Best renovations of 2022

A selection of this year’s “new lives”, including the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice, the AT&T in New York and a multitude of contemporary projects springing from existing heritage.

AAU Anastas, Dar Al Majous, Betlemme, Palestina. Foto Mikaela Burstow

In years like this, when uncontrolled expansion is being contrasted with reuse, and the museum-like hibernation of historic buildings with protection and the envisioning of a new active life of theirs for the future, renovations express this vision of the world with equal force across all scales of design, from milestones in the history of architecture that are being renewed, to houses that are being extended or generated by reinterpreting pre-existing spaces. We selected fifteen of these stories, from New York to Palestine, from Denmark to Greece.

After 500 years Procuratie Vecchie reopen in Venice, renovated by Chipperfield

After half a millennium, the Procuratie Vecchie reopen in Piazza San Marco, with an architectural project by David Chipperfield. “The history of this building is intertwined with the history of Venice and Italy,” says the president of Assicurazioni Generali Gabriele Galateri. Today the building is the new home of The Human Safety Net, the humanitarian foundation of Generali. Half of the first floor includes the offices, the other half and the second-floor houses institutions and associations, while the third floor is open to the public. Read the full article here

Snøhetta renovates Philip Johnson's AT&T building

Architectural firm Snøhetta has recently renovated the well-known postmodern skyscraper 550 Madison in New York, formerly known as the AT&T building and designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee – nicknamed “Chippendale” when it opened in 1984 because of the gable reminding one of the furniture by the British manufacturer. Read the full article here

Gallerie d’Italia opens a new venue, designed by Michele De Lucchi

On 17 May Gallerie d’Italia will “land” in Turin, where a new, futuristic site will join those in Milan, Vicenza and Naples (which, with the inauguration on 21 May, will now move to Palazzo Piacentini). Domus guest editor 2018 Michele De Lucchi and his AMDL CIRCLE curated the project: ten thousand square metres, most of it literally invented on the five floors that will host the exhibition routes.  Read the full article here

Historical building in Bethlehem revitalized through new stairs and vaulting

Unveiling and actualizing a historical identity through an ultra-contemporary architectural gesture is, for the Anastas brothers, an approach to be undertaken with awareness but without prejudice. Such is the case with their latest renovation, Dar Al Majous, an eighteenth-century building integrated into the urban fabric of Bethlehem’s historic center, not far from the Church of the Nativity. Read the full article here

On the Greek coast, a ruin is transformed into a contemporary house

The main goal was to transform a historic building into an elegant house capable of combining the Peloponnesian landscape with the essentiality of domestic spaces. This was the task that Etsi Architects set as they were commissioned an intervention on the historic customs in the port of Kardamyli. Read the full article here

New life for ruined convent in Corsica, in the footsteps of Ruskin

John Ruskin said that “we must give a historical dimension to architecture today, preserving that of past eras as the most precious of inheritances”: this is the logic behind Corsican architect Amelia Tavella’s approach to the rehabilitation and extension of the Saint-François convent, built in 1480 and long since in ruins, of which the project has scrupulously preserved the vestiges. Read the full article here

BIG turns former refugee camp into a museum of forgotten stories