1st Edition

UnDoing Buildings Adaptive Reuse and Cultural Memory

By Sally Stone Copyright 2020
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

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    UnDoing Buildings: Adaptive Reuse and Cultural Memory discusses one of the greatest challenges for twenty-first-century society: what is to be done with the huge stock of existing buildings that have outlived the function for which they were built? Their worth is well recognised and the importance of retaining them has been long debated, but if they are to be saved, what is to be done with these redundant buildings?

    This book argues that remodelling is a healthy and environmentally friendly approach. Issues of heritage, conservation, sustainability and smartness are at the forefront of many discussions about architecture today and adaptive reuse offers the opportunity to reinforce the particular character of an area using up-to-date digital and construction techniques for a contemporary population. Issues of collective memory and identity combined with ideas of tradition, history and culture mean that it is possible to retain a sense of continuity with the past as a way of creating the future.

    UnDoing Buildings: Adaptive Reuse and Cultural Memory has an international perspective and will be of interest to upper level students and professionals working on the fields of Interior Design, Interior Architecture, Architecture, Conservation, Urban Design and Development.

    Table of Contents


    Foreword: Ed Hollis

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: Reading and Recognition: Landmarks of Memory

    Chapter 3: The Perception of the Past: The Task of the Translator

    Chapter 4: Site Specific Art: Unintentional Monuments

    Chapter 5: The Problem of Obsolete Buildings: A Society Can Only Support So Many Museums

    Chapter 6: Memory and Anticipation: The Existing Building and the Expectations of the New Users

    Chapter 7: Conservation: A Future Orientated Movement Focussing on the Past

    Chapter 8: The Sustainable Adaptation of the Existing Building

    Chapter 9: Spatial Agency or Taking Action

    Chapter 10: Smartness and the Impact of the Digital

    Chapter 11: On Taking Away

    Chapter 12: On Making Additions: Assemblage, Memory and the Recovery of Wholeness

    Chapter 13: Itinerant Elements

    Chapter 14: Nearness and Thinking About Details

    Further Reading


    Sally Stone lives in the north of England. She has been designing, formulating ideas and writing about building reuse for 30 years. Sally is a Reader at the Manchester School of Architecture where she leads the Master of Architecture programme.

    "Probably the most comprehensive book in the field today, Stone's narrative allows the reader to go inside a building's life, connecting architectural theory with contemporary art, and environmental science to interrogate its layers of history, and changes over time."
    Markus Berger, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Interior Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design


    "An invaluable reference book, ‘Undoing Buildings’ illuminates the myriad attitudes and strategies brought to existing buildings and their accumulated meanings in the manner of preparatory literature for a studio or workshop, in which precedents and their attendant histories and thought are exposed to both enlighten and empower the participant."
    Mark Pimlott, TU Delft, Netherlands
    Author of Without and within, and The Public Interior as Idea and Project


    "The 21st century is the era of the circular economy. This book is an authoritative and compelling guide to understanding the ideas and values of these approaches to the built environment. It is an essential read for those who want a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental thinking behind building re-use and the formation of the architectured and designed interior"
    Professor Graeme Brooker: Chair of Interior Design, Royal College of Art, London


    "Sally Stone’s book is an important contribution to the emerging discipline of adaptive reuse and its growing theoretical framework. Her attractive discourse considers the built environment as a palimpsest not frozen in the past, but as a possibilty for future programs."
    Prof. Koenraad Van Cleempoel, Faculty of Architecture & Arts, Hasselt University


    “This book provides, aside from an intelligent and inspirational state of the art of an interiorist’s approach towards existing buildings, a provocative expansion of the existing body of theory on adaptive reuse. Stone’s coherent and captious picture will greatly help students and academics interested in the past and future of our built environment.”
    Inge Somers, University of Antwerp – Faculty of Design Sciences – Interior architecture program


    "Buildings witness change over time made visible through physical renovations. These changes are initiated by historical events unrecorded but evident in the appearance of architecture.  Sally Stone draws together these narratives of the tangible and intangible to give voice to the latent stories embedded in the history of buildings."
    Lois Weinthal, Chair and Professor, School of Interior Design, Ryerson University