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Challenges of Connecting Heritage Building

Info: 7021 words (28 pages) Dissertation
Published: 6th Dec 2021

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Tagged: Architecture


Heritage buildings and old urban areas give us solid visual archives relating to regional history and form, containing the premise of neighbourhood culture. In the contemporary world scene, the old building cultural heritage seems to be disregarded into insensibility. India as a nation with rich traditions and heritage background is studied as a case study from the perspective of England heritage preservation and reuse in practices.

This dissertation explains the process of reuse and transformation as the vehicle for adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and sites in our contemporary world. It incorporates the research with events and techniques for adaptive reuse with regards to England contemporary practice. Few England contemporary projects are contemplated in the adaptive reuse and incorporation of the old with new parallel the situation observed in India.



1.1: Background introduction

1.2: Research aim and approach

1.3: Research methodology


2.1: Introduction

2.2 Literature review on adaptive reuse of Heritage Buildings

2.3: Advantages of adaptive reuse

2.4: Benefits of adaptive reuse

2.5: Impact of reuse on urban development

2.6: Adaptive reuse as an approach for preservation


3.1: Case study 1 (Tate Modern, London)

3.2: Case study 2 (Donmar dryden street, London)

3.3: Case study 3 (The Chapel on hill,England)



1.1 Introduction and aims

Heritage buildings are great historical significance since they symbolize and gave glimpses from related past periods of time. However, their history and architectural styles are often ignored and not respected as part of cultural heritage. In many situations, heritage buildings are being destroyed and abandoned due to more use of new contemporary buildings and its functions. Rather than wrecking, they should be moderate and preserve since they are proof of the present and future way of life.

As cities, growth is increasing drastically day by day. In many situations, cities cannot be expanding due to lack of space. Mumbai India is the best example as in conservation, preservation and adaptive reuse of built heritage. Adapting heritage building and reusing it other than its original utilizes and giving new capacities as per their requirements, locations and imminent can help future generations to comprehend from which way of life they are from. However, the proposed new use and function of building should be in terms of preserving and sparing the social and cultural significance of the heritage buildings.

The main intention of research is to study how to reuse and transform of old buildings and its heritage with respect to their conservation, preservation and restoration. The adaptive reuse of old buildings can incorporate new functions and their impacts on form. This research includes the investigation of the guidelines of transformation of old buildings in different culturally assorted situations, concerning need of contemporary condition. The research initially explores the significance of sparing the heritage buildings and understanding why the reuse and transformation of the existing old buildings play an important role in conserving and preserving the built forms. The objective of this research is to explore the aspects of the changes to the heritage buildings, how the new increments or the adjustment changes enrich the old structures in modern practices and how the transformation speak to the social character for the new era as coherence in context. It is important to talk about how the reuse and change is making proclamations of evidence of history, and in addition of the present and future.

Countries like India, England has rich with cultural heritage and history, England has been selected as an exceptional contextual analysis in this research. There are many heritage buildings and heritage sites, which proves both nation’s great past. Some of these heritage buildings have experienced reuse and changes, yet they are losing their values because of the improper utilization of reuse. Therefore, most of the heritage buildings and historical sites are under the threat of vanishing.

In this research, a few examples on adaptive reuse of old buildings in England context are concentrated to find out how adaptive reuse and transformation accomplishes the coordination between the existing old buildings and new functions, while reflecting cultural personality in contemporary practice. The aim is to find the guiding assets for the adaptive reuse of Indian heritage architecture, accordingly interpreting this idea in India, with an objective to inspire and preserve cultural awareness.

1.2 Research Aim and Approach

1. How to preserve and reuse of heritage buildings while making new buildings in Indian contemporary practice?

2. What are the standards of the correct relationship between old historical buildings and the new modern buildings?

Research Approach

The main aim of the research is to set up the significance of the adaptive reuse and transformation of the architecture design. Consequently, as clarified in David Kincaid’s book, Adapting Buildings for Changing Uses, and Edward Holli’s book, The Secret lives of Buildings, preserving and redesign old buildings for evolving utilizes, the idea of perpetual quality speaks to architects as a living phenomenon and a procedure of making history over a period of time through adaptive reuse and transformation. The adaptive reuse and transformation old buildings is the course which keeps buildings alive, rather than turning into dead memory from past.

