Architectural Mutualism: A Marriage of Old and New

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Virginia Tech


The dialogue between old and new architecture is a conversation brought to the forefront of the conservationist movement and city planning efforts as cities expand to their physical limits and eco-friendly reuse options become mainstream. As designers try and achieve a mutual respect between existing buildings and modern interventions, we are often faced with the dilemma of not only deciding which architectural artifacts should remain but also how to compose the different historic and modern layers in a way that formulates a new and more dynamic whole as a result of the interaction.

The following thesis is an adaptive reuse project of a historically and architecturally significant, turn of the century firehouse located in northwest Washington, DC. This architectural endeavor seeks to find a mutually respectful balance between old and new architecture while highlighting the clear differences in building materials, design aesthetic, and construction methods.



library, conversion, contrast, juxtaposition