At Schmidt Associates we passionately believe the past matters. We share the conviction that our past is most enduringly represented in its architecture. We believe equally that no building was ever created to be a museum piece – not even a museum!
Built But Not Set In Stone – Form Must Follow Changing Function
The architecture we see around us is the fixed form of a desired function. Yet, over time, function changes inevitably as we advance and our demands from our built surroundings grow ever more sophisticated. So we have three choices. We can simply eradicate the forms of the past, knock them down and start again. Highly undesirable. We can limit our activities and achievements to the possibilities that our existing buildings can accommodate. Impractical. Or we can create new spaces out of existing places, while retaining the forms of the past in a living environment for the future. The best choice always, in our view.
But while that third choice is undoubtedly the optimum, it also presents a whole range of aesthetic, design and technology challenges. Fortunately, these are challenges the Schmidt Associates Workplace Studio team has a professional passion for overcoming. Across Indiana and in environments as diverse as the heritage center, the legal practice and the college, we have retained and refreshed the key elements of the old while equipping them for the decades ahead and the demands of the new. Sometimes, an existing structure can logically and comfortably accommodate a whole new working life. Like when we transformed a courthouse into a business school, for example. Sometimes, the old can offer a physical as well as symbolic gateway to the new, such as when an existing structure becomes the entrance to a major new development beyond.
A New Lease Of (Real) Life
The key characteristic that all our adaptive re-use projects share is respect; respect toward the detail and the care for aesthetics that went into the original structure, and equal respect for the needs of those who will work in it during the next chapter of its useful life. A true “new lease of life” is all about a truly living environment, one where “preservation” does not mean limitation of vision and ambition. To discover more about how we could bring a new lease of life to your workspaces, talk to us.