The next stage is to characterize change as a part of contemporary design practice. The reuse and preservation of old buildings and heritage sites are identified with each other. Reuse isn’t only a utilitarian makeover. The challenge is to incorporate the new and old buildings. It is critical to find how the current shell adjusts to new functions and how the form changed as an expansion or modifications to the new usefulness, by being aware of each other. This research incorporates the utilization of some contemporary buildings to show how the reuse took place in architectural heritage buildings.

Preservation standards and methods comprise of rules on the best way to reuse and transform old heritage buildings and speculations of contemporary conservation that have an effect in figuring the idea of reuse, either as rehabilitation or as an expansion to any heritage buildings and sites. The case studies comprise for the reuse and transform of some Indian heritage buildings. This study explores the comprehension of the process of reuse and preservation, built assessment rules and principals at the Indian government level, keeping in mind how the idea of reuse reflects these standards in the Indian context.

1.3 Methodology

Adaptive reuse is a major procedure to add permanency to urban relics, including old buildings and structures. To explore this research on permanency of old buildings and reuse, study on the concept of the permanency of urban relics, in view of David Kincaid’s book Adapting Buildings for Changing Uses. Here, David clarifies how the urban communities are surviving after generations, with the reuse and transformation of old buildings existing as permanent entity.as their functions have reused and transformed throughout the years, and are adapting to new functions and structures as a feature of the history.

The format of the dissertation will be a one-sided approach of understanding the purposes behind dead or abandoned buildings, and review Adaptive reuse as one of the answers for restore and preservation of the building. Through contextual analysis on a consistent idea might be found and by taking a gander at contemporary practice as a live case study should be speculatively approached.


2.1 Introduction

Adaptive reuse as a rule alludes to the reuse of sites and old buildings for purpose other than they were initially built or designed for. These new uses can offer social and cultural advantages to their surroundings. Reuse is one way to deal with sustainability since it saves and preserves original durable building materials. Adaptive reuse deals issues of conservation and preservation of built structures and additionally methodologies and arrangements. When old structures end up unsuitable for their functions or has stayed unused, adaptive reuse turns into a sustainable concept for rehabilitation of the heritage sites.

Because of deindustrialization and urban decay, heritage buildings and structures started to be abandoned and few buildings were built recently and been abandoned were seen as modern remnants. They decayed and disintegrated, or they turned into a place for rapscallions. The buildings should be taken in consideration, for care. Individuals who see the ineffectively buildings, as opportunities to start transformation and reuse over them with new functions.

Adaptive reuse comprehensively alludes to the way toward reusing a heritage building other than which it was designed for. It can be seen as a tradeoff between heritage preservation and pulverization. This process of reusing a building allows socially and historical vital structures, buildings to be redeveloped rather than devastated. Through adaptive reuse, the interiors and exteriors of the building is adapted so that the character of the old impacts the new functions.

2.2 Literature review on adaptive reuse of Heritage Buildings

Buildings may end up expendable for different reasons, for example, economic and industrial practices, statistic shifts, expanding cost of upkeep or support. Mostly they are no longer suited for the original use and another utilization has not been recognized (Orbasli, Aylin, 2008). Adaptive reuse occurred in the past basically in light of the fact that obliteration and the development of new buildings would require additional time, energy and cost than reuse so it is not a recent phenomenon by any methods (Velthuis and spennemann,2007). Adaptive reutilization of structures is a technique for emerging historical areas, and it spreads the life of historical designs. However, adaptive reuse is practical to develop projects in different means involving perfect reutilize and most suitable reutilize, both of which subsidize the sustainability of heritage sites (Mücahit Yıldırım & Gizem Turan, 2012). On other hand, architectural conservation and preservation ensures social and cultural advantages to urban communities. Therefore, the part of building conservation has changed from preservation to being a piece of urban regeneration and sustainability (Bullen, 2011a). Giving new life into old heritage buildings ensures ecological and social advantages to the communities and furthermore holds our national heritage (Shen and Langston, 2010). Society is ending up more aware of ecological issues and the devastation of heritage buildings is presently observed as an environmental waste and furthermore as the transfer of neighbourhood personality, of social and financial values (Cramer and Breitling, 2007). It’s inevitable that buildings will age and exceed their unique functions. With changes in innovation and way of life, development and designs are always refreshed to meet present day requirements, and older buildings are left in the wake of progress. Those sensitive to history may prefer to reestablish older buildings to their previous greatness. however, costs regularly make this arrangement implausible. (Dave Clark, 2008)


