Behind Yellowred there is a strong shared belief that talking about architecture today is intrinsically talking about the careful process of reactivating existing buildings that have lost in the meantime their use or sense of existence; no matter if they are heritage monuments, industrial compounds or simply suburban forgotten housing blocks, the goal of the publication is to illustrate the enormous potential that a no longer in use, abandoned or neglected building holds.
Yellowred is a publication that concerns architecture projects, built on preexisting architecture, converting, reusing, extending, downsizing or refurbishing it. Its main goal is to illustrate how buildings, in their inevitable transformation process, can be re-used. Every issue collects a number of projects that show a capacity to rediscover in the existing building hidden potentialities, transforming them in opportunities for the reused building. The publication talks about the strategies, themes, ideas and advantages of extending the lifespan of an existing structure, which has become a widely diffused practice due to today’s global commitment for what concerns sustainability.
Yellowred publishes projects, in which old and new merge into a silent, new unity, and projects where the new strongly expresses itself based on the pre-existing building. The black/yellow/red analyses, which essentially consist in redrawing the single examples of re-use, aim at: getting to know and starting to apply the black/yellow/red colour codes as a means of analysis; getting to know the design strategies of transformation and re-use; experiencing how much can be read from plans and pictures, when not just flying through them while skimming books and magazines.
In the last decade, the recognition of the importance of re-use in architecture changed quite radically. The number of project opportunities offered by this topic all around the world grew enormously. So-called star architects picked up the theme, discovering and stating it unequivocally. Architecture publications broached the issue, publishing and theorizing about re-use. Architects found out that they had always been working in the re-use field without even being aware of it. Re-used architecture went from being the poor relative of architecture, to becoming the selling brand of a number of important architecture venues worldwide.
Yellowred investigates those buildings in which Old is no longer a more or less anonymous background to be kept next to the “red flashy new box”. This cliché, repeated over and over again as an automatic gesture, critically re-thought, gave way to a deeper acknowledgment of the potential of a certain ‘as found’ situation in a re-use project. Thus, New became more than just a strange object juxtaposed to a pre-existing building; it started to interact with the old structure, enhancing and enriching it; the focus no longer was on turning New into the leading actor, but rather on finding a good balance between both Old and New. And, eventually, New became discreet, silent, almost invisible, though fundamental for the project quality.
The main core of the publication – Selected Projects – will illustrate a number of projects worldwide, by different architects with different contents, sizes, and strategies. In some issues, the only connection between the selected projects will be the similar condition they all share of making architecture by re-using pre-existing architecture; in other issues, a specific topic or common theme will link the chosen projects.
Either way, each project will demonstrate the need to read them in a “case by case” approach; every single existing building constitutes a specific “starting point” and despite its age or historical value, the richness of the project comes from the ability of architects to avoid dogmatic or preconceived strategies, understanding the qualities and rules of existing constructions, pursuing continuity and/or carefully reinterpreting them.
Although dealing with existing buildings has become more and more frequent for architects it is certainly not only a contemporary issue; for this reason, Yellowred will dedicate the section Notable Archives to analyzing, reading, and interpreting examples from the past.
Finally, a third section entitled Wunderkammer will talk about a number of surprising examples of re-use, but not necessary ones regarding architecture.
Yellowred . selected projects
Yellowred . notable archives
Yellowred . wunderkammer