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PRIYA . K . RENGANATHAN 2011701018

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree Of






PRIYA . K . RENGANATHAN 2011701018

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree Of






I declare that this dissertation entitled “ADAPTIVE REUSE OF ABANDONED BUILDINGS” is the result of my work and prepared by me under the guidance of AR. ANIRUDH and that it has not formed the basis for the award of any degree, diploma, associate ship or fellowship of any other University or Institute previously. Due acknowledgement have been made wherever anything has been borrowed from other sources.

Date: 06.04.2015 Name & Roll No: 2011701018

Signature of Candidate PRIYA.K.RENGANATHAN

BONAFIDE CERTIFICATE Certified that this Dissertation forming part of Course work AD 9452, Dissertation, VIII semester, B.Arch., entitled

“Adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings� Submitted by Ms. Priya . K . Renganathan, Roll No:.2011701018 to the Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning , Anna University, Chennai, 600 025 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor Degree in Architecture is a bonafide record of work carried by her under my supervision. Certified further that to the best of my knowledge the work reported herein does not form part of any other dissertation.


Signature of the Supervisor Name : Designation :

External Examiner 1

External Examiner 2

Date :

Date :

Professor and Head


Department of Architecture


Date :

Date :

ABSTRACT As times change, the need for various types of spaces diminishes. These buildings, whose function is no longer required, become subjects of abandonment. In many situations, the types of buildings most likely to be forgotten include industrial buildings, political buildings and community buildings. One of the possible lifelines for such buildings is adaptive reuse as it reaffirms their presence in the neighborhood. By doing so, one less building is added to the urban fabric and there is a lesser negative impact on the environment. The context, though undergoing a change, can still hold onto a bit of its past. An amalgamation of uses occurs when adaptive reuse is carried out creating a more vibrant atmosphere. Adaptive reuse, when done correctly, will ensure that while the building is functional it remains true to its essence. Also, while the identity of the building undergoes transformation it still retains its integrity. Through understanding why buildings fail it can be made possible to stop further buildings from becoming abandoned. And this new lease of life can come in the form of renovation, restoration, retrofitting or just reuse. Though adaptive reuse is just one solution, it seems to be the popular option due to its wide array of positives. It can encompass all the prior said solutions. And in retrofitting the fast spreading option is the process of integrating photo voltaic panels into the building. This is known as Building Integrated Photo Voltaics. By looking at these two as a solution for the increasing mismatch in need for land and need for use, a more sensible and logical answer is formed.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This dissertation has been one of the most notable works in my past four academic years at the School of Architecture and Planning. I would like to thank my faculty for helping me focus on a topic that would help me expand my knowledge on issues that are more real and currently focal. I would like to thank my head architect at Pithavadian and Partners, Ar. Anirudh, for accepting me as his trainee and for helping me through the entire course of my semester. His outlook on the technique to approach my dissertation topic helped me look at multi various options that led to various outcomes. His patience and knowledge helped guide me in a direction that helped me become more aware and more practical. I would also like to thank my family and friends for helping me and for supporting me during the course of this semester.


LIST OF FIGURES NAME OF FIGURE Fig 2.2.1 Fig 2.2.2 Fig 2.2.3 Fig 2.3.1 Fig 2.3.2 Fig 2.3.2 Fig 2.5.1 Fig 2.5.2 Fig 3.1.1 Fig 3.2.1 Fig 3.2.2 Fig 3.3.1 Fig 3.3.2 Fig 3.3.3 Fig 3.3.4 Fig 3.3.5 Fig 3.3.6 Fig 3.4.1 Fig 3.4.2 Fig 3.4.3 Fig 3.4.4 Fig 3.4.5 Fig 3.4.6 Fig 3.4.7 Fig 3.4.8 Fig 3.5.1 Fig 3.5.2 Fig 3.5.3 Fig 3.5.4 Fig 3.5.5 Fig 3.5.6 Fig 3.5.7 Fig 3.5.8 Fig 3.5.8 Fig 3.6.1 Fig 3.6.2 Fig 3.6.3 Fig 3.6.4

PAGE NUMBER Industrial buildings Political building Religious building Adaptive reuse Apartment space Office space New shell in old structure Maintaining original features The Waterhouse hotel Nong tang house Nong tang lane The guestroom overlooking lobby Mirrored shutters Strips in restaurant ceiling Courtyard space Section through courtyard Section through lobby Entry door Juxtaposition of materials Entry to the hotel Faรงade Retained staircase Bedroom + shower Bedroom with lookout Typical bedroom Public massing 1 Public massing 2 Public circulation Guest rooms Analysis of factors Adding members in lobby Creating room within framework Addition of Cor-ten mezzanine Creation of new rooftop East elevation South elevation Courtyard north elevation Courtyard south elevation

6 7 7 9 11 11 13 13 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 19 20 21 21 22 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 iv

NAME OF FIGURE Fig 3.6.5 Fig 3.6.6 Fig 3.6.7 Fig 3.6.8 Fig 3.6.9 Fig 4.1.1 Fig 4.2.1 Fig 4.2.2 Fig 4.2.3 Fig 4.2.4 Fig 4.2.5 Fig 4.4.1 Fig 4.4.2 Fig 4.4.3 Fig 4.4.4 Fig 4.4.5 Fig 4.4.6 Fig 4.4.7 Fig 4.4.8 Fig 4.4.9 Fig 4.4.10 Fig 4.5.1 Fig 4.5.2 Fig 4.5.3 Fig 4.5.4 Fig 4.5.5 Fig 4.5.6 Fig 4.5.7 Fig 5.1.1 Fig 5.2.1 Fig 5.4.1 Fig 5.4.2 Fig 5.4.3 Fig 5.4.4 Fig 5.5.1 Fig 5.5.2 Fig 5.5.3 Fig 5.5.4 Fig 5.8.1 Fig 5.8.2 Fig 5.8.3

PAGE NUMBER Ground floor plan First floor plan Second floor plan Third floor plan Terrace floor plan Rails to trails Tracks running between blocks Elevated railroad tracks Conceptual rendering Area zoning Phases of highline The stripping down Steel beam in concrete The end section Section through staircase LED strips along the path Strips under steps Replanting Replicating the old Relaying the rail road Placing of concrete teeth Wooden seating Peel up bench Peel up typology Rail track walks Concrete teeth Stepped seating levels Interesting rise and fall in level Flour mill studios F.Crago & Sons Ltd. Federal flour mills The restored faรงade The machinery kept intact Studio interiors New and old meet Original sliding door painted red Maintaining spaces Retaining timber structure Restored roofing Ground floor plan First floor plan Second floor plan

28 28 29 29 29 30 31 31 32 33 33 35 36 36 37 37 37 38 38 39 39 40 40 40 41 41 41 41 42 43 45 45 46 46 47 47 47 47 50 50 50 v

NAME OF FIGURE Fig 5.8.4 Fig 5.8.5 Fig 5.8.6 Fig 5.8.7 Fig 5.8.8 Fig 5.8.9 Fig 5.8.10 Fig 6.1.1 Fig 7.1.1 Fig 7.1.2 Fig 7.1.3 Fig 7.1.4 Fig 7.1.5 Fig 7.1.6 Fig 7.1.7 Fig 7.1.8 Fig 8.1.1 Fig 8.2.1 Fig 8.2.2 Fig 8.2.3

PAGE NUMBER Third floor plan Fourth floor plan Terrace floor plans Gladstone elevation Railway elevation Section 1 Section 2 A comparison based on criteria Main entrance Elevated footpath entry Entrance Double height atrium Wide clear space Staircases Rail tracks Spacious platforms Building integrated photo voltaics Roofing system Colored BIPV panels The options of using or returning

51 51 51 52 52 52 53 54 56 56 57 57 57 58 58 58 59 60 60 60



1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 2. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 3. 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5












1 1 2




4 5 8 12 12 14 15




16 17 18 20 23 27




30 31 34 35 39

CHAPTER NO. 5. 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 6. 6.1 7. 7.1 7.2 8. 8.1 8.2 8.3 9.






