Exploitation and destruction of the environment call for an inevitable paradigm shift as regards our resource consumption: “innovative” building will have to break away from the dogma of new build. We need to reconsider the existing building stock as a wealth of resources and ideas, just as we should understand recycling and upcycling building stock as architectonic potential.
New approaches in architecture reveal a trend towards concepts of the frequently used but theoretically and historically rarely defined term upcycling. In that context, one often forgets that the history of building has also always been a history of, firstly, recycled and upcycled building materials and components, and secondly, of building knowledge and building styles.
Comprehending buildings as a part of a social change process poses a challenge to our current habits and modern concept of unambiguity, seclusion and authorship of architecture.
2nd edition printed on 100 % recycled paper, cover: Gmund Bio Cycle made from fast growing fibres and green waste.