Topic | Deconstruction and Adaptive Reuse

Deconstruction and Adaptive Reuse: DE-construct to RE-construct

Keywords: Deconstruction, recycle, demolition, waste, sustainable, environment, materials reuse, building reuse, structure reuse, redevelopment, disassembly, adapted reuse.


Abstract: Our lands are filled with abandoned buildings and old structures. Many of these places stay vacant and unused or face demolition and end up in land fills. What happens when the demolition takes place? One, the construction industry in this process generates huge amounts of waste (25—45% of the national waste stream. EPA, 1998) and two, the materials that could have been reused or recycled for the new construction are lost. A way to approach this issue could be in the form of a ideological  technical and designed “deconstruction”. This paper will try to clarify the real meaning of the word DE-construction, defines the meaning of deconstruction and how can it be applied and creates a link with the RE-construction of Adaptive Reuse projects.

Case studies:

  • Big dig house (Boston)
  • Shipping Containers Playground (San Francisco)
  • Jean Prouvè House (France)
  • Ocean scope (Sunset Observatory) South Korea


by Maria Martins


Topic | The Sustainable Divide

The Sustainable Divide: A Conflict of Preservation and Adaptive Green Design

Keywords: Sustainable, Preservation, Conservation, Adaptive, Green, Energy-Efficient, Historical, Ideologies, Juxtaposition, Commissions, Regulations, Site Context



This paper will investigate the ongoing struggle between preservation and adaptive reuse in the modern design field today. The origins of adaptive reuse and preservation will be discussed as well as the evolution of these movements throughout time from multiple theorists’ viewpoints. Many see the divide between preservation and adaptability as huge because of its differing ideologies. Case Studies will be analyzed to see which ideologies could be more effective in the renovation of buildings that involve preservation or adaptive reuse. From investigating the precedent research, a proposal could be made on how to collaborate the differing theories to keep the integrity of historic buildings in the future, yet also allow for future adaptability to the building and increase the longevity of building life.

Case Study:

  • Cambridge Public Library

by Kristin Bender