Another Chance: Adaptive reuse of the built heritage strategies for circular creativity




Architecture, Adaptive Reuse, Public Buildings, Urban Regeneration, Heritage


The study delves into the realm of adaptive reuse, exploring its potential in sustainable urban development, particularly focusing on public buildings within the cultural and creative sectors. Through a multiple case study analysis, both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed to scrutinize design strategies and spatial transformations in recent adaptive reuse projects of existing structures. This research investigates the evolution of adaptive reuse, highlighting its historical and theoretical underpinnings, and subsequently examines contemporary approaches towards existing structures in cultural, creative, and public domains. The study findings reveal common characteristics and innovative design strategies employed in recent adaptive reuse projects, emphasizing the transformative potential of neglected or abandoned urban spaces. Utilizing a comprehensive methodology involving case study analyses and diverse data collection techniques, the research underscores the significance of adaptive reuse as an established practice in contemporary architectural and urban design. The article's contribution to the social and economic dimensions of urban development lies in understanding and promoting sustainable, resource-saving strategies. This work paves the way for future research, suggesting potential expansions in creating an 'atlas of adaptive reuse' and exploring comparative analyses between existing reuse and new construction, specifically focusing on public buildings with civic-cultural uses.


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Author Biographies

Dr. Francesco Chiacchiera, Department of Civil and Building Engineering and Architecture, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona.

Dr. Francesco Chiacchiera is a dedicated Research Fellow specializing in Architecture and Architectural Composition, currently affiliated with the DICEA-UNIVPM Department. He is an integral member of the 'Hub for Heritage and Habitat' research group, actively contributing to both research and educational initiatives across various university courses. In 2023, Dr. Francesco Chiacchiera earned his Doctor of Architecture degree from DICEA-UNIVPM, where his thesis focused on the vital subject of adaptive reuse of built heritage.

His academic journey also includes a Master's degree in Building Engineering-Architecture, which he attained from UNIVPM. During this time, his thesis explored the UNESCO Buffer Zone of Villa Adriana. Furthermore, Dr. Francesco Chiacchiera has successfully completed the Master's degree in Architecture and Archaeology through his collaboration with the Accademia Adrianea di Architettura Onlus, beginning in 2019. His rich educational background and extensive involvement in research and teaching activities underscore his commitment to the field of architecture and heritage preservation.

Prof. Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini, Department of Civil and Building Engineering and Architecture, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona

Professor Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini, an esteemed architect, and scholar, boasts a distinguished career marked by both his academic contributions and architectural accomplishments. His extensive experience and expertise have made him a prominent figure in the field.

With a rich background in academia, Professor Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini has served as a faculty member in the Faculties of Architecture at institutions such as Pescara, Rome "La Sapienza," and Waterloo University. Since 1999, he has been a stalwart presence at the Polytechnic University of Marche, where he currently holds the position of Full Professor of Architectural and Urban Planning. In addition, he has held the esteemed role of former President of the Degree Course in Building Engineering-Architecture, highlighting his dedication to shaping the future of architecture and engineering education.

Professor Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini's influence extends beyond the classroom. He currently serves as the head of the Architecture Section at the DICEA (Department of Civil Engineering, Building Architecture) of UNIVPM, underscoring his commitment to advancing architectural knowledge and practice.

His architectural prowess is evident in the numerous structures he has designed and realized throughout his career. Furthermore, Professor Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini is a founding partner of the esteemed architectural firm, Mondaini Roscani Architetti Associati, established in 1996. This demonstrates his dedication to both academic pursuits and hands-on architectural innovation.

Professor Dr. Gianluigo Mondaini's impact on the field extends to his prolific writing. He has authored several monographic volumes and contributed numerous essays to books and journals, enriching architectural literature and discourse. His multifaceted career underscores his profound commitment to architectural education, practice, and scholarly contributions, solidifying his position as a prominent figure in the world of architecture.


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How to Cite

Chiacchiera, F., & Mondaini, G. (2023). Another Chance: Adaptive reuse of the built heritage strategies for circular creativity. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(2), 75–84.



Resilience and Built Environment