We live in paradoxical times. Across Europe, the construction industry is at a virtual standstill, especially in residential construction. Construction network Euroconstruct forecasts a 20 % decrease in housing completions between 2022 and 2026, with Germany facing a decline of up to 40 %. Yet, the demand for more living space remains unyielding. However, attempting to meet this demand exclusively through new construction would far exceed Europe’s remaining CO2 budget. Moreover, the urgent task of sustainably retrofitting existing buildings cannot be ignored. This pause in the construction boom presents an opportunity to rethink our approach. Going forward, the focus should be on developing housing within existing buildings and settlement structures – through conversions, additions, extensions, and densification. The articles in our current issue illustrate how this can be achieved, highlighting the immense untapped potential. We document the metamorphosis of a wine warehouse in Basel and an Amsterdam bank tower into living spaces. We also show how a singlefamily home in North Holland and a threeunit house on Lake Geneva were extended by an additional storey. In Basel, the former Felix Platter Hospital underwent a remarkable transformation into a cooperatively financed residential and commercial building. The conversion of a dilapidated workshop near Ghent into a family home exemplifies a region where retrofitting is flourishing – and gives a taste of our new book “Adaptive Reuse in Flanders”. Our essay delves into successful office-toresidential conversions, revealing the challenges architects and developers face, as the financial viability of such projects is far from assured. Conversion culture is poised to gain momentum only when the broader construction sector rebounds. Here’s to hoping for a swift revival.