7 abandoned buildings that have received a second life.
These 7 buildings remained abandoned for a long time in a state of disrepair. now, like a Phoenix, they had risen from the ashes. You won’t believe how wonderful the rebirth was!
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina. © Hernán Piñera.
It is a pity when buildings with a rich history are forgotten and abandoned… Fortunately, the end of one era often brings the beginning of a new one.
Thanks to a talented creative approach to restoration and rehabilitation, these 7 abandoned buildings have come back to life with pomp:
- Melkweg-Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Melkweg has existed as a non-profit organization since its foundation.
Today, this huge, prominent building with the aptly named “Milky Way” in the heart of Amsterdam’s nightlife, the Leidsplein district, is extremely popular with locals and tourists. However, its origin is quite unusual. It all started with a group of creative young like-minded people who founded a camp in an empty dairy factory building in the summer of 1970.
This building was once a sugar factory, and then a dairy factory, eventually becoming a multimedia cultural center. Now Melkweg is, first of all, a concert hall and a nightclub. But there is a place for everything else, from dance and theater performances to photo exhibitions and cozy film screenings in the attic.
Visit the cafe Melkweg: the portions here are extremely generous, and most importantly-no fuss, only comfort and coziness.
- Simpla Kert-Budapest, Hungary.
Simpla Kert-Budapest “bar in ruins”. © Dmitri Korobtsov.
Hidden from prying eyes in the former Jewish quarter on the banks of the Pest are the famous “bars in ruins” of the Hungarian capital.
Their rooms are chaotically filled with mismatched furniture collected throughout the city. Some bars host book clubs and hold various seminars. Others have fun at parties with DJ sets. This carefree, casual, but dynamic community of bars has taken over several other demolished buildings in the past 15 years and given them a new lease of life in this abandoned post-World War II neighborhood.
Dilapidated graffiti-covered walls, corners filled with strange art objects and installations, art exhibitions, jam sessions, a huge garden with an open-air cinema and, finally, the crown of everything – Simpla Kert-this place has a cult status among both locals and tourists.
- El Ateneo Grand Splendid – Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A whole galaxy of stars of the Argentine tango performed on the stage of El Ateneo. © pedist.
El Ateneo is often referred to as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It is located in the luxurious Recoleta area of Buenos Aires. For the first time, the then-fashionable El Ateneo Grand Splendid Theater opened its doors in 1919.
About 10 years later, it was transformed into a cinema and became the first place in Argentina to show films with sound.
Fortunately, El Ateneo was saved from demolition and today still retains its nostalgic elegance and most of the original ceiling frescoes, decorative carvings and rounded balconies.
Grab a book and spend a couple of quiet hours in one of the old theater boxes, or look behind the crimson curtain and listen to live piano music in the cafe on the former stage.
- Musee d’Orsay-Paris, France.
The Orsay Museum has the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces. © Greg Urquhart.
Queen’s Gardens. Cavalry barracks. The Royal Palace. A victim of arson during the Civil War. This stretch of Parisian land overlooking the Seine played many roles before becoming the train station that today houses the elegant Musee d’Orsay.
The beautiful 19th-century Beaux-Arts station building was built for the 1900 World’s Fair and always enjoyed a brilliant reputation before modern railway technology consigned it to the archives of history. It was for some time a center for sending mail to prisoners of war and worked as a film set for various films, including Kafka’s “Trial” as interpreted by Orson Welles.
Finally, a museum was opened in the building that was saved from desolation. It happened in 1986. Orsay now houses works by such famous artists as Renoir, Gauguin, Cezanne and Rodin.
- LX Factory – Lisbon, Portugal.
Visit the LX Factory on Sunday to get into the open-air vintage design market. © Ricardo Junqueira.
Located away from the tourist trails, in the port area of Alcantara, this 23,000 square meters of land once served as a textile manufacturing complex.
Now LX Factory is affectionately called the” creative island ” of the Portuguese capital. The huge industrial space accommodates more than 150 creative companies and enterprises of various directions, from fashion, design and cooking to architecture,yoga and sewing.
Cantina, a charming, unassuming restaurant serving fine Portuguese cuisine, was once the dining room responsible for catering to several generations of factory workers since the 19th century.
- Berghain – Berlin, Germany.
It is a well-known fact that it is extremely difficult to get into the Berghain club in Berlin. © Laura Colomé.
At this arguably Berlin’s most exclusive nightclub, parties thunder from late Friday night to the last persistent tin soldier on Monday morning. The giant Berghain (located on the border between the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, hence the name) was once a power station. Well, it shows.
The dance floor with 18-meter ceilings can accommodate up to 1,500 people, surrounded by steel and concrete. And the Panorama Bar opens directly onto a gay-friendly dance floor.
Berghain is considered the European mecca of the techno subculture, and it has a very controversial reputation. Enter only at your own risk.
- House of the Sea-Vienna, Austria.
The greenhouse, set on the outer walls of the tower, grows lush tropical vegetation, which can be explored by climbing rope bridges and wooden paths. © Josef Lex.
After the air raid on Berlin in 1940, Hitler commissioned the construction of several anti-aircraft towers, shelters for anti-aircraft guns, to protect the cities from the threat from the air. With the end of the war, most of these buildings were abandoned or destroyed, but some were given a new life.
An inspiring example of creative reincarnation is the reinforced concrete structure in the Esterhazy Park in Vienna, which has come a long way from a military past to the incarnation of the Haus des Meeres( House of the Sea), a huge public aquarium.
While you wander past colorful fish, turtles and sharks, exotic birds fly over your head, monkeys frolic carelessly around, and snakes, lizards and crocodiles bask under artificial lamps…. This is to talk about extreme image changes.