Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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layers of old and new : the adaptive reuse of mid-20th century modern architecture

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posted on 2021-12-08, 15:12 authored by Kitto, Damien

This research portfolio explores the role of adaptive reuse to support the preservation of mid-century modern architecture and facilitate new needs. Technological transformations of the 21st century have changed needs, making certain building typologies obsolete. Post offices are one impacted building typology currently declining. This project uses a mid-20th century post office in suburban Wellington to explore the creative opportunities presented by the adaptive reuse of such structures. Key authors argue that a critical synergy and layering of the old and new can create a dialogue in the architecture which is arguably more innovate and regenerative than any construction that disregards the existing. In many cases, continuing use of the old buildings is also a more sustainable approach. The project also contributes to the challenges and ongoing develop of conservation approaches to modern heritage. In this project, through analysis of the context and case studies an adaptive reuse framework specific to modern architecture heritage is developed to build a strategy for reuse. The framework is then applied to the chosen mid-20th century post office to aid the design of the buildings reuse. This forms an argument that the dialogue developed between old and new elements transform vacant modern architecture to living heritage ensuring continual use.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Petrović, Emina