The origins of the procedure of any single instance of adaptation lie essentially in the presence of a building that is never again completely required for the functions it initially performed or was planned to perform. There are various conditions that can prevail to make this condition, and before considering adaptive reuse for specific building it is valuable to investigate which of these conditions may exist. The rapidly changing of requirements for buildings and structures, and the resulting variation in demand and supply, must be modified in one of two ways: through the adaptive reuse of empty and under-used structures, or through the substitution of an expanding extent of redundant stock, regularly before it achieves its ordinary financial and physical future. Where a building has been empty or under-used for a significant period of time, six basic options are accessible.

  • Market: undertaking no further physical upgrades, renovations or adaptations, and conferring no additional interest in the property, yet introducing or intensifying arrangements and motivation to encourage potential occupiers to buy or lease the building.
  • Leave Vacant: the building in vacant state until market openings enhance, maybe stripping out and keeping up the building shell just, with a specific end goal to decrease nearby expense liabilities and to set up the property for its recovery at appropriate time.
  • Refurbish: renewing and updating the building under its present utilize class to contemporary gauges fitting to its area, sector and market, so the property becomes appealing to potential occupiers, enhancing its attractiveness available to be sale or lease.
  • Modify use:  adapting and renovating the building to suit transformation requirements for utilize and distinctive sorts of occupancy, within the similar prevailing use class, maybe including ancillary uses.
  • Change Class of Utilization: adapting and refurbishing the building for another single class of utilization or to mixed uses, for example from industrial buildings are reused to mixed retail, private and office utilize.
  • Demolish: redeveloping or offering the site.

The challenge come in finding the coveted balance between transformation, rebuilding and reuse to assuage the holders. In finding the correct adjust, adaptive reuse projects ought to coordinate five standards into the concepts.

  • After reusing a building, the building has to perform good functions for which they are redesigned.
  • Dependable and versatile to new functions.
  • React well to their condition and enhance their unique situation.
  • Be maintainable, non-contaminating, energy efficient, effectively accessible and have a negligible environmental effect.
  • Have a visual cognizance and make enchant for users and passers-by.

– (David Kincaid, Book, 2002)


The ability to reuse the materials is primarily because of the way that more established or older structures are frequently built with materials of a higher level and quality that therefore have a more extended life expectancy than those utilized as a part of current development. Also, with the wrap of more heritage buildings generally comprising of stronger materials and containing various windows, the energy efficiency of heating and cooling system can be improved. The social advantages of reuse projects incorporate restoring the historical and social values of the buildings and structures. During the time period when the buildings was initially being used, it filled a particular need ion the area to which individuals, in somehow, were associated. Older heritage buildings can give character to a region and make a feeling of place.

