How to recycle an old abandoned building that used and still continues to carry charged meanings? How can architecture respond to the interdependency of these charged meanings? And what would be the redesign or the recycling? To what purpose, the design needs to target? Are we to rethink some of the a priori of such recycling, even if nostalgic, and experiment new approaches to tackling urban intervention, or are we to summon the importance of saving historical architecture, and aesthetic expression in city awareness? Or could the theme be concerned with the concurrency of both ideas at different levels? Should we open up architecture to the full realm of our creative influences? Is there a way to carry out a recycling project, which is not a literal attempt to turn back the clock, to preserve a ��dead�� monument? What I mean by recycling is not to re-emerge, reproduce, rehabilitate, rejuvenate, renew, renovate, redesign, rebuild, remodel, nor re-construct��.. although these terms are often interchangeable, they have distinct meanings, and a generic difference separates these concepts from each other. Recycling is the process of collecting materials for recycling (usually used or abandoned materials : an abandoned building), processing them back into raw virgin materials that are used to create a useable new product (a new building), and then purchase of the product by a consumer (new users). It is a closed-looped process where the material or the recyclables at first are co-mingled together and they require, separation and sorting from each other. Recycling cities or buildings or the ideas behind those seems to be a much larger issue than simply that of preserving architecture as a whole, or city streets as works of art. It has to do with the investigation of the way the social and political agendas intercept these architectural practices within this whole notion of recycling, because architecture responds to consistently changing socio-economic pressures. Do you have any ideas of case studies about buildings that have been recycled? What is your idea about recycling architecture ? Should identity and memory be restored ? How to decide on the new function that the building will offer ?
Mohammed Arkoun, in his article Islamic Culture, Modernity, Architecture, (in the Digital Library) talks about two concepts: Integrated and Integrating architecture which might be of interest to you. Societies continue to evolve and hence their need for space changes accordingly. Abandoned Buildings, which continue to have "charged meanings"; their purpose needs to be re-defined in the context of those needs. Projects like these could benefit from creative interior re-designing which incorporates the new infrastuructural advances and serve the people occupying it. The exterior could be revitalised using traditional materials to keep alive the memory and harmony it shares with its people and surroundings. Recent Aga Award Winner "New Life for Old Structures, Various locations, Iran" may provide more insight to this issue.
I have been working on a project for a sustainable development on a former car factory. As part of the project, I decided to re-use the existing factory buildings. Whilst researching the subject I found a really good book - 'How Buildings Learn - What Happens After They're Built' by Stewart Brand. One of the concepts illustrated is that of 'Shearing Layers of Change'. The layers are listed as SITE, STRUCTURE, SKIN, SERVICES, SPACEPLAN, STUFF.
There's many ways in which buildings can be recycled, you can do adaptive reuse, use parts of the building while destroying others or just recycle the building itself to make into... office paper? While it sounds funny, some of Shigeru Ban's buildings have this potential.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, for example, has built homes, pavilions and churches from cardboard tubes. He also works with paper and bamboo.