Against a backdrop of growing cities and a changing approach to how we live, there are many reasons to refurbish a home. Our buildings must continue to evolve along with us—and that takes a little imagination. Societal shifts continue to impact our homes. People live longer, and often alone. Homes will need to be updated to accommodate a changing climate. Resourcefulness will also play a role in how we carve out living spaces in our cramped cities. Today’s population living in cities is 3.9 billion, and it’s anticipated to grow to 6.34 billion over the next 25 years. The vast majority of the planet’s population now lives in an urban environment, which is a first in human history. These numbers are only going to grow, and increasingly this means not bulldozing and building on top of the rubble, but working with what we have.
The Home Upgrade looks beyond big budget projects and explores homes where the seemingly impossible has been achieved. For architects striking out on their own, such projects offer the opportunity to flex their muscles and lead a project for the first time. A home in Brooklyn, featured in the book, was refurbished after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Eastern Seaboard in 2012. The living space was raised above the high-water line, an answer to the grim fact that once-in-a-generation occurrences are a new reality.
Historic conversions celebrate the unexpected relationship between old and new, and adaptive reuse projects reinvent the buildings around us. Exploring the most extraordinary transformations of recent years by leading studios, The Home Upgrade is an exhilarating look at the boundless possibilities of reimagining a home.
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