Old + New: iDesign Sunday

Welcome back to iDesign Sunday!  So what is this Sunday’s “i” all about?  I know that’s what you’re asking yourself about right now!

Ingenuity (via):

skill or cleverness in devising or combining : inventiveness

cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance

This Sunday’s subjects are very ingenious, to say the least!  Many of us know the art of repurposing, such as wearing an older siblings clothes or playing with their toys.  Maybe you’ve re-purposed an old chair or old picture frames like last week’s post?  What about an entire building or site?! Didn’t think so!  Check out these buildings to see just how it’s done!


by architect Rafael Viñoly – Colchester, England

Firstsite, a crescent shaped building covered in golden colored copper-aluminum panels, is a visual arts center.  It’s name is derived from it’s site, also named Firstsite, as it was one of the first Roman sites in the UK.  The southern boundary of the site still has pieces of the original Roman wall in tact.  The history of this site dates back to AD200, which is the approximate date of the center’s only permanent installation, “Berryfield Mosaic,” was created.  This one story crescent shaped building is a modern structure that is adapted to and fits well within the historic site.  It’s shape allows for it to wrap around an existing historic D-shaped 18th century garden.

Here, Ingenuity + Integration = an incredible use of the old to facilitate the new!

A birds-eye view of the Firstsite Museum and its surroundings.

Firstsite and its historic neighbor.

Axonometric view of the overall building interior.

Interior view of the center of the building – patrons viewing the Berryfield Mosiac, found in 1923 on the site which the museum is located.

The Berryfield Mosaic, a Roman floor tile that was discovered at Firstsite in 1923, and believed to have been created around AD200.

Museum of Sydney

by architect Richard Johnson – Sydney, Austrailia

The Museum of Sydney is another great example of making use of an existing site to incorporate a new building.  Rather than getting rid of everything that was once important on the site, Johnson uses it as a foundation.  The site of the museum was home to Australia’s first Government House, built in 1788, and it served as the home and office of colony’s Governor.  The “First Government House Place,” which is the forecourt of the museum, preserves the remains of the house’s foundation.  An art installation, Edge of Trees, serves as a reminder to visitors that this was the site where contact was made between the British and the aboriginal Gadigal people.

Aerial view of the Museum of Sydney. Notice the lines in the forecourt defining the spaces that were once part of the first Government House.

The MoS is built with a mix of traditional honey colored sandstone in addition to modern building materials.

A night view of the forecourt and first few storeys of the MoS.

Compañía Sud American de Vapores S.A. (CVAS)

South American Steam Boat Company

Plaza Sotomayor – Valparaíso, Chile

Situated in a very important port to the town of Valparaíso, Chile – Plaza Sotomayor serves as a perfect example as to why the town is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Plaza is home to gorgeous and important historic buildings, but the one that catches the visitors’ eye the most is the CVAS.  They wonder “What is it?”  It looks like a modern building is sitting right on top of an old building!  But in reality, the CVAS was built inside
of an old structure.  This creation is absolutely modern with its blue tinted glass facade, but the historic structure grounds it and ties it back into the rich history of the city.

Compañía Sud American de Vapores – Plaza Sotomayor, Valaparaíso, Chile

Aerial view of Plaza Sotomayor

Vintage photo of Plaza Sotomayor and some barrios (neighborhoods) – mid 1880s. Can you tell which building may have been the location of the new CVAS?

A 1901 (Not 2001) postcard with a picture of Plaza Sotomayor.

Also, check of flickr.com user Bluebelier photos of Plaza Sotomayor, they are incredible.

So there it is, and it can be done!  “It” being preserving historic buildings and site while designing modern architecture and interiors.  This is my professional dream!  Maybe one day a student will blog about my work, as I am doing now.  I hope you enjoyed today’s iDesign Sunday!  Ingenuity at it’s best.

Until next time, Ci Vediamo – See you later!


One thought on “Old + New: iDesign Sunday

  1. Pingback: Who says that Old Things Can’t be Nice? | oldworldnewgirl

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