Abscis Architecten - © Dennis De Smet Photographs


Blending Old and New: 7 Delicate Alterations to Brick Façades

How can additions to historic buildings be respectfully revitalizing?

Just like cities and neighborhoods, buildings go through many life stages. For example, many adaptive reuse designs feature “blind” windows, fenestration passed down from a previous life now blocked up with bricks. These features seem counterintuitive, blocking light and losing the possibility of increased ventilation. It is worthwhile excavating these waves of change and the various circumstances under which such interventions occur.

The following projects include many types of brick façade alteration and adaptation. Grappling with both historical context and contemporary identity, each featured project is concerned with revealing a perfect marriage between restoration and renovation. Dealing with one of the most salient and contested themes in contemporary construction, the architects were faced with an unforgiving challenge — how can additions to historic buildings be respectfully revitalizing? The architects behind these seven projects provided admirable answers to this challenging question.

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