ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
HIL H44.1 – Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5 – 8093 Zurich



City as Loft

City as Loft 

Adaptive Reuse as a Resource for Sustainable Urban Development

gta Verlag Zurich 2012, Martina Baum, Kees Christiaanse (Hrsg.)


With contributions by Martina Baum, Tom Bloxham, Kees Christiaanse, James Corner, Angelus Eisinger, Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer, Anne Lacaton / Jean-Philippe Vassal, Yan Meng, Neo Rauch, Ronald Rietveld / Erik Rietveld et al.


Bookdesign and infographics by Joost Grootens


A desire for urbanity, identity and identification has been a major factor during the last thirty years in stimulating the preservation and conversion of derelict structures dating from the industrial era. Buildings like this have their own specific features and a relationship to history and context, while at the same time being open to current and future needs. The buildings attract involvement by local people and stand out with their qualities of stability and openness. The word ‘loft’ is used to describe these urban qualities: adaptable, flexible and at the same time powerful and authentic spaces in which people can live and work.


The thirty portraits of reused industrial areas presented here show a wide variety of locations all round the globe in which reinterpretations of the legacy of the industrial age are releasing tremendous energy and creativity. The book examines the backgrounds, people and concepts involved and illustrates various strategies for reuse. In essays and interviews, specialists from both the theoretical and practical fields explain their findings and experiences.


Dutch book designer Joost Grootens, well known for his self-explanatory ‘infographics’, has given the thirty projects a visual form that allows fascinating comparisons.


English, 17 x 24 cm, Hardcover, 360 pages, Numerous ill., maps, diagrams, ISBN 978-3-85676-302-2, 68.00 CHF / 58.00 Euro


For more information please contact project leader

Dr. Martina Baum, baum @, phone 0049 176 84 00 68 05


gta publisher   watch video


Book Launch Rotterdam / NL, 26 November 2012 at the ‘Dag van der Leeuw’

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Book Launch Zurich / CH, 29 November 2012 at the Corner College

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