42 43 44 44 46 48 48 50








56 58




59 60 62







1.1 INTRODUCTION AND THEME The number of buildings that are being abandoned due to their incapability to adapt to a specific program is increasing drastically. In many situations, the types of buildings most likely to become subjects of adaptive reuse include industrial buildings, political buildings and community buildings. Adaptive reuse is seen as an effective way of reducing urban sprawl and environmental impact. Through adaptive reuse old, unoccupied buildings can become suitable sites for many different types of use. Adapting a building is sustainable at the most fundamental level, and it also helps preserve the urban context while adding richness and vitality. This reusing of a space results in unique and innovative answers. Adaptive reuse is a solution that maintains the character of the building while not compromising on its functionality and integrity.

1.2 AIM OF THE STUDY This dissertation aims at understanding why certain buildings fall into disuse and to look at how this can be halted in its tracks and reutilize a building before it falls into abandonment. Construction cost can be brought down when a building is adapted rather than built from the foundation. There are a number of examples that can be looked at for reference in these aspects and through looking at various typologies a better understanding shall be formed about adaptive reuse. The following are some of the aims of the dissertation:


To look at typologies of buildings that become subject to abandonment.

Study techniques that can be used for reusing the abandoned building or retrofit it.

To see how adaptive reuse can help create a new identity while maintaining the integrity of the building.

Analyze the effectiveness of adaptive reuse to increase life span of the building.

Case studies on types of structures used for adaptive reuse.

Break down a case study to see what works in adaptive reuse and what doesn’t.

Draw parallels between case studies on crucial criteria to find a common thread.

Look at a building that can be retrofitted and reutilized in local context to halt abandonment that is underway.

Gather a holistic understanding of the pros and cons of adaptive reuse.

1.3 STRUCTURE OF DISSERTATION The format of the dissertation shall be along a unilateral approach of understanding the reasons for abandonment, and viewing adaptive reuse as one of the solutions to revive the structure. Through case studies a common thread shall be found and by looking at modern retrofitting options a live case study shall be hypothetically approached. The dissertation structure hopes to give a better understanding of the breakdown of the following pages.


The format: •


Theoretical understanding


Understanding through analyzing case studies

Issues faced ( Live case study) o THIRUVANMIYUR RAILWAY STATION

Techniques to retrofit o BAPV as a solution

Retrofitting live case study to effectively reuse

Conclusion o Identity and integrity o Functionality and essence




2.1 AN UNDERSTANDING “To view something as a ruin is already to have a perspective. Urban planners see industrial ruins as potential sites for redevelopment into museums, art galleries, or trendy apartments. Political economists see industrial ruins as the waste products of an uneven geography of capitalist development. Dereliction tourists, artists, and photojournalists see industrial ruins as beautiful yet tragic physical reminders of mortality and finality. But where some people see ruins, others see homes situated within painful processes of transformation. ” Due to de-industrialization and urban decay, buildings began to be abandoned. And buildings that were abandoned but built not too long ago were seen as modern ruins. They deteriorated and crumbled, or they became a place for miscreants. The structures began asking for attention, for care. People who viewed the poorly kept buildings as opportunities began converting them into structures with a new function. This was called as gentrification during the initial stage. Today it is referred to as adaptive reuse. But this adaptive reuse is different from retrofitting and facadism, which alter the structure and façade of the building respectively. Adaptive reuse broadly refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. It can be viewed as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition. This process of reutilizing a building allows culturally and historically important buildings to be redeveloped and repurposed instead of demolished. Through adaptive reuse the


internal and external structure of a building is adapted so that the character of the old influences the format of the new. “There are layers of meaning and history which help to enrich the character of these buildings. We think that this history and the stories associated with each layer are what make the buildings special.� - Tim Hawk By reusing an existing structure within a site, the energy required to create these spaces is lessened, as is the material waste that comes from destroying old sites and rebuilding using new materials. Adaptive reuse deals with the issues of conservation and heritage policies. Whilst old buildings become unsuitable for their programmatic requirements, as progress in technology, politics and economics moves faster than the built environment, adaptive reuse comes in as a sustainable option for the reclamation of sites.

2.2 TYPES OF BUILDINGS ABANDONED Historic buildings give neighborhoods their distinct character and at the same time provide a tangible connection to the past. However, their history and that of their settings are often ignored and not honored as part of our cultural heritage. As cities face fast rapid growth, the infill expansions for abandoned sites become more and more attractive to the development community. These sites are usually centrally located in large cities. They are often located next to main transportation routes, surrounded by the neighborhoods that have grown around them. Abandoned buildings in a once prosperous area of town have created a chain reaction and spurred further dilapidation of adjacent structures, stores, and residences.


In many situations, the types of buildings most likely to become subjects of adaptive reuse include •

Industrial buildings, as cities become gentrified and the process of manufacture moves away from city.


Political buildings, such as palaces and buildings which cannot support current and future visitors of the site


Community buildings, such as churches or schools where the use has changed over time.

In the mid-twentieth century, the increase in automobile use and construction of major highways created alternatives to traditional rail road transportation and made it possible for people to live and work further away from the city core. Suburbs grew and industries moved out of the city, leaving downtown industrial sites abandoned. Buildings that had served industries in the cities now seem to be interlopers in their own neighborhoods. There is currently a proliferation of properties ideally suited to adaptation situated in former industrial areas, places which have become redundant as manufacturing has been relocated. These factories, warehouses and docks are often perfect for alternative uses as they are robustly built and grand in scale.

Fig 2.2.1 Industrial buildings


As governments change and colonies become independent, the buildings then used as political hubs fail to accommodate the growing amount of personnel and footfall of visitors. The political agenda gets shifted to a more accommodating structure and the older structure falls into disuse. The character it lends to the city fabric slowly fades unless the building is reutilized.

Fig 2.2.2 Political building

Community buildings though built for a specific purpose are essentially those easily readapted by the society. The sense of familiarity that communities associate with them ensures the reuse of the building through various functions being incorporated within its shell.

