Embedding Flexible design to endure long-term preservation of Industrial building in Australia

  • YEAR
    Martínez, Marisa Claudia
    Shuchi, Sarah
    Ang, Susan
    2020 Conference Papers
    Building, Tectonics & Energy; Design Education & Research; History & Theory in Architectural Science; Modes of Production & Mass Customization; Smart & Intelligent Cities
    Conference Papers


Obsolete industrial buildings often highlight the remains of an industrial culture, being the prominent part of the industrial heritage. Although they offer unsurpassed opportunities for reuse, abandoned industrial buildings are too often considered as obsolete brownfields by local authorities. The preservation of these buildings necessitates their conversion into new uses, a task requiring careful design and implementation. Standard criteria have been defined in the literature for ensuring the adaptive reuse of a built environment, which has minimal impact on heritage values. Nevertheless, little has been discussed about the impact modern social dynamics will have on the actual preservation of reused-adapted heritage buildings, as early obsolescence could jeopardize, and even negate, preservation efforts. This research is based upon detailed analysis of two successful case studies in the Australian context, and is aimed at revealing the need for a preservative approach which adopts multiple cycles of adaptive reuse, and gives priority to adaptive reuse as a proven strategy for salvaging significant buildings and ultimately contributing to community revitalization. The guiding philosophy is that the prominent, extensive, open-plan morphology of Australian industrial buildings could be profiteered to use flexible designs, capable of withstanding multiple cycles of adaptive reuse. The current research identifies the decision-making strategies to embed flexibility into the process of adaptive reuse, assisting in a long-term preservation paradigm for industrial structures.

Keywords: Industrial heritage, Flexible design, Long-term sustainable preservation, adaptive reuse.


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