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The Plan[t] to Feed the City

Author: Matteo Robiglio
Excerpt from the book RE-USA: 20 American Stories of Adaptive Reuse
Project: The Plant (renewal of the Peer Foods factory)
Place: Chicago, USA
Photography: Matteo Robiglio

The conveyor rails once used to move slaughtered hogs are still hanging from the ceiling in the former Peer Foods factory – one of the last meatpacking plants to close in Chicago. It shut its doors in 2007. It was by observing something similar that Henry Ford, as he states in his 1922 autobiography My Life and Work, understood the potential of employing moving conveyor system and fixed work stations in manufacturing. If you could disassemble a hog this way, you could reverse the process and assemble a car.

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Zollhallen Plaza: a Climate Adaption Tool

Architects: Ramboll Studio Dreisetl
Location: Freiburg, Germany
Date: 2011
Size: 5600 m²
Photography: Brian Doherty | Stefan Pranjic | Ramboll

The Zollhallen Plaza in Freiburg, Germany is a new, dynamic urban counterpart for the conservation-listed customs hall which was restored in 2009. The plaza has been transformed from a freight train terminal, and then a wasteland, into an integrated multifunctional social resource for the local neighbourhood.

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MFO Park: The North Zurich Parkscape

Architects: Raderschallpartner
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Date: 2002
Photography: Michael Freisager

The park site was in use for roughly a century by the Oerlikon Machine Works (MFO). In the course of industrialisation the entire grounds were at one time filled in with construction debris, sand from the foundry and ash, and the plot had thus suffered from pollution. Together with nearby Oerliker Park, an enormous wooded area is now arising, created by the contiguous tops and trunks of countless ash trees. MFO Park responds to this in its own way with the “Park House”, a large open hall and a trellis overgrown with hundreds of blooming, aromatic climbers.

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Museum of Steel: Turning Brownfield into Greenfield

Architects: Surfacedesign Inc.
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Date: 2007
Photography: Paúl Rivera

A team of international designers collaborated to transform a decommissioned blast furnace and a brownfield site into a modern history museum dedicated to the region’s rich history of steel production. Borrowing from materials endemic to the site, innovative landscape design weaves together with modern architecture to usher an old relic into the 21st century. Environmentally sensitive technologies – such as green roofs and a storm water collection system – offer a new approach to the landscape while respecting the original context.

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