Fig 2.2.3 Religious building


2.3 POSITIVES OF ADAPTIVELY REUSING The most successful built heritage adaptive reuse projects are those that best respect and retain the building’s heritage significance and add a contemporary layer that provides value for the future. Derelict or abandoned buildings often have a great deal to offer in terms of location and character and should be viewed as opportunities rather than eyesores. In many cases, retaining older buildings especially those of architectural or historic character - can strengthen the enduring legacy and enjoyment of a community. Lifestyle is enhanced not just from the revitalization of existing infrastructure, but also from the adaptation of these places into useable and accessible spaces. Adaptive reuse contributes to the livability and sustainability of communities for generations to come. “The greenest building is one that is already built” -Carl Elefante There are few more wasteful processes than tearing down an existing building and replacing it with something entirely new. These buildings often represent a faded memory of more settled or prosperous times, and, while not all have outstanding historic or aesthetic credentials, they often make up for it through a character that comes from age and use. Their replacement with modern constructions can remove any legacy and connection with the surroundings, something that intelligent reuse can retain. Sometimes, adaptive reuse is the only way that the building’s fabric will be properly cared for, revealed or interpreted, while making better use of the building itself. Where a building can no longer function with its original use, a new use through adaptation may be the only way to preserve its heritage significance. Just by retaining the sound members of the existing building and incorporating newer materials the building can have a prolonged span from cradle to grave.


Fig 2.3.1 Adaptive reuse

Adaptive reuse of existing structures is associated with the following advantages: •

Energy Conservation: Energy is conserved by reclaiming and repurposing existing structures and their materials and their embodied energy, as well as making use of existing available infrastructure such as access to transportation and utilities.


Contributes to Sustainability: Existing structures are often located in established growth areas with a significant population density and in developed areas, reusing these structures will help support the neighborhood. Often, the materials that are used are of high quality and have many years left in their life cycle. Brick, stone, copper, slate, concrete, and masonry units are enduring materials, and should be able to withstand the test of time.


Enhances Community Character: Reuse retains historic resources and community character by providing renewed life to historic structures in an economically viable manner. Building reuse can provide a link between the community's history and its present and future while accommodating up-todate needs, and is often more harmonious with community character than new construction. When done well, adaptive reuse can restore and maintain the historic significance of a building and help to ensure its survival. Rather


than falling into disrepair through neglect or being rendered unrecognizable, historic buildings that are sympathetically recycled can continue to be used and appreciated. •

Encourages Investment: Reuse can encourage more investment, development, and revitalization in areas and in other structures that might otherwise remain vacant or underused, yielding potential employment opportunities.

Enhances innovation: Changes in our society have created an opportunity to develop unique and innovative solutions for existing buildings. There are plenty of vacant buildings just waiting for innovative solutions. The challenge is to look beyond their rundown conditions to see the potential. Empty buildings, which once served only a single function may now successfully support multiple functions. These innovative design solutions can help spur new, creative ideas

Cost Savings: Rather than demolishing existing structures that have outlived their originally intended use, reuse saves on demolition costs, champions recycling, and creates unique design opportunities.

Increases Market Value: Values can be increased by preserving aesthetically-appealing building features and architectural elements that are often characteristic of older buildings. Materials and quality of construction of the past is often not economically possible to reproduce today.

Saves Time: Provides potential time savings can result through building reuse because the building and infrastructure is in place, and municipal approval and permitting can occur more quickly and less expensively than comparable new construction.

Environmental Benefits: One of the main environmental benefits of reusing buildings is the retention of the original building’s “embodied energy”. That is, the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the acquisition of natural resources to 10

product delivery, including mining, manufacturing of materials and equipment, transport and administrative functions. By reusing buildings, their embodied energy is retained, making the project much more environmentally sustainable than entirely new construction.

Fig 2.3.2 Apartment space

Fig 2.3.3 Office space

An old factory may become an apartment complex, a rundown church may find new life as a condominium, or an old office building may be transformed into a vibrant retail facility. In many ways, an adaptive-reuse project can invigorate a community by meeting the changing needs of the population. “As Modern architecture increasingly becomes part of the continuum of architectural history and its buildings experience threats that range from material to functional obsolescence, not to mention demolition due to abandonment and lack of appreciation, concern for its preservation has grown.�

2.4 FEASABILITY FINANCIALLY Arguably the most important factor in the decision to adapt an existing building is cost. Whether the owner is private or public, budgets always come into play. 11

Unless the actual goal is historic restoration of a treasured landmark (when restoration may cost more than a new building), then adaptive reuse must be the more cost-effective option, or rebuilding will win favor. There can be many cost advantages to reusing an older structure, such as lower establishment costs. Further, there is little or no demolition required, land acquisition is often less expensive, and many - if not all - of the required utilities and services are already connected and may only need modernization. Also, there are additional savings that result because the structure is already in place and thus the materials and their corresponding erection costs have already been accounted for in the structure.

2.5 THE PROCESS OF ADAPTING Adapting a building to suit contemporary needs requires an intelligent and sensitive approach to issues and restrictions determined by the dimensions, condition and materials of the existing structure. It is essential to understand what it is possible to save and what needs to be overhauled to ensure the structure is secure and the resultant building will meet modern standards for safety, accessibility, and sustainability. Often the most innovative solutions occur when an architect attempts to renew a building whilst retaining the original footprint and as many features as possible. In this scenario it is necessary to either fit something inside the existing walls or create new space on top of what is already there. In some cases, the damage to an existing structure can be so severe that it is functionally redundant and beyond restoration. In this scenario, it may still be worth retaining some original features to help to provide consistency with nearby buildings. Fitting a newly constructed shell inside existing walls is one way of giving the space new purpose, whilst maintaining the legacy of its predecessor. 12

Fig 2.5.1 New shell in old structure

Fig 2.5.2 Maintaining original features

“Where a building has largely retained its structural integrity, the changes needed to alter or enhance its functionality may be relatively minimal.” The process involves, in the first place, the preparation of an architectural design scheme according the possibilities and potentials offered and the constraints imposed by an existing building which is often of historical importance. And in the second place the necessary alterations or conversions are to take place, generally, within the boundaries defined by the building envelope and in line with the new project. In some cases the process of adaptive reuse may exceed the boundaries of the existing structure.

2.6 CRITERIA FOR ADAPTIVE REUSE Built form is subject to mainly to three types of obsolescence namely: physical, functional and economical. Although building derelict is due to a variety of factors it can be generalized that they are all the natural outcome of the changing modes of 13

production and consumption triggered primarily by the consequences of technological transformations. Least hazardous among the three types is the physical one as it can easily be remedied and put to its original state provided that funds are available. Whereas functional and economical obsolescence’s, more often than not occur in tandem, and are the main causes of derelictions and building demolitions. There are often criteria for deciding whether a building should be conserved and reused or just demolished. Some of these determining criteria include•

The societal value of a given site - the importance to the community of the use of a site by community members or visitors.

The potential for the reuse of a particular site -the physical damage sustained to the site and its support of future use, the character of the existing site in terms of the proposed reuse.

The historical importance of the site - in terms of both the physicality of the street-scape and the area, as well as of the role of the site in the community understands of the past.

The natural ecological conditions of the site; whether the site is suitable climatically or can support the proposed environmental work needed in the site.

2.7 LIMITATIONS FACED The following are challenges in implementing adaptive reuse: •

Physical Limitations: Structural constraints involved with retaining aesthetically appealing, architectural or historic features may make fitting a new use into an existing building challenging, and may require added creativity and flexibility. 14


Regulatory Constraints: Existing structures may pre-date zoning, building permit, and other local development regulations and thus their rehabilitation to meet modern requirements can be challenging. For example, zoning may limit uses and restrict possible reuse opportunities, or require variances. Off-street parking may be difficult for an existing older building to meet. However, the statewide building code has built-in reliefs to help address this matter.


