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Adaptive reuse in Sidmouth

  • by JW

… from shops and banks to housing and leisure.


“Adaptive reuse is the process of repurposing buildings for viable new uses and modern functions, other than those originally intended to address present-day needs. Reuse allows for a building’s continued use and helps it remain a viable community asset.”

Planning Toolbox: Adaptive Reuse

It’s a hot topic amongst urban designers:

Arch Daily Topic 2021 Adaptive Reuse | Tag | ArchDaily

The trend has grown hugely with the pandemic, as people work from home and offices are no longer needed:

Companies Cutting Office Space Predict Long-Term Savings – WSJ

This allows former offices to be ‘adapted’ – as with this prize-winning scheme in Paris:

Prix International 2021 de la transformation de bureaux en logements | Prix International 2021 de la transformation de bureaux en logements

And the market is growing:

Twelve firms specializing in adaptive reuse and historic preservation are currently hiring on Archinect Jobs | News | Archinect

The Arch Daily gives an excellent overview of how things stand internationally:

The Transformation of Offices into Residential Projects: Tackling Vacancies and Housing Shortage | ArchDaily

It’s clearly an opportunity for revitalising town centres, aka the 15-minute neighbourhood:

“The concept is part of the sustainable urban design thinking and implies having all necessary amenities within a short walk, bike-ride or public transit trip. The strategy decentralizes the local economy, with each neighbourhood featuring all the aspects of urban living, from workspaces, businesses, to recreation, green areas, and housing.”

15-minute neighbourhoods for Sidmouth – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And like it or not, there will be more ‘adaptive reuse’ of high street buildings:

Who will be filling the empty shops along Sidmouth’s High Street? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Turning high street banks into housing – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Although ‘repurposing’ need not be simply housing:

Reimagining the high street: creating green spaces – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Reinventing the high street – repurposing empty retail stores – Vision Group for Sidmouth

A virtual high street for Sidmouth? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Reviving the high street: getting the mix right – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Save our High Street: creating places where you can “work, rest and play” – Vision Group for Sidmouth