Stone, SH., 2019.
UnDoing Buildings: Adaptation and Cultural Memory
One of the most pressing concerns for our twenty first century society is the challenge of 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? Whether these are edifice of character and worth, or ordinary straightforward structures that have simply outlived their purpose; demolition and rebuild is no longer seen as the obvious solution to the continuous use of the specific site. It is now a commonplace architectural approach to re-use, adapt and add-to, rather than the building being razed and a new structure erected in its place.
Issues of heritage, sustainability and smartness are at the forefront of many discussions about architecture today and adaptation offers the opportunity to reinforce the particular character of an area using up-to-date 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.
Taking an international perspective, 'UnDoing Buildings' will explore the ideas that underpin the adaptation of existing structures and situations to create new places. The book is organised as a series of theoretical discussions, each tackling a different aspect of the subject. These range from the value of the existing situation through sustainable adaptation to the intricate manipulation of details.
Each chapter will be illustrated with between five and ten images, this will be a combination of drawings and photographs. The geographic range of the book is international, although it will contain more UK and European references, but will not be restricted to just these.