Potential Environmental Hazards: Environmental contaminants such as asbestos and lead can be present in many older buildings, requiring costly mitigation.




3.1 INTRODUCTION The Waterhouse boutique hotel is located by the Cool Docks development on the South Bund district of Shanghai. The Waterhouse is a four story, 19 room commercial establishment housed in a 1930’s structure. The Waterhouse at South Bund transforms a crumbling factory and former army HQ in the historic Shiliupu dockyards into gritty-glam designer digs. The boutique hotel fronts the Huangpu River and looks across at the gleaming Pudong skyline. The design team for this project is NHDRO (Neri & Hu Design and Research Office). The main building materials of log, weathering steel, copper, glass, CORTEN steel and concrete was used alongside existing materials to create this space. The hotel spans a floor area of 3,000 square meters and houses the hotel as well as a party space at the rear.

Fig 3.1.1 The Waterhouse hotel


3.2 INFLUENCE Fast-disappearing, Shanghai’s nong tang (lane houses) combine European construction with Chinese notions of tightly packed residential life. From the street, these early-20th-century buildings present gabled facades - respectable and a bit staid. But as one walk through the door to the lane that is seen running between the houses, one is encountered by a messy world of clothes hanging out to dry, shutters flung open, people gossiping, and kids running around. Private space bleeds into the public realm, with some folks cooking in the shared lane and others bathing their children there. The lane connects the people at various levels , merging their public spaces and private spaces too, to an extent Neri & Hu Design and Research Office tried to capture the spirit of a nong tang in its design of the Waterhouse at South Bund. Blending old and new, Western and local, the firm turned a nong tang on end. “We wanted to create a vertical lane house,” stated Lyndon Neri. Thus, instead of a series of public-blurring-into-private spaces that unfolds as one walks down an alley, the hotel seems to reveals itself through a number of vertical cuts offering views down and up from guest rooms into public spaces and vice versa.

Fig 3.2.1 Nong tang home

Fig 3.2.2 Nong tang lane


3.3 INCORPORATION The three-story-high lobby contains a tall, narrow pane of glass, behind the reception, overlooking the most public space in the hotel. This is a window of a guest room. “Book that room, and you get to present yourself to everyone in the lobby; one guest did it totally naked”, said Neri.

Fig 3.3.1 The guestroom overlooking lobby

Fig 3.3.2 Mirrored shutters

At the hotel’s restaurant the ceiling contains a pair of long, deep slices bringing light from guest rooms’ one story above. Though there is no clear view into any of the rooms because the vertical slot is too narrow, the architects have designed a three-dimensional game of peek-a-boo. For the inside surface of the window shutters, the architects used reflective metal, continuing their voyeuristic game of offering peeks into unexpected places. 18

Fig 3.3.3 Strips in restaurant ceiling

Fig 3.3.4 Courtyard space

The east-west section shows how certain guest rooms get peeks into public spaces, such as the lobby and the restaurant, creating a voyeuristic frisson that enlivens the hotel. In addition to carving out the tall lobby, the architects animated a courtyard at the center of the site with the wood-and-mirrored-metal shutters that form ever-changing patterns depending on which ones are open and how they are angled.

Fig 3.3.5 Section through courtyard


Fig 3.3.6 Section though lobby

3.4 MIXING OLD AND NEW History seems to serve as a powerful force in this project due to it being located in an old docks area. The hotel retains the rugged character of its industrial past. The architects have let layers of time impart a richness of experience that expensive surfaces would have covered up. From the ghosted outlines of floor slabs removed to create the tall lobby space to a small cluster of foam-green tiles mounted in the 1950s and still clinging to one wall of the lobby, the original essence of the building seems to have been kept intact. Instead of refinishing the building’s aging facades and interior surfaces, the firm seems to have flaunted decay as a prominent theme. Fading paint, water stains, even holes in plaster walls remain for all to see. In general, new elements - such as flush windows, a concrete reception desk, and black-painted steel columns and beams - clearly identify themselves as modern insertions. There is a distinction between what was added and what retained and what was refurbished. This distinction is subtle at times and quite prominent at times.


Fig 3.4.1 Entry door

Fig 3.4.2 Juxtaposition of materials

But in a few places, Neri and Hu have blurred time periods – as seen in the mixing of new gray bricks with old ones as floor pavers and recycling wood from the old building’s rotting roof for tabletops in the restaurant and shutters facing a courtyard. From the outside, one can clearly see NHDRO’s approach to history and materials. The Cor-Ten steel wraps around a new rooftop garden and slides from an entry canopy to the front door. The new floor that is added mimics the form of the older structure and wraps around it perfectly. But the change in material depicts what was and what is. Inside, new materials, such as Cor-Ten, concrete, and painted steel, recall the building’s industrial heritage without masking their relatively younger age in comparison to the building. In stitching together three adjacent buildings to create the hotel, NHDRO has kept old elements such as concrete stairs and used ramps to negotiate different floor levels, instead of erasing these quirks with a common core for each story.


Fig 3.4.3 Entry to the hotel

Fig 3.4.4 Façade

Fig 3.4.5 Retained staircase

While each guest room is different, they all adopt a uniform vocabulary: oak floors and beds, concrete bathrooms with tinted-glass walls, and built-in desks and cabinets along new white walls. Along walls where the old building fabric was retained one can view freestanding elements, such as mirrors and furnishings designed by the firm. Making the most of the building’s idiosyncrasies, some rooms enjoy private decks while others get glassed-in viewing platforms raised a couple of feet, the better to spy on neighboring lots and catch glimpses of the Huangpu River.

Fig 3.4.6 Bedroom + shower


Fig 3.4.7 Bedroom with lookout

Fig 3.4.8 Typical bedroom

3.5 APPROACH AND CONSTRUCTION The project looks at the movement of people and people interaction. Each point in the building aims at providing a new view to the visitor.

Fig 3.5.1 Public area massing 1

Fig 3.5.2 Public area massing 2


Fig 3.5.3 Public circulation

Fig 3.5.4 Guest rooms

The core area of the building is centered around the lobby space and around it branches out the ramps and passages. Corridors and hallways contain large openings of glass and mirrored shutters to give the guest a new perspective of the space. The views are not restricted to just the building but flow into the courtyard space, the streets and also the riverfront and skyline. The public spaces are at the road corner to give an interesting take to the room. The rooms on the other hand are dispersed all around. To retain the essence of the space the rooms are individualistic and based on the amount of privacy needed the room elevation is played with. Balconies and peering bays provide a connection to the building even while being enclosed in one’s own space. By creating levels of different usage the guests interact with people who are staying at the hotel and with those visiting the restaurants. The ceiling element is also played with by altering heights and material finishes. Though placed at a junction, the building design aims to reduce the interference of external noise. The levels and the presence of the courtyard


create a more introverted space. Though cut off it still reminds one of the industrial heritage and location of the building

Fig 3.5.5 Analysis of factors

The architects worked with the different floor levels inherited from the original buildings and added a roof deck on the highest portion of the hotel overlooking the Bund. Neri &Hu’s structural addition, on the fourth floor, resonates with the industrial nature of the ships which pass through the river, providing an analogous contextual link to both history and local culture. The conscious effort of the architects ensured that while the link to the past is maintained, the guest is reminded of the modern setting, as seen in the black painted new support members and concrete. The materials that are newly added are not out of context as they reflect the heritage of the space and do have inspiration from industries, like steel and concrete.


