Aims and Objectives

The aims of this seminar are:

  • To educate students to understand general issues and definitions on the work of existing structures.
  • To encourage students to think deeply, critically about relationships of design, sustainability, management and economy within adaptive reuse.
  • To help students analyze rational for the intervention on existing structures.
  • To connect and reframe the students former education on issues of structure, building systems, codes, energy, design, sustainability as well as urban issues.
  • To understand advantages and disadvantages of adaptive reuse within the context of architecture.
  • To gain experience in active, constructive discussions with peers, specialists and building officials

On completion of this studio, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct interdisciplinary and responsible research.
  • Understand the basic issues on feasibility criteria for adaptive reuse.
  • Understand the principles of the IEBC.
  • Communicate issues of preservation, conservation and adaptation in the context of design.
  • Bridge their knowledge from their undergraduate education with the principles of adaptive reuse.
  • Understand cultural-, technical, economical- and sustainability issues related to building adaptation.
  • Appreciate the virtues of interdisciplinar working content and conditions.
  • To understand how existing conditions of buildings-, site-, urban- and historic context influence decision making on building interventions.


Renovation and reuse of existing buildings represents an increasingly large part of the design and construction market in the United States, particularly in urban areas. Whether office buildings or historic houses, academic, commercial or industrial buildings, existing buildings, in comparison with new construction, can offer significant social, sustainable, technical and economical advantages.

This course approaches the subject of adaptive reuse through the understanding of the potentials, rules and regulations pertaining to existing buildings. This course examines the adaptability of existing structures, forms of interventions and the feasibility of reuse as defined by construction regulations, theory, intervention approaches and practice. 

Alongside the structure of IEBC, the seminar develops an integral understanding of the design and construction of adaptive reuse projects as they relate to social-, economical-, and technical issues. The semester will be based upon lectures, discussions with specialists in the field and cas studies of completed projects in adaptive reuse to demonstrate the principles of design and construction within the context of existing structures.

Through this course, students develop an understanding for the design process necessary to collaborate with other professionals in implementing adaptive reuse in the design profession. The couse will be held in form of lectures, readings, assignments and discussions. Peer to peer presentations, review, critic and discussion will be an integral part of this class.

Through the process of writing a paper and creating a related cas study, students will engage in research and critical thinking. Students will develop their own topics of interest into research topics and problems, create an argument and develop their verbal, visual and written presentation skills. Studies will include field trips, investigations into recent projects, presentations and discussions with experts in the field. Assigned projects through the semester require the understanding and implementation of these practices and regulations on projects of adaptive reuse.