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Sarah Bovelett and Tatjana Schneider 
Blue City, Rotterdam. Photo: Tatjana Schneider

Climate breakdown, shifting demographics, and shifting forms of urbanisation in Europe are demonstrating that new forms of architecture practice that can repurpose and reuse existing infrastructures and buildings in more flexible ways will be imperative in the coming years. Adaptive reuse has become a prominent way of addressing these issues in the built environment. However, many of the ways in which apaptive re-use projects are realised are not holistic enough to address the poly crises of problems those infrastructures are confronted with. This research will investigate increasingly prominent practices of adaptive re-use which attempt to broaden their ambit to go beyond the sheer transformation of an existing building from a design perspective by also doing so in a socially and spatially just manner.

To do so, the research will, firstly, conceptually frame these multi-dimensional problems that cities face and, secondly, use this as a base analytic framework to critically examine different sites within Europe that are successfully implementing holistic adaptive reuse practices. These findings will, thirdly, be extrapolated into key insights that will provide a comprehensive knowledge ground for future practices on how best to approach complex challengeflaates equitably through interventions in existing urban buildings and infrastructures.

Funding Body

MWK Europaprogramm

Project Period

September 2023 to August 2024