Fig 3.5.6 Adding members in lobby

Fig 3.5.7 Creating rooms within framework

Fig 3.5.8 Addition of Cor-ten mezzanine

Fig 3.5.9 Creation of new rooftop

New black-painted steel elements provide structural support for the three-storyhigh lobby and shore up portions of the old buildings that needed reinforcement. A hallway resonates the project’s layering of history - with new structural-steel elements, large windows, and Cor-Ten cladding complementing the building’s old masonry fabric. Communal tables made of salvaged wood and floors of gray brick work with Solo chairs are present in the restaurant. In the rooms range the size varies from 300 to about 645 square feet, and they all share a low-key palette of materials and components, including concrete sinks, wood floors, and tinted-glass partitions for the bathrooms.



Fig 3.6.1 East elevation

Fig 3.6.2 South elevation

The elevations show the old concrete of the building meeting the new Cor-ten steel and the flushed in windows of the guest rooms. The curved profile of the building is replicated in the floor. The building has a stark distinction of modern and old but they work well together to reinforce the idea of history and context.

Fig 3.6.3 Courtyard north elevation

Fig 3.6.4 Courtyard south elevation

The courtyard replicates a vertically lane house with corridors and shutters and mirrors and glass panes giving views into all the surrounding faces of the building. It contains salvaged wood from the rooftop and at the same time it contains glass in flush frames. The wall is smoothened out and painted white in some places, while old exposed and broken bricks are seen in other pockets. New corridors and old hallways cut through the courtyard space.


Fig 3.6.5 Ground floor plan

Fig 3.6.6 First floor plan

The floor plans depict the solid and voids of the building, the connectors and elements too. The areas spill out into the lobby space and corridors. The narrow spaces lead to larger ones and the entire process of travelling from one point to another becomes experiential. There are purely public levels and purely private level and levels where the two merge cohesively.


Fig 3.6.7 Second floor plan

Fig 3.6.8 Third floor plan

Fig 3.6.9 Terrace floor plan




4.1 INTRODUCTION The High Line ,also known as the High Line Park, is a 1.45-mile-long linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. The High Line has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and rails-to-trails park, inspired by the Promenade Plantee Paris. The 13-mile project eliminated 105 street-level railroad crossings and added 32 acres to Riverside Park. Besides becoming a green corridor in a bustling city, it has become a source of tourist revenue and has helped better the surrounding neighborhoods. Friends of the High Line celebrate 15 years of successful advocacy to preserve the entire structure. The High Line proves that a site-specific, adaptive reuse approach is a viable holistic alternative that embraces both change and continuity. “A revitalized piece of New York City’s past.”

Fig 4.1.1 Rails to trails



1847 o In 1847, the City of New York authorized street-level railroad tracks down Manhattan's West Side to ship freight. For safety, the railroads hired men to ride horses and wave flags in front of the trains. However, so many accidents occurred that Tenth Avenue became known as "Death Avenue".

1934 o As part of the West Side Improvement Project, the High Line opens to trains. It is designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, carrying goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district.

Fig 4.2.1 Tracks running between blocks

Fig 4.2.2 Elevated railroad tracks

1980’s o Following decades-long growth in the interstate trucking industry, the last train runs on the High Line in 1980. A group of property owners lobbies for demolition while Peter Obletz challenges demolition efforts in court.


1999 o Friends of the High Line is founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, residents of the High Line neighborhood, to advocate for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as public open space and elevated greenway.

2002–2003 o The planning framework for the High Line’s preservation and reuse begins. A study done by Friends of the High Line finds that the project is economically rational, and leads to an open ideas competition.

March–September 2004 o Friends of the High Line and the City of New York select a design team - James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, planting designer.

Fig 4.2.3 Conceptual rendering

2005–2006 o The City accepts ownership of the High Line which is donated by CSX Transportation, Inc. in November 2005.

June 9, 2009 - Section 1 opens to the public. 32

June 8, 2011 - Section 2 opens to the public.

April–September 2012 o The New York City Planning Commission approves a zoning text amendment for High Line at the Rail Yards.

September 21, 2014 - Rail Yards opens to the public.

Fig 4.2.4 Area zoning

Fig 4.2.5 Phases of highline


The entire span of the highline covers all types of land use. It provides a break in the New York street elevation of skyscrapers and commercial facades. Spread across a wide income level the highline draws people from all walks of life. Though purely pedestrian it has a large number of visitors per year and it is inspiring more such redevelopments pan the country

4.3 IMPACT The recycling of the railway into an urban park has brought on the revitalization of Chelsea, which had been "gritty" and in generally poor condition in the late twentieth century. It has also spurred real estate development in the neighborhoods that lie along the line. Mayor Bloomberg noted that the High Line project has helped usher in something of a renaissance in the neighborhood: by 2009, more than 30 projects were planned or under construction nearby. The urban fabric along the High Line is undergoing a transformation. There are several major construction projects underway along the route, with the likes of Frank O’ Gehry designing one, and even buildings that aren't undergoing major renovations are adapting themselves to the park's existence. Residents who have bought apartments next to the High Line Park have adapted to its presence in varying ways, but most responses are positive; some, however, claim that the park became a "tourist-clogged catwalk" since it opened. The real estate boom has not been victimless, however, many well-established businesses in west Chelsea have closed due to loss of neighborhood customer base or rent increases. But as rents rise, so do property values and assessments. In sharp contrast to the speed of Hudson River Park, this parallel linear experience is characterized by slowness, distraction and the other worldliness that preserves the strange character of the High Line. Providing flexibility and responsiveness to changing needs, opportunities and desires of the dynamic context, the proposal is 34

destined to remain eternally unfinished, emerging growth and sustain change over time.

4.4 DESIGN The first step was to clean and remove some elements of the old structures to clean up, strengthen and modernize the party was to be reused. In many places the removed parts were restored and returned to their places of origin, for example the old railroad tracks, which were integrated in the formation of flower beds for planting. The final phase in the transition of the High Line to a public park is the construction of the landscape of the park. The walks in the park created from a conical flat plates and cement were placed above the waterproof layer of concrete, leaving spaces between them for electrical conduit and drainage. Construction of stairs and elevators allow visitors to access from street level. It also has wheelchair access at access points where there is no elevator.

Fig 4.4.1 The stripping down




Before the new concrete structure could take shape, it was necessary to eliminate all elements of the former, since the steel rails, gravel, earth and debris and the first layer of old concrete. All that was needed to reach the steel structure of the High Line and make the necessary repairs. Some of these repairs were waterproofing for the steel beams in concrete and drainage systems had to be installed on the old structure. The concrete that forms the path isn’t reinforced with fiber optics, but with gravel, creating a textured surface. The architects create many features just by casting this concrete in different ways. Besides being a structural element this concrete has been moulded to be interactive, aesthetic and functional.

