Adaptive Reuse Phenomena Transforming Old Industrial Buildings to Art and Cultural Spaces


Old industrial buildings that almost vanished into the history with a loss of functionality and identity due to changes in society have been successfully preserved and renovated worldwide. The consequences are prominently celebrated in a regional renewal context as ‘rebirth’ in their own constructed language, establishing worldwide art galleries, museums, and cultural centers. Today’s modern society took great importance in the necessity of studying and working through ‘the phase of re-use’ (Adaptive Reuse Phenomena) of the existing buildings as their boundless potential and impact on the city were spontaneously addressed. A mission of establishing art and cultural spaces by a method of the re-use that contains both architectural design and engineering challenges, encompasses a complex relationship that unavoidably embraces the surrounding environment influenced by the outcome, the infrastructure, and the urban renewal in a broad sense. The establishment in a particular city starts from the most basic approach to the regional development in art and cultural context. However within this boundary, a methodological approach as preserving and reusing the existing building to transform into a cultural identity that constitutes both functional and economical enhancement can be understood as the second approach. Comprehended as a profound insight in urban planning, it ultimately treats itself as a strategical action to anticipate rather reliable outcome and effect in a urban development due to the establishment of art and cultural spaces.


In May 18th, 2014, The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) pursued the discussion through the conference regarding “New Ideas Need Old Buildings: Museums, Cities, and Adaptive Reuse” in Seattle, Washington. At the conference, potential opportunities and risks for developing existing spaces as well as the relations with the sizes of the museum and the community were raised. Architects and museum leaders in certain cities in the United States have been cooperating closely and constantly discussing about the possibilities of new ideas and strategies and their impact on communities. Without completely destroying, yet partially restoring the historical traces that exsiting buildings posses, the approach to a new cultural aiming point that fulfills the modern society flows has been created numerous creative consequences in art and culture.

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