In all of this talk about the modernising and sustaining of the building industry, we may not want to live in strict accordance with the phrase, “Out with the old, in with the new”.
Because when it comes to sustaining, it’s just as important to keep culture and preserve our country’s greatest built landmarks.
Through the miracle of adaptive reuse and adaptive building design, older buildings can be renovated and repurposed to suit today’s ecoconscious society.
Yes, today even buildings can be recycled, with ancient temples becoming churches and residential communities rising from ruins. The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, for example, has seen an evolution from Greek Orthodox cathedral to Ottoman mosque to modern museum.
Heritage must play a key part in adaptive building. Heritage buildings are memory markers; and while many of them must be changed, they should be maintained and respected as well.
Adaptive architecture must in its essence address a multitude of issues when it comes to older buildings. Sometimes a building can’t stand independently, is too costly to maintain, is no longer functional, is technologically outdated, or is culturally outdated. Designers must respond to these challenges through a regimen of alterations and additions that can serve to give new life and purpose to an old building.
Through the magic of adaptive architecture, the heritage of an active, occupied building remains revered and untouched. The past meets the present to evolve into the future.
Demolishing buildings is out. Stripping buildings back to their skeletons to totally repurpose buildings is in. Warehouses become hotels, freestanding buildings are joined to form schools. Regardless of their individual purpose, they join together to make their community better.
The sustainable ‘recycling’ of a building must enhance and extend the building’s life and purpose. The structure’s design must be kept in step with the demands of a changing climate and evolving technology.
Adaptive architecture must blend the old with the new, taking into account the structure’s physical life and sociocultural purpose.
Buildings can be considered as really tall history books, telling the story of a city, country and culture. If we can at all avoid it, we should not demolish landmarks; but rather give them a whole new life and purpose through the magic of adaption.