The 'warehouse' is a commercial building for the storage of goods. Its layout is mostly related to the Industrial Revolution period, when warehouses were very relevant in the urban landscape. These buildings were usually rectangular, built in red bricks, with a double pitched roof and located near railways or rivers, in order to receive goods.
Over the years warehouse typology has changed: several renovation interventions have turned old buildings into apartments, restaurants, shops, lofts and headquarters. But their layout is still recognizable.
The warehouse typology offers several opportunities to modern architecture, both in conversions and new projects, thanks to adaptabily and versatility. The free design of plan, the wide interiors and the large windows are reinterpreted and readapted for home life, work spaces and free time.
I've put together a selection of ten of these architectures. Are warehouses still relevant in the urban landscape?
The Botín Foundation has established its new offices in Madrid by choosing a 1920s industrial building by the architect Gonzalo Aguado. In the conversion by MVN Arquitectos, the original facades are subject to conservation control so the materials and finishes are therefore protected and cannot be altered.
In Belgium the architect Julie D'Aubioul has created a living solution and work space for a young couple in an abandoned factory, renamed into Factory Life. While in Anversa the existing warehouse Kendall - Antwerp was transformed for SD Worx into a contemporary office building.
An old industrial warehouse of 1100 m2, at one of the most beautiful spots along the Amsterdam waterfronts, was transformed by CUBE architecten and SOLUZ Architecten to an attractive café and the biggest fish restaurant of Europe: the Cafe restaurant Stork.
In London FORM design architecture has refitted this Bermondsey Warehouse Loft in an industrial building that was once used as a tin and zinc factory (Winner, ‘Best Home Interior Design’, Don’t Move, Improve! Awards 2013).
Finally, among the Italian proposals, there are a pavilion by act romegialli, the Padiglione Canottieri Moto Guzzi and the Technopole for industrial research: requalification of Shed #19 in the old “Officine Reggiane” area by andrea oliva. In the first case the architecture was built up warehouse-like, even if it do not have a storage function. In the second one the memory of labour sounds, smells, machines, process waste and people were an essential part of converted building.