As part of CommercialCafé’s Expert Insights series, the KPF Senior Associate Principal spoke about the process of repurposing buildings.
As One Madison Avenue, an adaptive reuse project in New York, nears completion, building transformations are front of mind for Andrew, who manages the project. In the recent interview, he explained KPF’s approach to the typology. “We see adaptive reuse projects as both a worthy challenge and a compelling opportunity to create a sustainable building through innovative design,” Andrew shared, adding that many of the difficult aspects also provide the biggest opportunities to leverage “architectural character and deep historical integration.”
When balancing ideas of preservation with modernization, Andrew focused on using the “historical details of the building and its surroundings to help guide us in our approach to any new interventions.” It is possible to amplify history while meeting the needs of modern tenants, as seen in the transformation of Hudson Commons.
Andrew goes on to discuss the environmental and financial benefits of adapting existing buildings, as embodied carbon is preserved, materials can be reused, and new sustainability features can be implemented. While the complexity can be seen as a barrier, Andrew shared: “tight constraints and existing conditions have the power to yield unique design and development opportunities and bring one-of-a-kind products to market. It might be more challenging to retain an existing structure than to demolish and build new, but the results can be far more rewarding, more cost-effective and much more sustainable.”
CommercialCafé is a national blog focused on the real estate industry. Read the full interview here.