Sunday, December 23, 2012

An industrial past, reclaimed

Windows 1.0
Minneapolis, MN
February 2011

Thematic. Industrial Disease. Here.

Not all offices are created equally. Some are custom-built from scratch to offer up all the latest technologies and amenities that their forward-facing owners can come up with. Others are hastily converted retail spaces that offer up about as much inspiration as a Soviet-era missile silo. And then there are the converted old factories that wear their years on their sleeves, challenging all who work there to ponder the history around them.

I think many of us have had plenty of exposure to all of them, and it often seems to be the historic refurbs that get the most attention. This particular office, in a converted factory in Minneapolis, houses an advertising agency. And on a visit there last year, I couldn't stop staring at the lovingly preserved details - like this exposed brick window frame - that turned a onetime sweatshop into a place that now inspires the creative fires of some of the highest profile marketing campaigns in the country.

I've always admired the foresight of those who, when faced with the usually less expensive option to tear down and build new, instead decide to strip away years of neglect and create something uniquely spectacular from the bones of the past. They literally don't build them like they used to, and holding onto these slices of otherwise-lost architecture seems so right even when every spreadsheet column screams otherwise.

Maybe industrial disease isn't a disease at all.

Your turn: Where do you like to work?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love your themes but I seem to be way behind. When I saw that you posted more windows, I thought I would throw mine in.