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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13158

Title: Adaptive reuse within the retail design discipline: exploring the concept of authenticity.
Authors: PLEVOETS, Bie
VAN CLEEMPOEL, Koenraad
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: First International Congress on Architectural Design, Teaching and Research
Abstract: Working with existing buildings, repairing and restoring them for continued use has become a creative and fascinating task within the architectural discipline. Today, conversions and upgrades accounts for between 50 and 70 percent of all construction works (Cramer and Breitling, 2007) and due to economical and ecological imperatives, adaptive reuse has gained importance ever since. This trend is also recognizable within the retail design discipline (Mesher, 2010). As the commercial heart of a European town often is the historic centre (English Historic Towns Forum, 2008), the possibility for new constructions is limited and as such, the buildings at hand for transformation often are historically or architacturally significant buildings, sometimes even protected as a monument. Moreover, locating one’s store in a historic building has even become a tool for differentiation, as competition in the contemporary market is strong and retailers look for means to differentiate themselves from competitors (Petermans and Van Cleempoel, 2009). As consumers nowadays are looking for emotionally engaging experiences that are authentic and original (Pine and Gilmore, 2007), being located in a historic building is such a possible differentiation strategy (Kent, 2007). But integrating a retail function in a historic building is not evident. Many different parties are involved in the project who each have different interests, sometimes even contrasting with each other. When striving for qualitative retail-reuse projects which fulfills the interests of all parties involved, developing a common vocabulary between these different parties is inevitably. One of the concepts that needs to be explored is authenticity. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the meaning of authenticity for retail projects, located in historic buildings. The concept of authenticity is complex and layered. It has been applied and defined by several disciplines, however, its meaning is understood differently between these disciplines. The first section of this paper describes authenticity from three different angles: heritage conservation, adaptive reuse and retail design. The second section investigates how authentic retail-reuse projects are perceived in practice via two case studies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13158
Category: C2
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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