Between Old and New

The thesis concentrates on reprogramming and regeneration through adaptive reuse for historic preservation to avoid museumizing monuments and heritage sites. Therefore, Between Old and New searches the balance between new development and historic preservation. 

Each municipality has its unique urban experience, history, and cultural atmosphere. However, cities need to keep developing with new buildings and programs to support the needs for residences. It is a common phenomenon that significant historic buildings/sites are underused by inhabitants but for tourists. For instance, Rome and Venice apply the most basic approach of preserving the historical ambiance as maintaining the original expression of monuments. Although this method successfully protects the historical site and surroundings, it loses the potential for urban regeneration and diversities of architectural styles/forms and groups of people on sites. Accordingly, adaptive reuse plays an essential role in the urban fabric to avoid museumizing historic buildings and sites.

Xi'an is one of the four ancient capital cities in China, containing enormous heritage buildings and sites. Because of the high urban density, current developments introduce a cultural-commercial developing method to activate historic sites for contemporary usage. The design issue that evolved from this method is a uniform architectural style and imitations over-sterilized the district. Hence, this thesis takes two defaults for the proposed design: 1. regenerate the historical site with preservation for landmarks, and 2. look for possibilities of contemporary architectural form and style fit with the monument without simulating the antique one.
Faculty Advisor:
Julia McMorrough