  1. Energy Preservation: Energy is moderated by recovering and repurposing existing buildings, their materials and their encapsulated energy, and in addition making utilization of existing accessible infrastructure, like access to transportation and utilities.
  2. Cost Savings: As opposed to demolishing the existing buildings that have outlasted their initially expected utilize, reuse saves money on devastation costs, reusing and makes extraordinary outline openings.
  3. Saves Time: Gives potential time reserve funds can come about through building reuse in light of the fact that the building and framework is set up, and architecture endorsement and allowing can happen more rapidly and less lavishly than new development.
  4. Environmental Benefits: One of the fundamental environmental advantages of reusing structures is the maintenance of the original structures epitomized energy. That is, the energy devoured by the greater part of the procedures related with the creation of a building, from the obtaining of common assets to item conveyance, including mining, making of infrastructure and materials, transport and regulatory uses. By reusing structures, their epitomized energy is held, making the undertaking substantially more ecologically maintainable than completely with new development.
  5. Increases Market Value: Qualities can be expanded by preserving historical style engaging with structures and building features and architectural components that are frequently for more established old structures. Materials and quality of development of the past is frequently not monetarily conceivable to recreate today.
  6. Sustainability: Existing buildings are regularly situated in built up bunch ranges with critical populace density and in developed territories; reusing these buildings will help support the area. Frequently, the materials that are utilized are of high quality and have numerous years left in their life cycle. Copper, brick work, stone, concrete and slate are persevering materials, and ought to have the able to withstand the time.
  7. Community Character: Reuse keeps historic assets and community character by giving restored lifestyle to historic buildings in an economically feasible way. Building reuse can give a connection between the community’s history and its present and future while accommodating their functions, and regularly more agreeable with community’s character than new development. Exactly when they done well, adaptive reuse can restore and keep up the authentic centrality of the building and help to ensure its survival. Instead of falling into decay through disregard, historical buildings that are thoughtfully reused can keep on being utilized and appreciated.

An old factory may turn into an apartment, an old church or chapel may discover new functions or an old office building might be changed into a retail space. In various ways, an adaptive reuse can animate community by meeting the transforming needs and wants of the populace. As contemporary design progressively turns out to be a piece of the continuum of architectural history and its buildings encounter dangers that range from the material to practical outdated nature, also destruction because of abandonment and absence of gratefulness, concern for its preservation or conservation has developed.



Adaptive reuse of heritage buildings has a major role to play in the architectural practice. Environmental advantages are more significant, as these structures offer such a great value to the landscape, character and convenience of the communities they have place with.

One of the fundamental environmental benefits of reusing and transforming buildings is the preservation of the original structures encapsulated energy. That is, the energy devoured by the greater part of the procedures related with the creation of a building, from the accomplishment of regular assets to product conveyance, including mining, assembling of materials and equipment and transport function. By reusing structures, their encapsulated energy is retained, making the project significantly more environmentally feasible than entirely new development.


Keeping and reusing heritage buildings have long haul advantages for the communities that esteem them. At the point when done well, adaptive reuse can reestablish and keep up the heritage importance of a buildings and help to guarantee its survival. Instead of falling into dilapidation through disregard or being rendered unrecognizable, heritage buildings that are thoughtfully reused can keep on being utilized and appreciated.

Progressively, people group, governments and designers are seeking for approaches to reduce the environmental, social and economic expenses of proceeded with urban development and extension. We are understanding that the quality and design of the built condition in our towns and urban areas are imperative to our way of life and our effect upon natural resources.

In the context of local government arranging, heritage has converged with more broad natural and personal satisfaction concerns in recent years. Communities progressively perceive that future generations will benefit by the protection of specific places and zones, including heritage sites. Our way of life is improved not simply from the retention of heritage buildings, in any case, from their adjustment into accessible and usable places.


There are a few financial related funds and comes back to be produced using adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. Embodied energy reserve funds from not demolishing a building will just increment with the anticipated ascent of energy costs later on. While there is no conclusive research available interest of reused heritage buildings, they have anecdotally been prevalent on account of their innovation and historic authenticity.

Promoting Innovation

Adapting a heritage building exhibits a veritable challenge to architects and urban planners to find imaginative solutions. As development weights increment in our urban areas, more heritage buildings are being reused, producing some astounding cases of inventive designs that hold heritage significance.

– (Warren, and Kerr. 2004).


Today, one disputable concern in urban development is the adaptive reuse of old urban sites and buildings. These sites are known as brownfield rather than greenfield because of the way that they may contain compound tainting, it is important to manage this issue before the buildings can put to private or business utilize. An effective adaptive reuse project can offer development and furthermore convey heritage tourism to its city and new life to its neighborhood.


