. 2010.

Know of any great examples of old+new architecture combinations?  We'd love to hear from you!

Written by Christiana Lackner, graduate student in Interaction Design at Carnegie Mellon University, lover of beautifully and smartly designed things, member of the Casepops team.

Posted in architecture, Design, juxtaposed, new, old


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