Most major cities are in the midst of expanding out further and further out into the periphery. Although we can find exciting new architecture built from scratch, there are as many equally impressive renovations of architectural gems from the past. With the major renovation of the Tour Montparnasse in Paris announced, isn’t it the perfect time to reflect on such projects? Reinvigorating city centres and building within the constraints left from the past are challenges that stimulate and highlight architects’ talents. Here are five renovation projects worth showcasing.

Mons Memorial captures the essence of war
Photo François Brix

MONS – Atelier d’Architecture Pierre Hebbelinck completes a museum dedicated to the occupation of Mons during the two World Wars.


Localarchitecture transforms an Ivorian villa into a new home for a Swiss embassy

Photo Iwan Baan

ABIDJAN – A Lausanne-based firm contributes to the Côte d'Ivoire's post-colonial modernist architecture with a new Swiss embassy.


OMA transforms Venice's Fondaco dei Tedeschi into a modern temple of consumption

Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani / Marco Cappelletti

VENICE – Showing no fear of the new, Dutch practice OMA has renovated a historic palazzo which will soon become home to a luxurious retail outlet.


A museum extension by Stanton Williams connects old and new in more ways than one

Photo Hufton + Crow

NANTES – A palace, a chapel and a cube have come together in a momentous renovation project in the west of France.


Yoav Messer saves heritage buildings from demolition
Photo Amit Gosher / Sivan Askayo

TEL AVIV – The Norman Hotel comprises two buildings: one Modern residence from 1925 and one in eclectic style 1924. Messer found the dilapidated buildings for the developer.