Despite of the previously mentioned benefits, there are as yet various arguments from a wide range of sides against adaptive reuse versus new development. From the point of view of the historical preservationists, adaptive reuse project architects are frequently excessively excited in their expansion of new materials and structures, which can cover up the historical building and its significance. Their nervousness comes from the fear that the old heritage buildings will be altered to the point of being recognition. On other hand, real estate agents might argue that the structures decided for adaptive reuse are not sufficiently enough or hold enough an incentive to regard worth of redesign. A more inconspicuous contention is that of advance remodeling and reusing old buildings is getting in the way of the development of dynamic new buildings. Since it is imbued into the idea of “the American Dream” that “progress is great”, may people tend befuddle the result of progress with the procedure of progress, and society, in an attempt to progress, essentially destroys its heritage significant buildings and structures to clear a path for contemporary design.

It is additionally imperative to analyze the arguments against adaptive reuse regarding usefulness, addressing whether the new function can effectively use the building system at present set up or on the off chance that it is simply a matter of “filling the shell.” And on the off chance that one is only simply inserting architecture within a space anyway, why not building a new structure that will fittingly oblige the new function as opposed to attempting to “fit it in.” very few old heritage buildings were intended to suit the innovations of current comforts, such as air conditions, electrical outlets and equipment, and consolidating these technologies into the existing can turn out to be very difficult.

There is comment said for these arguments against the redesign and reuse of heritage buildings, however the contemporary adaptive reuse projects are heading is continuously endeavoring to address the issues.

– (Randolph Langenbach, R. & Gene Bunnell, G. 1978).



The Tate Modern is a standout amongst the most popular historical art museums in current world because of its uniqueness, previously Tate Modern is known as Bankside Power Station constructed in 1947. The previous power station is considered to be the one of the greatest and heritage adaptive reuse projects, which brought awareness in terms of reusing old heritage buildings, changing them into contemporary architectural masterpieces. Not exclusively did this building project gave inspiration to architects and higher authorities to take in consideration of the heritage buildings and industrial buildings, yet it offered another sustainable procedure of managing with abandoned old historical buildings.

Herzog and de Meuron won the competition for redesign and renovate of Bankside Power Station and reuse it into a contemporary art museum, which intended to keep the nature of the heritage building while at the same time presenting innovative elements for the building. However, the architects and designers maintained to reuse old heritage building as much as possible, using the elevation and the huge chimney. However, they changed the whole structural arrangements of the building, and designed a rectangular glass volume at the roof of the building, which enabled natural light into building.

The Art museum obliges different sorts of display spaces, yet the most critical space of the exhibition hall is the former turbine hall that was at first designed for power station generators. This iconic space, which traverses over the whole height of the building, was designed as an open place for public where diverse appearances would happen. In spite of the fact that Tate Modern has had a fantastic accomplishment as far as reusing industrial heritage and till today it is a standout amongst the most famous structures and buildings in London, the exhibition hall is set to expand its display spaces furthermore due to extension of the building which have been finished recently. The expansion of the building was designed by the same architects and designers Herzog and de Meuron, which treated the undertaking in more contemporary approach yet at the same time having an indistinguishable style and visual from heritage building. The primary contention argument for the extension of building was that Art gallery is in a consistent procedure of transformation and another method for displaying art work was required.

The new extension of the building gives a more prominent assortment of spaces and connation with the main building hall through previous oil tanks of the power station, which will be utilized as spaces of imaginative performance. From these vast circular spaces, going up through the new building, there are ten levels for art exhibition and film, while the highest point of the building will be an open space for public viewing terrace which gives incredible perspectives views of London. The concept of the new building isn’t just to extend the exhibition spaces, yet to give distinctive sort of experiences made through an expanded decent variety of spaces. The elevation of the new building is made of the brick work, which coordinates extremely with the main old building, however it is done in a more contemporary style as bricks are layered in such a way that enabling the interior light to project the exterior elevation.

The architects and designers sought to make a characteristic way to deal with an apparently solid building. The landscape intercedes between the gallery and encompassing urban fabric, giving access from all four directions of entries. The exterior elevation is punctured in groups at ground floor level, showing the passages and entrances for public. Architects envisioned the space of main hall as an open plaza for public or a place to gather.


