By now it must be clear to everyone: the building assignment has turned into a conversion assignment. Seven million square meters of office space are vacant, municipalities suffer interest losses on building land, real estate portfolios are being depreciated to a quarter of their value. The supply of buildings we need is already there. More than ever, the real estate and design world must deal with the adaptive re-use assignment in respect of buildings, building complexes and areas.
SteenhuisMeurs is a much sought-after advisor on adaptive re-use and area development in existing cities. In 2011 we wrote a book about it, Herbestemming in Nederland(Adaptive re-use in the Netherlands,click herefor an introduction in Dutch), which contains 25 examples, from affluent times as well as the new era. Through his chair of Restoration and Transformation at TU Delft, Paul Meurs is involved with the issue. Marinke Steenhuis is a member of the national Adaptive Re-use Team, which acts as initiator and puts items on the agenda. An adaptive re-use trajectory requires skills which are different from those required by new construction. Because we are familiar with the interests of real estate parties and at the same time speak the language of monument care and the architect, we are suitable mediators, who can ensure an efficient and committed way of passing through processes. Ours is the right address to contact to develop and propagate an area identity (place making) and to formulate transformation guidelines for buildings and areas ( ‘what is allowed on which location’). With our network in the worlds of real estate, design and heritage, we also on occasion provide support in respect of special adaptive re-use projects, where we assume the role of matchmaker in searching suitable entrepreneurs, users and programme. Carrying out assessment studies is a part of this process.