40 Of The Coolest Building Conversions (New Pics)

Buildings, like many other things, wear down over time, so it's no surprise that cities and countrysides are home to abandoned lighthouses and misused warehouses. But a rising architectural approach called adaptive reuse offers a way to give a second life to these structures.

It can offer a lot of useful solutions for the surrounding area, like low-income or student housing, community centers, or mixed-use venues. And since the industry is picking up so much steam, we at Bored Panda decided to expand one of our existing series and make a new list of some of the most surprising repurposed properties.

#1 Boekhandel Dominicanen In Maastricht, The Netherlands. A Bookstore In A 13th Century Gothic Church

Image credits: ExtremeOccident

#2 Former Olive Mill Turned Into Home In Italy

Image credits: tobago_88

According to experts, adaptive reuse is important for a community because it:

  • Maintains cultural heritage. In communities with historic architecture, adaptive reuse is a form of historic preservation. It restores culturally significant sites that would otherwise be left to decay or demolished to make room for new buildings or parking lots.
  • Slows urban sprawl. When builders search for new construction sites, they must often choose land further outside of a city center since the land within a city is usually claimed by old buildings or more expensive real estate. This fuels the process of “urban sprawl,” a term for the unrestricted expansion of urban areas, contributing to air pollution and other environmental impacts, dangerous traffic patterns, higher infrastructure costs, and social isolation. Adaptive reuse offers a counter to urban sprawl.
  • Creates a new community beacon. Adaptive reuse architecture is functional and often incredibly beautiful. For example, the Tate Modern art gallery in London is housed in a building formerly known as the Bankside Power Station, a decommissioned electricity plant. Taking an adaptive approach allowed builders to create a unique and beautiful art gallery that is now a new cultural beacon in the city.

#3 Waterstones Book Shop – Bradford, West Yorkshire

Image credits: tommyh4790

#4 My Local Library Moved Into An Old Grocery Store

Image credits: bumtheben

#5 Atocha Tropical Garden In Madrid, Spain. The Building Once Was The Old Train Station Before The Transportation Hub Was Expanded To Include Its High-Speed Train Links

The sprawling garden contains 7,000 plants from more than 260 species.

Image credits: Daderot

#6 The Place Where Julius Caesar Was Murdered Is Now A Sanctuary For Cats

Image credits: gunslayerjj

#7 An Old British Telephone Box Which Was Decommissioned From Public Use. This One In Bath Has Been Turned Into A Flower Bed

Image credits: JakeWalkin

#8 The Parking Garage Turned Into 44 Apartments In Wichita, Kansas

Image credits: Broadway Autopark

#9 This Old Church Has Been Converted To Self-Catering Accommodation In Scotland

Image credits: JMASTERS_01

#10 I Converted A School Bus Into My House

Image credits: reddit.com

#11 This Walgreens Is In An Old Bank

Image credits: acol0mbian

#12 The Floor In The Design Building At My College Is The Basketball Court It Used To Be

Image credits: hermigerd

#13 My Airbnb Was An Entire House Built Inside A Barn

Image credits: jbells1245

#14 The Gym I Go To Is Renovating. They Knocked A Few Walls Down And Revealed It Used To Be A Hollywood Video

Image credits: f1sh_

#15 Grand Avenue Mall. The Way It Was Remade Into Apartments Turned It Into A Somewhat Surreal Space

Image credits: Lat3nt

#16 My Apartment, A Converted Church From The 1800s, On A Cold Evening In London

Image credits: reddit.com

#17 These Old Silos In Oklahoma Were Converted To A Rock Climbing Gym

Image credits: Mild-Jalapeno

#18 My Hotel Used To Be A Prison

Image credits: Savings-Spirit-3702

#19 This Massive Library In Barcelona Is Built In What Was Formerly A Water Deposit Built In 1874

The pillars and vaults, inspired by the Romans, are this large as the water was held in a pool on the roof

Image credits: Suissetralia

#20 This Is The New Life Of A Rescued And Repurposed Gothic-Arch Barn Near Manassas, VA

Image credits: Dont_Tell_Me_Now

#21 I Converted A Van Into A Home And Now Work Remotely And Travel Full-Time

Image credits: danziehartlieb

#22 A Beautiful Old Church Was Converted Into An Awesome Climbing Center, Retaining Original Features Like Stain Glass Windows And An Altar (Manchester Climbing Center, UK)

Image credits: deespose

#23 My Apartment For The Night In Porto, Portugal Has A Preserved 12th Century Wall And Staircase Encased In The Bedroom

Image credits: Sirnando138

#24 Our Table At The Local Cafe Is Positioned Over A Medieval Well

Image credits: D1T1A

#25 This Old School NYC Subway Entrance Got Turned Into A Subway Entrance

Image credits: huebomb

#26 Stayed In A Boeing 747 Converted To A Hostel At Arlanda Airport, Sweden (Jumbo Stay)

Image credits: EntirelyForgettable

#27 That's Cool, But Are We Just Going To Gloss Over The Presumably Spine-Tingling Story Of Why The Side Entrance To Your Lab Has Been Bricked Over For Decades

Image credits: McfaddenGeoff

#28 Vermont Converted Barn – Cozy Living Room

Image credits: dirtandglass

#29 This Church Has Been Converted Into A Bar

Image credits: Hera2990

#30 A Fantastic Looking Building

Image credits: NouveauDeco

#31 Juerg Judin House, Berlin, Germany. Was Originally A Gas Station Built In The 1950s

Image credits: dwell.com

#32 A Supermarket In An Old Theater In Venice, Italy

Image credits: NubiSparse

#33 Synagogue Turned Into A Café In Trnava, Slovakia

Image credits: kiwi2703

#34 Cozy Converted Church I Stayed In

Image credits: Halo0_0

#35 A Trampoline Park Inside A Former Church

Image credits: papa-emeritus

#36 The Carvings Around My Doorframe – 18th Century Converted Manor

Image credits: Myneckmyguac

#37 A Grocery Store Inside A 3rd Century Roman Imperial Palace In Croatia

Image credits: FranjoTahy

#38 One Of Our Local Libraries Moved Into An Old Marsh Supermarket

Image credits: blt08

#39 Every Apartment In This Block Has Been Turned Into A Cafe Or Restaurant

Image credits: youdoublearewhy

#40 My Hotel Used To Be A Prison

Image credits: Savings-Spirit-3702