Reuse remember rejuvenate
Reuse of historic buildings has become commonplace, but what should be done when a building has a history related to death and tragedy? Society has to determine its psychological approach to dealing with the past. This is commonly achieved through remembrance, converting the site into a museum or memorial, or denial, demolishing it. These actions unnecessarily allow the past to dictate the future. This thesis will look at an alternative solution through which adaptive reuse promotes a different approach to society's psychological understanding of collective memory. Adaptive reuse can honor the past while moving forward into a better future, encouraging society to come to terms with a difficult part of their collective history, but understanding that it should not define them. In recent years there has been a drastic increase in the popularity of 'dark tourism', the visitation to sites associated with death and tragedy. There is a spectrum of darkness that classifies the darkest places, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, as sites where death and suffering physically occurred and the lightest places, like the United States Holocaust Museum, that are only associated. The most challenging sites are those that lie somewhere in between these two extremes. Communities should embrace the value of 'dark tourism' while maintaining an identity outside of the event and the architecture of the site should reflect this. Architecture can inspire the limitation and prevention of future sordid events if new program is introduced that is directly in response to the event through which the past can be remembered, but a better future embraced.