These Are the World’s Best Architectural Renovation, Repositioning and Restoration Projects

These firms are proving that architecture doesn’t need to be 100% new to be unique and extraordinary.  

Samantha Frew Samantha Frew

The jury and the public have had their say — feast your eyes on the winners of Architizer's 12th Annual A+Awards. Subscribe to our Awards Newsletter to receive future program updates.

For many architects, renovation, repositioning and restoration projects are some of the most significant career challenges. Repurposing a structure, particularly one that has fallen into disrepair, can lead to myriad difficulties. Many of us who have undertaken such projects know all too well the ever-lengthening list of problems that become exposed when work commences on any adaptive reuse undertaking. However, what is life without its challenges? 

Despite its recent positioning in the headlines, adaptive reuse and restoration are not only about striving for a more sustainable architectural practice. Adaptive reuse plays a huge role in preserving the history of our communities and the hard work and dedication of our peers. Such projects are complicated and push the skills of architects and designers to the limits forcing us to explore new and old technologies and strategies — thrusting us out of our comfort zones. The results of such devotion to a project, of course, are buildings and environments that are truly unique and wonderful. 

Architizer’s mission is to celebrate the incredible work of architects worldwide. Throughout our annual A+Awards, renovation, restoration, repositioning, and adaptive reuse projects are shown the esteem they deserve by being evaluated side by side with their new build counterparts, and it is these A+Awards winners from our 2022 competition that were judged to be winners by a renowned jury of their peers. Proving that within our community, your project doesn’t need to be 100% new to be extraordinary.  

Shajing Village Hall

By ARCity Office, China

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Institutional-Government & Civic Buildings

Photographs provided by ARCity Office

Abandoned over a decade ago and set for demolition in 2019, the Gangtou Diesel Power Plant, originally built in 1980, had little to no hope of revival. However, when the architects discovered the plant, the impressive building was given a new lease of life. The derelict building has been transformed into a much-needed modern ancestral hall that has become a place to immortalize and celebrate the time-honored history and culture of the community. 


By Bando x Seidel Meersseman, Brooklyn, NY, United States

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Commercial-Showrooms

In a former armaments factory on the Brooklyn waterfront, Montreal-based stone supplier Ciot has a new home designed by Bando x Seidel Meersseman. The beautiful slab gallery is unrecognizable from its past life, with a bright and meticulous showroom and gallery gaining an air of drama and sophistication under its mono-chromatic refurbishment.

Biodome Science Museum

By KANVA, Montreal, Canada

Jury Winner & Popular Choice Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Museum

Photographs by Marc Cramer

Housed in the former Velodrome constructed for the Montréal 1976 Olympic Games, the Biodome first opened in 1992 and is one of Canada’s most visited museum spaces. KANVA was appointed to take on the momentous task of reviving the structure to bring the building into alignment with other museums and bio facilities being constructed today. By adding additional floors, extracting new voids and rethinking the visitor journey, the Biodome, Planetarium, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden will continue to thrive and educate in an advanced intelligent environment.

CME Center

By Krueck Sexton Partners, Chicago, IL, United States

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Commercial-Commercial Interiors (>25,000 sq ft)

Photographs by Kendall McCaugherty

Located in Chicago’s business district, The CME Center lobby is a renovation project that reimagined an existing commercial lobby that had been in continuous use for the last forty years. The aim was to transform the obsolete lobby in response to the local need for livable urban spaces with authenticity and comfort. The drastic repositioning seeks to attract the next generation of users in a modern, bright, technologically advanced environment designed for work, collaboration and interaction.

Rue de la Gauchetière Loft

By Future Simple Studio, Montreal, Canada

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Apartment

Photographs by Felix Michaud

Using the box within a box scenario, The Rue de la Gauchetière project restores a loft apartment that sits within a 100-year-old heritage building. The design, while inherently industrial, seeks to integrate nature and family living into a space that is decisively urban. At once object and architecture, the glazed wooden bedroom volumes are crafted as a bespoke kit of parts, including everything from ceiling panels and mullions, to flooring and furniture. A tactile material pallet of walnut plywood, brick, warm greys, rough concrete, glass and mirror emphasizes the airiness of the space while greenery adds a contrasting natural dimension.

South 2nd

By Murray Legge Architecture, Austin, TX, United States

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Residential Additions

South 2nd is a surprising addition to an existing single-story American ranch house. The new 900-square-foot building is connected to the current house through an adjacent link and contains home offices on the ground floor and a further bedroom and bathroom suite above.

The home rises above the urban sprawl of the 1960’s American suburb. By building vertically, the structure’s tiny footprint retains the valued outdoor space. The roof is topped with a linear clerestory structure that runs the house’s length, bringing diffused natural light into the upper floors.

Nil Dos House

By Valentí Albareda Studio, Spain

Jury Winner, 9th and 10th Annual A+Awards, Residential Interiors (<3000 sq ft)

Photographs by José Hevia

Beginning its life as a warehouse for a small construction company Nil Dos House was a dark and dingy place. However, the saving grace of the unique home was the under-utilized covered courtyard that, once uncovered, filled the residence with air and light. Embracing the building’s natural materials, the designers retained the unique character of the space with points of interest in every room. Juxtaposed against the traditional warehouse aesthetic is a beautifully crafted interior exquisitely detailed in timber and glass. The seemingly floating platform dissects the space elegantly without blocking any coveted light, which flows unimpeded into the room’s rear to provide a bright and calm primary bedroom.

The Moving Kitchen

By J.C. Architecture, Taiwan

Popular Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Transport Interiors

Photographs by Kuo-Min Lee

Bringing life to a seventy-year-old semi-retired train J.C. Architecture has created an exceptional restaurant experience. Salvaging carriages from retirement, three train cars hold a fifty-four-person moving restaurant. Fitted with a full-size kitchen, bar, lounge and dining room, guests to the moving venue can dine in luxury while experiencing the breathtaking mountainous or oceanic sea views determined by which side of the carriage you choose. The Moving Kitchen is a spectacular and successful example of adaptive reuse. 

The jury and the public have had their say — feast your eyes on the winners of Architizer's 12th Annual A+Awards. Subscribe to our Awards Newsletter to receive future program updates.

Samantha Frew Author: Samantha Frew
Sam Frew is an interior designer with ten years of experience in the high-end hospitality industry. She is one-half of Campbell | Frew Design Studio. Over the years Sam has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest hotel brands including Accor, Millennium, Ensana and Radisson.
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