Fig 4.4.2 Steel beam in concrete


Fig 4.4.3 The end section


In some places, the beams are removed to allow the stairs cut the structure of the High Line from the visitors center and meet face to face with the steel beams on their way to the park. The staircases are located at many points with hidden entries or detailed entrances and along with staircases elevators are provided at selected points for the disabled. 36

Fig 4.4.4 Section through staircase



LED elements integrated into the fabric of the High Line, illuminate the paths of the park at night. The lights are placed at ground level, creating safe to walk at the same time allowing walkers to enjoy the surrounding ambient light. These lights have also been placed in the bottom, between the beams, to gently illuminate the sidewalk. The lighting structures are aluminum and stainless steel. By playing with the height of the light strips the night time view of the highline is more appealing and noticeable.

Fig 4.4.5 Led strips along the path

Fig 4.4.6 Strips under steps



The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are incorporated into the park’s landscape. The land has been distributed in different planting areas. Plants have been chosen in these areas nurseries.. The vegetation ranges from different types of grass, shrubs, bulbs, perennial trees to tropical plants such as banana trees. The pavements were resolved with precast concrete with wood and aged steel planters like the side walls of the access stairs.

Fig 4.4.7 Replanting

Fig 4.4.8 Replicating the old

Inspired by the wild seeded landscape left after the line had been abandoned, the design aimed to refit this industrial conveyance into a post-industrial instrument of leisure. Through a strategy of "agri-tecture"-part agriculture, part architecture, the design team created a new paving and planting system that allows for varying ratios of hard to soft surface that transition from high-use areas to richly vegetated biotopes, with a variety of experiential gradients in between.




During transfer, each section of the railway was marked and mapped its location to be stored for later to be returned to their place of origin and integrated together with various ornamental plantings. Following the move, the steel elements of the structure of the High Line were treated with a sand blasting to remove lead from the original painting. The top layer is closest to the original color of the High Line.

Fig 4.4.9 Relaying of railroad

Fig 4.4.10 Placing of concrete teeths

4.5 ELEMENTS OF HIGHLINE One of the features of the High Line is the peel-up benches that seem to rise up as a natural extension of the path itself. This new melange of seating, along with a wider pathway, opens up the park a bit. Besides the peel up bench there are peel up tables and wooden beach chairs and wooden stepped seating along with exposed steel structural beams to sit on. Also the form of the ground is played with so as to create steps that double as places to sit and dwell over thoughts.


Fig 4.5.1 Wooden bench

Fig 4.5.2 Peel up bench

Fig 4.5.3 Peel up typology

Just beyond the initial patio of new seating, subtle reminders of the railroad's past are intricately woven into the landscape. The Rail Track Walks helps bring visitors down to the level of the old rail bed. The path gently undulates, dipping slightly onto full-on rail tracks. They're designed to look like they're lined with loose stone gravel, giving the landscape a more rugged feeling, but the material is actually a bonded aggregate—it's smooth and solid. It's also widely accessible for people with disabilities, despite its appearance. These three linear walks reveal the High 40

Line’s rail tracks, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight rail line. On these walks, visitors can interact with rail artifacts or rest in one of several alcove pockets of peel-up benches located throughout the pathways.

Fig 4.5.4 Rail track walks

Fig 4.5.5 Concrete teeth

The places where the path rakes into the greenery, the concrete is seen to be clawing at the soil. It sets up a tension that gives a vague impression of impermanence, rather than the integration the architects intended.

Fig 4.5.6 Stepped seating levels

Fig 4.5.7 Interesting rise and fall of level




5.1 INTRODUCTION The Flourmill Studios is a commercial development of 47 studios, with shared spaces and a cafe, housed in the nineteenth-century Crago Flour Mill in Newtown, Sydney. The flour mill is adjacent to the railway line and close to the station in an area with a substantial industrial history. The adaptive reuse seeked to amplify the building’s industrial qualities, using the flour mill’s structure, fabric and remnant industrial artifacts to give the project a specific character, while maintaining the existing overall plan structure and volumes. The robust industrial aesthetic also informs the new architectural, landscape and graphic work, which is designed to read as a new layer in the life of the building.

Fig 5.1.1 Flourmill studios


5.2 SITE HISTORY AND HERITAGE "Crago’s mill, originally named Federal Flourmills, was designed by Sydney architects Nixon and Allen. The Mill was continually altered and upgraded to accommodate new technologies and make various wheat and flour products." -

The Bakers & Confectioners’ Journal, 23 December 1907, Mitchell Library

Crago Flour Mill operated from 1897 until 1984 and was added to and altered as milling technologies changed. When the mill closed much of the machinery was removed, but the main pulley shaft, some hoppers and wheel drives and a goods lift remained. From 1984 the building was used for storage, a dance school and studios for artists and craftspeople. When the developer purchased the mill, it was a run-down warren of spaces over four buildings, with little access from one part to another, and no clear entrance. It did not comply with the Building Code of Australia in many areas, particularly in terms of fire egress and safety.

Fig 5.2.1 F.Crago and sons Ltd. Federal flour mills


5.3 OPPURTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES The flour mill – with its structure of thick timber columns and beams, steel trusses and remnant machinery – had the potential to become an engaging workplace attractive to the target market – small creative businesses, who responded to the raw industrial aesthetic and inner urban location. The principal challenge was to make the four buildings – with different structures, floor levels and circulation – work as a coherent complex with appropriate access and fire egress. Care was also needed to ensure that the addition of the lift tower did not adversely affect the roofscape. There were public concerns about the changes of use and the potential loss a creative facility.

5.4 APPROACH AND OUTCOME The project sought to retain as much heritage fabric as possible, including substantial scars that evoked previous alterations. The planning aimed to keep the mill plan legible within the reuse, while rationalizing circulation. The new entry courtyard and cafe contribute to the streetscape and urban environment. The new circulation route starts with a street-front entry leading to a central core and the east-west circulation spine, which connects the various parts and levels. This rationalized system involved making openings at each level and creating internal hallways. The adaptive reuse retains the hardwood, concrete and steel structure; the timber loading-bay; and metal-clad fire. Remnant machinery remain within studio spaces and the three-story pulley shaft, located in the main circulation spine, is enclosed with fixed fire-rated glass panels. Non-significant accretions were removed. This exposed the original form of the building, created views in and out, and increased natural light levels inside. Internal partitions were removed, returning spaces to original volumes.


Fig 5.4.1 The restored faรงade

Fig 5.4.2 The machinery kept intact

The interior is subdivided into studios in a manner that respects the areas and volumes of the original spaces. The aim was to create flexible, adaptable interiors that would help extend the life of the building, while allowing the original plan to be easily read within the adapted building. New work is distinguished by modern materials, bold graphics and bright colors. This continues the robust industrial aesthetic, while also reading clearly as new. Interpretation was integrated from the beginning of the project and the new work is designed to be reversible. While incorporating the new elements it was ensured that they worked well with the existing features. Also the two had to match the required safety norms, namely in terms of fire egress. The design team worked closely with the BCA consultant and fire engineer and the resulting innovative solutions to compliance issues allowed the design ideas to be realized.


