Past, Present, & Future: An Exploration of Adaptive Reuse in Educational Design
Stelling, Catherine Forsythe
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The preservation and reuse of existing buildings has become more and more prevalent as costs rise, sustainability popularizes, and urban areas continue to grow. These are all important issues in the contemporary design world, but what can the building provide after solving these problems that will make it just as long-lasting and useful as the previous program? Historic buildings are filled with the evidence of old building techniques, materiality and textures, and stories of the past, so why not allow the building to serve as not only a container of learning, but as a learning tool itself. The program of this thesis, a middle school for creative writing and literature, allows the decaying Old Engine Company 26 in Washington, DC's Langdon neighborhood to be adaptively reused as part of a comtemporary, imaginative education campus. The project explores the connection and balance between new and old and the combination of stories this creates. Old Engine Company 26 began its story in 1908, but the imposed design has been given a story--the story from the childrens' book, The Phantom Tollbooth. The past and present stories will intertwine with the story the future students create by interacting with, learning from, and influencing the school building. The thesis serves as an example of how an adaptive reuse project can provide unique cultural, educational, and sensory facilities while still fulfilling the sustainability, economic, and planning needs of design.
- Masters Theses