City as Loft – Adaptive Reuse as a Resource for Sustainable Urban Development

The need for urban qualities in cities has since increased throughout the world. Planners, developers and administrative bodies are thus all facing the question of how this need can be met. For us, it is an issue that has prompted questioning, analysis and reflection: which loca-tions in the city have urban qualities and are able to allow new, unexpected networks to arise? What sort of conditions are needed to achieve this? Who are the people involved? And what effects do these locations have on their immediate surroundings and on the city they are situated in?

Over the last thirty years, the desire for urbanity, identity and identification has above all been projected onto maintaining and converting derelict structures dating from the industrial era. As a contrast to the characterless buildings and cityscapes that are the same all over the world, these locations stand for a type of architecture that has specific features and relates to history and context, while at the same time offering space for current and future needs. These are powerful, unique locations in architecture and urban-planning terms, and they can become spaces full of potential.

These characteristics can be described as dynamic-stable. The simultaneous quality of stability and openness is what makes the locations so extraordinary and invites engagement with them. We use the word ‘loft’ as a term that sums up these urban qualities. In this sense, it is used to describe adaptable, flexible, and at the same time powerful spaces with identity in which people can live and work. The qualities of the loft are in that sense not limited to a single building –they can be transferred to the urban context as a whole.


City as Loft
Adaptive Reuse as a Resource for Sustainable Urban Development
Martina Baum, Kees Christiaanse (Hrsg.)
gta Verlag


Studio Urbane Strategien GmbH

Leipziger Platz 2
70197 Stuttgart


Prof. Dr. Martina Baum
Vertr.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Markus Vogl

Freie Architekten & Stadtplaner BDA



Tel. 0711 31 55 03 93



Universität Stuttgart, SuE: Lehrstuhl für Stadtplanung und Entwerfen