Dirt. Disrepair. Dilapidation. While this tough trio would frighten most home buyers, they’re no match for those with a bold, creative spirit. The old adage that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is equally true of real estate, where enterprising artisans can turn junkers into masterpieces. These 10 homes were once deemed unlivable, but with a bit of soap and a lot of creativity, they’re now shiny, new– and the best damn houses on the block. We selected 10 special refurbished homes that range from the standard to the spellbound, properties that push the envelope in design despite their dirty beginnings.
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From Factory to Palace: a Rehabbed Concrete Masterpiece
This empty, decaying concrete factory was inching toward demolition until it was rescued by a man who saw its true character. That man happened to be the famed Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, whose work can be seen in cities throughout the world. Bofill’s crew put in hard hours to clean the dirt and grime and decay from the factory, while the construction team built needed amenities into the home to make it livable. Bofill’s design leaves much of the original facility intact, giving a postmodern, industrial feel with the comforts of 21st century furnishings. While most of us may not have the budget, the time or the experience to pull off a job like this, it’s easy to see the brilliance in Bofill’s new palace of concrete. [via decoist]
Ricardo Bofill Concrete Factory House Gallery
From Cookie Cutter to Contemporary: the Screen House
A dull, one-story home in the suburbs of Vancouver is now a contemporary stunner, an unbelievable transformation in architecture. This 1950s home was treated to an upgrade by architect Randy Bens, who added a second story, a new facade and an outstretched screen for character and privacy. It’s hard to believe that this is just a rehab, but this home maintains the foundation and structure of the original house. It took a lot of cleaning and a lot of creativity, but this cookie cutter home is now one-of-a-kind. [via contemporist]
Screen House by Randy Bens Gallery
Modern Day Fortress: the Martello Tower Home
Not everyone can call home a piece of 18th century European history. Designer Duncan Jackson can, having rehabbed this 18th century Martello Tower into a stunning modern home. Across the English countryside and much of the earlier British empire, Martello towers were built to house a group of troops and artillery as defense against Britain’s enemies. After having been decommissioned after the arrival of new weaponry, the Martello towers sit quietly, decaying as time moves on. Duncan Jackson rescued this one, cleaned it up to good health and built a modern interior within. The result is a large, secluded home with a grand view of the English countryside in Suffolk. [via wwdis]
Duncan Jackson’s Martello Tower Home Gallery
From Barn to Beauty: Maxwan’s Rehabbed Barn House
A decaying Dutch barn house has been masterfully restored by Maxwan architecture, turning drab digs into a bright, vibrant home. Maxwan’s client was a couple who wanted a bright, kitchen-focused home with clear views of the surrounding environment, built into this charming brick barn house. At first visit, the home was deemed unlivable, but with hard work and a clear creative vision, the interior is our favorite on this list. The home is bright, airy and open, with the bottom floor housing a large entertainment area for the client and their guests. [via notcot]
Maxwan House G Gallery
A Very Special “Vancouver Special”
Vancouver’s Dubner neighborhood is home to one of the most stunning, faithful rehabs in recent years. The layout and philosophy of the original home remains, but Iconstrux Architecture gave the style a contemporary treatment. The home is a “Vancouver Special”, an inexpensive style of home constructed in the 60s, 70s and 80s in Vancouver. The old, tired home pictured in the gallery below was completely revolutionized in design, but the pattern of “Vancouver Special” remains. [via contemporist]
Vancouver Special Rehab Gallery
Garage to Glorious: The Roly House of Wallonia, Belgium
While many rehabs require drastic changes to old, dilapidated structures, some maintain the aged structure as a style element. The Roly House in Roly, Belgium was left mostly intact, but a new interior and sun room were built into this old stone outbuilding. While the exterior maintains the old world charm, the interior is modern, sleek and sexy. This home is a bed-and-breakfast, available for reservations to travelers in Belgium. We wouldn’t mind a weekend in this little piece of history. [via ilovebelgium]
Roly Rehab by Bruno Erpicum Gallery
Stunning Singapore Terrace, Award Winning Rehab
One of this young century’s most stunning contemporary rehabs is located on 55 Blair Road in Singapore. This home was entirely transformed by the handiwork of Ong & Ong, who devised a stunning, open terrace home with clean white spaces and art deco inspirations. It was awarded the Refurbishment of the Year in 2009 by our friends at ArchDaily, and a simple glance at the gallery below will show why. While the home before was less than livable, the resulting rehab is a house that is hard to leave thanks to its unbelievable design.
55 Blair Road Gallery
The Remains of a Rehab: St. Hubert Residence
Part of the value in rehabbed homes is the character that results from a good cleaning. Once you’ve done the dirty work of junking the ratty old furniture, cleaned the walls of residue and restored the home to its original, naked glory, you find some attractive details like old brick, natural wood beams and hardwood floor characters that can be repeated in a modern environment. The St-Hubert Residence by naturehumaine is a prime example, where a tired old house was turned into a bright, modern living space with the old character of the original structure.
St-Hubert Residence Gallery
Utility to Uniquity: Berlin Water Pumping Station Home
A water pumping plant from 1920’s Berlin is now home to a duo of German artists who use the structure as a living space and as a gallery for their work. The plant was decommissioned in the 1980s, with most of its machinery removed, leaving behind an empty space full of clean, white character. Wenk and Weise architects rehabbed the space and gave the artists a house to call home. While it might be too stark, spacious and cold for most, it’s hard not to admire how wild and different this home is. [via archdaily]
Water Pumping Plant Renovation Gallery
Style in the City: Iconic Brazilian Apartment Reborn
Brazil is no stranger to mid-century contemporary architecture, having been a hot spot for architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier and Abelardo De Souza, the latter of which designed this building. The Paulista Avenue Residence is a gutted and rehabbed loft-style apartment that exposes the structural character of de Souza’s design. While the earlier apartment had fallen into disrepair, this is a magnificent change of fate for such a storied building.
Paulista Avenue Residence Gallery
main image courtesy andreas engel, via flickr