Iowa architects will talk about re-inhabiting old buildings, at today’s spring conference of the state institute of architecture. The institute’s president-elect, Gregory Palermo says re-inhabiting simply means making an old building newly usable.More than half the buildings human have ever put up are still around right now, and are being used. Palermo says designers spend a lot of their effort re-designing things that already exist, so they can be re-inhabited in new ways. He cites the addition of telephone and high-speed data wires, and new wireless connections used by some computers.Of course restoring historic buildings includes making them re-usable for new generations like we’re doing at the state capitol. Palermo says architects do more than draw buildings, they design the “urban landscape.” The ISU architecture professor says that landscape isn’t going to radically change, nor are the houses we live in.Palermo says the personal space of a home will look very similar to ours in the future. The architect and teacher says updating a building to be more livable — or workable — doesn’t have to conflict with preserving its historic features.
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