Design process framework for reusing existing buildings Case Study: Old Wheat Silo of Shiraz

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism , Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

2 Department of Architecture , Art & Architecture faculty, Shiraz university, Shiraz

3 Assistant professor of Architectural Engineering and Urbanism faculty at Shahrood University of Technology


The process of change and development in today’s societies has affected buildings too, in a way that their wear and deterioration is inevitable. Eventually, they may be deserted and no longer be suitable to serve their primary purpose, or due to lack of demand for their services, they may be made redundant. Under such circumstances, naturally, their initial usage does not fulfill the current requirements. Therefore, the possibility of upgrading and reusing as well as creating a different usage in order to adapt a building to the new conditions and needs may be assessed. Today’s societies face the problem of dealing with the deserted buildings that they have inherited. Meanwhile, revival through creation of a new function and adaptive reuse of such buildings give a new life to the building, instead of restoration and various types of maintenance for instance in a museum. This also returns it to the urban life cycle, which is one of the ideal available alternatives to the today’s societies. Buildings and the industrial heritage that are left in the heart of urban centers, are results of the deindustrialization in urban settings in the country over the recent years. The heritage of the past industry, by protecting such areas as a symbol of the history of modernism in Iran, is known as “industrial heritage”. The industrial heritage links the contemporary age to the past and reinforces the spirit of the place. This place can be considered as a space where collective memories are revived and preserved. Some of the issues discussed in relation to the industrial heritage are: physical recovery and changing the functional structure, adapting the industrial heritage to the needs and requirements of today’s society, and an economic revival through creation of new usages in order to make the industrial buildings profitable. Therefore, adaptive rehabilitation and reuse are the most suitable options for adaptation to the new requirements and needs of each individual building. This process, both in the early stages of decision-making and in the design and alternative use selection process, is faced with complexities due to the many factors involved in the decision making. Therefore, a clear and systematic framework and course of action are needed to control and guide the process. Due to lack of such a framework in Iran, this study seeks to investigate the potential for adaptive reuse of an existing building and examine how to determine the appropriate alternative for it. This is done by introducing academic models, to use a template for the decision making process. For this purpose, the old silo of Shiraz was selected as a sample. In addition to assessing its potential, the alternative use selection process was introduced. The results indicate that the silo has a high potential for adaptive reuse, and an appropriate alternative use for the silo is a cultural tourist attraction. The results of this study can be used as a template for adaptive reuse of existing buildings by designers and architects.


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