This project is a transformation of a small warehouse into a theatre for an organization in London. The building was designed by Haworth Tompkins architects in a style that emphasizes the differentiation between old and new. The main concept was to utilize the old nineteenth century warehouse as a practice lobby and office use for the main theatre nearby. In a place where artists can come and practice their plays and acts, an artistic perspective view was a key factor in the design procedure. The four-storey warehouse has an exceptional character because of its brick work in exterior elevation which mixes in with surrounding context.

Although the budget of this project was small, the transformation made to the building where bold and challenging. The main intervention was evacuating one of the floors in order to have a large double height practice hall for the artists. The hall was designed in a way that emerges from the remaining interior spaces, which were left in their unique state as before. Whatever is left of the building is involved by office spaces were the brickwork and timber beams left exposed so as to accomplish a more creative vintage impact. This gave the building identity by utilizing contrasting modern furnishing from old buildings.

The main component in any case, considered the hearth of the building structure, is the staircase that associates every space, making the spine for the whole project. Since the building is small and restricted and designed for various levels, the circulation was a key segment for the building design. The main staircase is a unique piece with art work on its own, being perfectly created and painted in subtleties of red and blue, which furnish a remarkable diverge from old warehouse.

The last floor of the building profiting from the additional height of the pitched rooftop, was used as a studio space for visitors and the artists. The large studio space was composed as an adaptable space with abundant light encourage by the installation of skylight windows, where the timber beams of the structure rooftop stayed visible and plywood, timber frames and steel were used as the materials in the building.


The project is a transformation of a small chapel into a residence in Forest-In-Teesdale, England. The building was designed by Evolution Design architects in a contemporary style that emphasises the differentiation between old and new design. The main idea was to utilize the old chapel building as a residence and giving life to the building from its original sad state. After the transformation, the building now called The Chapel on the hill residence, it still keeps its heritage façade, but the interior of the chapel is totally transformed to a contemporary luxury house of three bedrooms.

Architects states about location and the chapel that “set in the absolute best strolling territory of the delightful North Pennines, only a short stroll from the well-known high force Waterfall, this stunning chapel transformation with its heritage building texture and contemporary interior design is a genuine Teesdale jewel. The first windows of the church have been restored, encompassing points of view of the dales give an open and rich in giving nourishment event house to guests. It has a substantial and fully equipped kitchen, a comfortable living room and four bedrooms”. The redesign of this project has just recently been finished.

Before the reconstruction of the project, the building was in a poor condition of decay and it was abandoned for a long time, the main point to redevelop this project was to reuse the building and bring it into existing world with its heritage value and surrounding architectural style while giving a delightful environment to explore the encompass farmland and its immense scope of activities. The building had supported significant water entrance because of its abandoned condition of ruin and which haven’t maintained. Because of its exposed area around, solid breezes and heavy rain, due to this most of interior furnished walls have been damaged, the entire roof structure had to replace because it had been damaged badly.

The first task for the architects was on damaged roof which has preliminary repairs and the old windows and doors which can prevent the damage from water ruin. When this had been finished the architects assessed the available space to develop new functions and type of uses that would suit in chapel. Architects had critical tasks, in bringing this old chapel building back to life and to take into account the transformation of the heritage building into a residence, because of its less communications with the remote location, services installations and sewage treatment.


The idea of reuse can be discussed either in a practical or a theoretical way, the theory contains all the concepts and knowledge expressed in a logical way from general to detail keeping in mind the aim to achieve a last conclusion, while the practical point of view contains physical proof of reuse in todays practice. Contextual analysis where the ideas moved toward becoming reality. The three case studies which have chosen, offer three different examples of reusing old heritage buildings. The difference between functions, scale and character which feature the diverse conceivable outcomes of reuse in contemporary practice.

The scale of industrial buildings is the primary factor which decides the complexity and difficulties faced in the transformation procedure. Tate modern is the main example, because of its size and essentialness, was designed after a competition, where different concepts were submitted for the old power station. On other hand warehouses acts as other factor in reuse old buildings for example Donmar Dryden Street, because of its small scale which transformed into an office space with a tight budget. Other small-scale project is the chapel on the hill which is transformed into a residence with a huge task of damaged roof structure with a low budget. Despite their scale, all three projects have a similar use of brick and stone work as their main structural component, which gives them the comparative character and significance.


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