Four Outstanding Examples of Preserved Heritage Buildings

April 3rd, 2014

We’ve mentioned in the past that 1 Yorkville will be different from the rest of the developments in Toronto because of three factors: preservation, porosity and changing perspectives. The neighbourhood of Bloor-Yorkville is rooted deep in history, and we want to pay homage to that. 1 Yorkville will be built above the fully restored Yorkville Village buildings (from the 1860s) and the preservation work will be spearheaded by ERA architects, Toronto’s premier heritage specialists.

We took a look at other buildings from around the world that have been beautifully preserved.

1) Casa Cor Rio 2012, a former hotel and nurses’ university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This beautiful mansion, built in 1922, is home to this year’s 22nd Edition of the Casa Cor Rio de Janeiro. The Casa Cor is the biggest and most important event of national design and architecture in Brazil and this is quite an honour! The building was once a Boarding School of Nursing (1926-1973) and then was a College Student House (1973-1995).

Casa-Cor interior designImage via onekindesign

The architecture of the mansion has been preserved so that it’s easy to see the “marks of time” while still maintaining a modern loft-like style as designed by Luis Fernando Grabowsky. Any imperfections on the floors, walls and framing was left as is – after all, it definitely adds character! To see more pictures of the interior, check out this article.

2) House of Ruins, a beautiful home in an old stone barn in Saka, Latvia

A home within a home! Rather than tear down an old barn, this family decided to keep the exterior wall of the barn as protection from the wind blowing in off the Baltic Sea and for privacy. From a distance, it looks like just an old ruined barn but once you’re closer,  you’ll see that it’s actually a house within a house. It’s the perfect combination of old meets new.

608970568_drupas-inside3Image via ArchDaily

684782482_drupas-1Image via ArchDaily

The home was constructed by Latvian architects NRJA and is called the “House of Ruins”. NRJA has won awards for their implementation of constructive and electronic technologies that has made the home extremely efficient using solar passive thermal walls, natural lighting (and lots of it), as well as more efficient appliances.

3) The revamp of the Palazzo Campari in Milan, Italy

We love European architecture because there’s always a bit of history even in the most modern buildings. The Palazzo Campari, an office building, was originally designed in the 1960s by Ermenegildo and Eugenio Soncini as a result of the economic boom, and it represented a new aspect of Italy’s industrial identity. At that time it was considered a modern and advanced building but since then times have certainly changed.

Image via Dezeen

The new owner decided to bring in architects to redesign the complex – and redesign they did all while respecting the original layout and even the beautiful courtyard that was reworked into the new design.

4) The Boyle Hotel, a mixed community housing in Los Angeles, California

In 1889, the Boyle Hotel was considered a “rare example of Victorian-Italianate commercial architecture” from that period. The beautiful hotel was then turned into apartments and became a hub for nearby musicians. But like many other old buildings, the building was plagued by maintenance issues and was set to be demolished in 2006.

preservations-best-boyle-hotel-la-caImage via Preservation Action

It was saved by the East LA Community Corporation before it could be demolished to create affordable housing for low-income communities. They preserved the beautiful exterior, gave the interior a much-needed update and restored the signature red brick and gold cupola. And the best part? It’s once again open for local musicians to rehearse!