Poster Title

Adaptive Reuse: Is it Really Necessary ?

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Western Kentucky University

KY House District #

20

KY Senate District #

32

Abstract

Adaptive Reuse: Is it Really Necessary?

The reuse of an old building for a purpose other than which it was intended has become popular among designers in recent years. This type of architecture—known as adaptive reuse—has fostered a belief that all things historic must be of significance and that just because something is old, it must be preserved. Our research contributes to the conversation surrounding adaptive reuse by questioning the perpetuated belief that old buildings must always be saved, specifically asking: if a building is incapable of providing for the needs of contemporary society, is it worth saving? We examine this issue by analyzing the new construction of a concert hall in Rochester, New York and the adaptive reuse of the historic Chattanooga Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The decisions to design an entirely new concert hall and to reuse a historic train station were each the result of careful analysis of historic structures in their communities and the cultural significance of the proposed project. Our research seeks to understand what specific elements of these respective projects necessitated the decision to pursue adaptive reuse or new construction. Among these considerations were overall cost, change in building regulations and codes, availability and instillation of new technology, and sustainability.

Though we analyzed the technical aspects of these two approaches to design, the significance of our research lies in our examination of the ways in which architecture engages with a community as the stage society tells its story and how architecture, both new and old, can best operate within contemporary society. Throughout our research, we maintained that the best architecture, whether new or old, continually proves its worth through its ability to interact with and enrich the lives of all people and their cultures.

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Adaptive Reuse: Is it Really Necessary ?

Adaptive Reuse: Is it Really Necessary?

The reuse of an old building for a purpose other than which it was intended has become popular among designers in recent years. This type of architecture—known as adaptive reuse—has fostered a belief that all things historic must be of significance and that just because something is old, it must be preserved. Our research contributes to the conversation surrounding adaptive reuse by questioning the perpetuated belief that old buildings must always be saved, specifically asking: if a building is incapable of providing for the needs of contemporary society, is it worth saving? We examine this issue by analyzing the new construction of a concert hall in Rochester, New York and the adaptive reuse of the historic Chattanooga Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The decisions to design an entirely new concert hall and to reuse a historic train station were each the result of careful analysis of historic structures in their communities and the cultural significance of the proposed project. Our research seeks to understand what specific elements of these respective projects necessitated the decision to pursue adaptive reuse or new construction. Among these considerations were overall cost, change in building regulations and codes, availability and instillation of new technology, and sustainability.

Though we analyzed the technical aspects of these two approaches to design, the significance of our research lies in our examination of the ways in which architecture engages with a community as the stage society tells its story and how architecture, both new and old, can best operate within contemporary society. Throughout our research, we maintained that the best architecture, whether new or old, continually proves its worth through its ability to interact with and enrich the lives of all people and their cultures.