Canadian keynote speaker, business advisor, editor of TheCoolHunter.net
Working globally with a focus on customer experience, design, trends, branding, innovation, tourism and retail
Tuija Seipell (@tuijaseipell)
classic cool hunter
Articles written by Tuija Seipell and posted initially at TheCoolHunter.net
Since 2005, Tuija Seipell has been the editor of TheCoolHunter.net, one of the world’s oldest and most-read culture and design blogs. Her insights and observations connect with millions of readers each month, and some of her Classic articles have earned more than 8 million views. The massive TCH newsletter subscriber list reads like the Who’s Who of the global media, fashion, communications, design, architecture and lifestyle sectors.
Blending the Old with the New
Refurbishment of west tower in Huesca City, Spain
We love order and minimalism in buildings. New, freshly planned, pristine and perfect are great attributes for new structures, yet we also find ourselves drawn to things that aren’t so flawless. Recycled, re-purposed, previously loved, salvaged. Buildings that have a previous life carry a character that brand-new ones just cannot match.
Shoreham Street, Sheffield, UK
When old structures are preserved and lovingly restored, we gain in so many ways. Not only do we preserve materials that would otherwise end up in the waste stream, we also respect the heritage of each building, and add to the character of the surrounding area. Sadly, restoring the old is often more costly than building anew, yet we believe that more and more people and companies will continue to do it.
Brighton College, UK
We see combinations of materials that would probably not end up side by side if the opportunity to do something radical didn’t present itself in the often impossibly complex demands of creating livable space from the old and unlivable.
Health Centre for Elderly People
We see solutions to gain more space – add height, increase the number of rooms, expand the footprint – that would never be used in a new structure. Creative ideas that do not really follow any known rules of style, yet produce a unique, cool style of its own.
Casa He, Italy
Combining existing structures with a linking new segment is also gaining popularity. The resulting combos are often unexpected, fun and practical as well.
Convent of Sant Francesc in Santpedor, Spain
Often, there is a need to add light – larger windows and more openness in general – to older structures that have tiny openings due to the cost of (or unavailability) of window glass, or the cost and labour-intensity of heating.
In some cases, a new superstructure combines a disparate group of existing buildings and makes the entire cluster seem coherent and cosy.
Mimicking or echoing, yet distinctly differing from existing materials, colours, shapes and styles forms is also an elegant way to create a harmonious and elegant new style.
And, then of course, there are the rather mad, but delightfully so, mix-and-match ideas that make a point of not trying to fit in.
Whatever the result, we will be keeping an eye on these New Again structures because we know it is a trend that will keep growing. If you have seen cool examples of this, please let us know.
Written by Tuija Seipell