Finding Beauty in Adaptive Reuse

The summer issue of Metropolis Magazine calls on designers to embrace the beauty in circularity.

1 minute read

October 9, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Wooden walkway in forest in Bonnet Springs Park, Lakeland, Florida.

Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Florida was formerly an industrial site, now a city park. | Bonnet Springs Park / Bonnet Springs Park

The July/August 2023 issue of Metropolis focuses on regenerative design, asking whether designers can embrace circularity as a new form of beauty in architecture and urban design.

Using examples such as Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Florida, a former industrial site that is now a lush park welcoming a million visitors in just its first seven months, Avinash Rajagopal writes in the introduction to the issue that there is “another kind of beauty in the best adaptive reuse projects—the hidden joys of flexible design details, dormant until the next architect or designer tasked with preparing the building for a new use discovers them.”

Adaptive reuse and circularity, Rajagopal writes, reveal “the beauty of entrepreneurship, the ability to see value where others cannot and to turn that into economic and social opportunity.”

For Rajagopal, “There are many practical reasons for pursuing circularity in the built environment. But what excites me the most is that in our effort to save ourselves and other life on the planet, we have embarked on a quest for new forms of beauty.”

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