Fig 5.4.3 Studio interior

Fig 5.4.4 New and old meet

5.5 DESIGN Flourmill Studios is approached from via a paved and landscaped courtyard. Topped by a framework of original steel columns and beams, the courtyard is overlooked by balconies adapted from the mill’s early loading bays. To one side of the entrance, a cafÊ provides a vibrant meeting place, with seating extending into the courtyard and towards the street. The entrance foyer features heavy original timber columns and beams and incorporates the building’s restored original goods lift. An early grindstone is set into the foyer floor in front of the letterboxes. The building contains 47 individual studios ranging in size from 25 to over 250 square meters. Some studios feature warehouse-style timber columns and beams, original timber loading bay doors, historic sliding fire doors and the remnants of the drive shafts and wheels that once powered the mill.


Fig 5.5.1 Original sliding door painted red

Fig 5.5.2 Maintaining spaces

Others take advantage of soaring double-height spaces with concrete ceilings, steel beams and overhead soda hoppers once needed to produce flour. Slicing vertically through the building, the original pulley room, with its massive wheels and leather belts which connected the mill’s machinery to the motor room, can be glimpsed from central hallways and foyers.

Fig 5.5.3 Retaining timber structure

Fig 5.5.4 Restored roofing



Cyclists’ room

4 self-contained bathrooms

Carpets manufactured from recycled PET bottles

Thermally insulated roof

Openable windows for fresh air supply

Operable skylights and roof windows to increase natural ventilation

Independent split-system air-conditioners

Solar boosted gas hot water, with solar panels located on the roof

Rainwater collected from roof to maintain landscaping

Re-use of existing building materials and structures

5.7 DESIGN FEATURES On the building’s exterior: •

New steel-framed balconies to the south and west facades and ‘Juliet’ balconies overlooking the entrance courtyard and cafe

New custom orb insulated roofing

Roof windows, skylights and adjustable aluminium louvers for sun shading

Restored timber windows and loading bay doors

Heritage brickwork with blocked windows to be re-opened

New landscaped entry courtyard featuring original steel structure and loading bay, with interpretation of circular wheat silos

Original painted Flourmill signage to railway elevation


In the common area: •

Exposed timber/steel beams and columns

A mix of original timber flooring and polished concrete

Kitchenettes on each level, shared common balconies and break-out areas

Restored machinery, sliding steel fire doors and views to original hoppers

Interpretation signs describing the mill’s machinery and operation

In the studios: •

Painted solid entrance doors with glazed aluminium side panels

'Timber' studios feature carpet flooring manufactured from recycled PET bottles while 'Concrete' studios to have polished concrete finish

Suspended fluorescent lighting

Exposed cable tray system for distribution of power and data when required

Individual split-system air conditioners provided to each studio

Open-able timber windows to most studios and some fixed aluminiumframed windows

Original painted masonry walls and new painted plasterboard partitions

'Timber' studios include a mix of hardwood/steel columns and beams

'Concrete' studios have corrugated steel/ concrete ceilings and steel beams

Original building features vary from studio to studio but may include: remnant drive-shafts and wheels, painted sliding steel fire doors, steel hoppers, steel mezzanine platforms, some new balconies and ‘Juliet’ balconies adapted from early loading bay doors



Fig 5.8.1 Ground floor plan

Fig 5.8.2 First floor plan

Fig 5.8.3 Second floor plan


Fig 5.8.4 Third floor plan

Fig 5.8.5 Fourth floor plan

Fig 5.8.6 Terrace floor plans


Fig 5.8.7 Gladstone elevation

Fig 5.8.8 Railway elevation

Fig 5.8.9 Section 1


Fig 5.8.10 Section 2




6.1 THE SIMILARITIES The three case studies were chosen on the basis that they were all linked to the industrial age and were located in cities of crucial importance to development and trade. They are situated in locations that were central to industrialization but lost importance as technology advanced. The three structures went through stages abandonment, where some informal efforts of revival kept them occupied for a brief time period. This is seen in each case study as some manifestationstructural alteration or scars of renovation.

Fig 6.1.1 Comparison based on criteria

As it can be seen the structures were used for different functions and fell into disuse due to modern times. Industrialization created solid sturdy structures with large internal spaces that could be easily adapted to suit modern needs. They contain character and reflect upon an older time period. They are made up of


materials that work well with modern additions and thus adaptive reuse is effective, efficient, and yields aesthetically appealing and functional structures. Though some changes are irreversible, they contribute to the value of the building. They are all influenced by local contextual elements which are incorporated into the end product. They all have distinct old and new members and then they have a member that is an amalgamation of what was and what is. They all had problems that were overcome, be it physical, environmental, economic etc. These studies encompass most of the factors found in any of todays abandoned buildings. Through the study of the case studies it is evident that, though all the structures were industrial in their essence and original context, they were adaptively reused into three completely different projects. The buildings could be reused as anything, be it commercial, business or public. The constraint on the type of function that can associated with an abandoned building is next to nil if the architect is innovative and dedicated to the revival of the space. People relate to the buildings better as they are well woven into the urban fabric, instead of sticking out as a sore thumb, like completely modern buildings would. Real estate and market value gets a boost and the community gets a good value addition when the structures that are preexisting in the heart of the neighborhoods get a new lease of life. The cradle to grave time period for the building is prolonged.




7.1 INTRODUCTION The third stop on the Rajiv Gandhi highway, is the Thiruvanmiyur railway station. Located at a very close proximity to both Kasturibhai Nagar station and Indira Gandhi Nagar station is this imposing structure. It is located right opposite Tidel Park and Sitel India. These stops are strategically placed between two main heavy traffic junction points and are of a massive scale. The difference that’s sets this last stop apart from the former is the fact that it seems to still look as if it is under construction. In the structure there is a separate area that houses bike parking in its basement for the commuters. From the road level it seems quite large with five entry portals, out of which two are inaccessible. At the junction edge is the entry that sees maximum footfall followed by the footbridge used by people to get out of the building. The handicap ramp and entry see vehicular commuter footfall.

Fig 7.1.1 Main entrance

Fig 7.1.2 Elevated footpath entry


The building has a basement, ground, first, second and third floor. The third floor terrace acts as the station for the train tracks. The basement is well utilized, as is the terrace. The third floor is not accessible due to it being in close proximity to the depression of the tracks. The first and second floor are boarded off and only the stairwells are left to be used by commuters to get to the track from the ticket counter, and from the tracks to the road. Thus a unilateral plane of movement is seen in the building. This lack of utilization of the remaining floor adds an uninviting feel to the building. It puts forth the feeling of there being a waste of space and lack of forethought in the design of the structure.

Fig 7.1.3 Entrance

Fig 7.1.4 Double height atrium

Fig 7.1.5 wide clear space

The ground floor has a clear height of three meters while the above two floors have a clear height of 2.7 meters. All floors are tiled, plastered, cordoned off from the atrium with railing. The shell of the structure seems sturdy. Amenities and facilities like escalators and elevators and multiple numbers of stairwells are provided. Even restrooms are plenty. But due to lack of thought at the planning level they seem to be quite dispersed. The corridors are long and wide, roughly seven meters, and see just a trickle of footfall. The central atrium is two stories 57

high and if utilized appropriately it could tie up the building cohesively. The structure is quite sound, with the scope to be used as more than just a rundown railway station. It is following the path that will soon lead it to abandonment.

Fig 7.1.6 Staircases

Fig 7.1.7 Rail tracks

Fig 7.1.8 Spacious platforms

7.2 CHALLENGES The railway station poses obstacles when trying to give an added lease of life. The scale of the structure is large and thus maintenance is a herculean task. The amenities though plenty are not functioning. Escalators and elevators are present, but not in service. Repairs will have to be carried out in plenty. Lighting is insufficient as natural lighting cannot penetrate through the thick walls, and the lights are only present in the periphery of long passages. Glass panes are absent predominantly, and when present are broken or covered in grime. Stairwells are used as garbage dumps with years of litter decomposing. The restrooms are in condition that prevents any usage. The stairwells get dark and cut off from the central space during late evening and night time. With routine cleaning and supervision the structure could be made more habitable.




8.1 INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Building-integrated photo voltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with similar technology. The advantage of integrated PV over non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labor that would be used to construct parts of the building that the BIPV modules replace. The term building-applied photo voltaics (BAPV) refers to PV that are integrated into the building after construction is complete. By simultaneously serving as building envelope material and power generator, BIPV systems can provide savings in materials and electricity costs, reduce use of fossil fuels and emission of ozone depleting gases, and add architectural interest to the building.

Fig 8.1.1 Building integrated photo voltaics


8.2 THE PANEL Building-Integrated Photovoltaic modules are available in several forms. •

Flat roofs o

The most widely installed to date is a thin film solar cell integrated to a flexible polymer roofing membrane.

Pitched roofs o

Solar shingles are modules designed to look and act like regular shingles, while incorporating a flexible thin film cell.


It extends normal roof life by protecting insulation and membranes from ultraviolet rays and water degradation.

Facade o

These modules are mounted on the facade of the building, over the existing structure, which can increase the appeal of the building and its resale value.

Glazing o

(Semi) transparent modules can be used to replace a number of architectural elements commonly made with glass or similar materials, such as windows and skylights.

Fig 8.2.1 Roofing system

Fig 8.2.2 Colored BIPV panels


BAPV / BIPV is available in various forms distinguished by the following features •

Color- The panels and cells come in many hues helping create interesting patterns while installing

Skins - The panels come in customized profiles to create skins of buildings that are unique.

Flooring - Walkable with a 400kg point load, flooring comes in various antiskid textures and colors with provisions for LED strip lighting with it.

Roof- Besides being applied on a constructed roof, the panels can themselves double up as a roof membrane creating translucent shells.

Energy generation - Based on the quantity of energy required for the structure the panels can be shrunk or expanded into various dimensions and spans.

Fig 8.2.3 The options of using or returning

The factors that make these photo voltaics so appealing are •

Natural illumination

UV/IR filtration 61

Innovative design / Completely customizable

Thermal and acoustic insulation

Reduces CO2 emission

Can be integrated on any construction material

25-40% reduction in the buildings energy consumption when utilized well.

1M X 1M panel provides 20 – 40 KW/H per annum. (10000 hours from 20W energy saving bulb)

8.3 APPLICATION IN CASE STUDY In the Thiruvanmiyur railway station the retrofitting of the building with photovoltaic panels might help give it an addition purpose. This can also at the same time serve as a facelift for the elevation. The current process of misuse and underuse of the building will lead to it being an unfavorable space for commuters leading to its abandonment. To prevent this, the building needs a new lease of life. Even if not by a large scale renovation, by making small alterations it can be made useful and appealing. The following are possible places of integrating BIPV panels in the structure•

Roof of track areao

skylights and solar panels (reduce thermal effect and increase secondary energy generation )


Replace entire roof shell with a roof medium made of BIPV panels that provide solar insulation as well bring in natural lighting and provide water proofing.


Vertical panes of colored BIPV panels replacing the existing shutters and panes to create a brighter warmer ambience

Roof of remainder of buildingo

Placing of solar panels all across the terrace floor which is not accessed for any frequent reason will help with a good steady 62

generation of electricity due to its clear and unobstructed placement to the sun. โ€ข

On the front and rear faรงadeo

Creating a secondary curtain wall / ventilated faรงade / brise soliel (spandrel glass) are a few techniques that can be used to attach the panels onto the faรงade.(thermal insulation and increase in secondary energy generation)


Placing colored panels of varying shaped over the building faรงade and breaking down masonry walls and replacing it will wall panels will illuminate the interior of the station that seems dark and uninviting

Also by retrofitting the building it can have a more sustainable approach to survival. If not used by the people it can work for the people. Utilizing BIPV in this building can help with a massive scale generation of electricity which can be fed back to the grid or can be used to run the building itself.




Buildings when built with a specific function in mind, face the threat of becoming obsolete when the need changes. At the same time, when a building is open ended and serves as a mere shell, it fails to garner the attention of the people. There is thus a necessity to understand the context during the initial stages of design. Even if a conscious effort is made to ensure longevity of a space, the building can become obsolete. In such situations of abandonment, the approach to shaping the buildings future is crucial. The life span of the building is somewhat similar to a human, namely the “cradle to grave� period. Anything in the designers’ power to prolong a buildings life span must be carried out. This is because the building is already built, it is well connected, and it failed predominantly due to a change in the political, economic or cultural context. If the building had become a subject of obsolescence due its structural failure then the investment in its future is questionable. The buildings that contain a sturdy and sound foundation and structural system are the best contenders for the process of adaptive reuse. They have been in their location for a long time period and thus have layers of local context and history added to them. They are centrally located, have a sense of community, contain necessary services (a bit outdated at the most) and are already constructed. By retaining the sound members of the building, retrofitting the outdated ones, introducing complimentary members, and restoring the landmark features of the structure a new lease of life can be given. As the building is now restored to suit changing needs, adding an environmentally friendly element can improve its sustainability factor. The building can sustain itself and over a period cover the cost incurred in its restoration. These building integrated factors can either replace 64

existing elements or can be coupled onto them as secondary features. These need not be purely functional and can also have the aesthetics of the space in mind. A best suited example for a growing trend in adaptive reuse and retrofitting is the Building Applied Photo Voltaic panels. It is one of many options where the building begins to reduce its carbon foot print by being more aware and conscious of its impact. History should serve as a reminder and should not be repeated. Buildings that are on the path to obsolescence should be weeded out and this disuse should be stopped in its tracks. A few steps to do so are by creating ancillary uses, renovating, adapting, and involving the building with its surroundings. These buildings can optimize the function they were designed for if they are more open and interactive to the users. By creating spaces that are flexible the trend of falling into a derelict stage can be curbed early. The essence of a building is what lends character to the space, what sets it apart. This should not be sacrificed when adapting a building to be functional. If this satisfied the process is successful in the fundamental sense. Also the identity of a building is important. The old use of the building provided it with its established identity and the architects’ aims to rework this identity in favor of their design. While altering the identity of the structure the architect must ensure that he stays true to the integrity of the space. As times are changing, population growth is increasing. Technology is rapidly advancing. But the amount of land available stands at the nearly same amount that it was years ago. Thus land value increases and vacant lots are reducing. These factors coupled together have pushed adaptive reuse into the spotlight as the most preferred solution to tackle abandoned buildings. Thus, it is time to embrace a trend that is holistic and creates spaces that amalgamate what was and what is.




Re Architecture: Old and New In Adaptive Reuse of Modern Industrial Heritage Ava Moshaver Ryerson University Design Education: Explorations and Prospects for a Better Built Environment Ashraf M. Salama and Michael J. Crosbie (editors)


Dissertation - Adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings  
Dissertation - Adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings