Recognizing that a mixture of old and new buildings makes a city vibrant, New York University has launched a masters degree program in London focusing on the creative reuse of older buildings as a method for bolstering urban design. Under the Historical and Sustainable Architecture program, offered in conjunction with London’s Sir John Soane Museum, students will study with British architects, designers, builders, and developers, who are leaders in the field of adaptive reuse and sustainable architecture.
“In an era when the demolition of older buildings has been recognized, not just as a loss to the urban fabric, but also as a major source of environmental pollution, retaining historic structures and using them for new purposes is increasingly desirable,” said Program Director Mosette Broderick, a clinical associate professor in NYU’s Department of Art History and director of its Urban Design program. “This program explores innovative ways to reconcile real estate development with historical preservation and environmental protection by recycling existing structures.”
In September, the first group of students will arrive in London for an academic year studying methods to effect the adaptive re-use of older buildings. The nine-month program will concentrate on solutions in the United Kingdom, which graduates will be able to translate to their home countries.
“The program relies on professionals who have successfully reused both important and modest older buildings, adapting them to new uses and integrating them into new projects built around, over, and even under historic structures,” Broderick added. “Our students will have the rare opportunity to study with these leading practitioners.”
The curriculum extends sustainable practices beyond architecture and building into the realm of urban design. Students will examine successful strategies for reviving entire districts, cities, and regions around repurposed historic buildings in areas as diverse as the London Docklands and the older industrial regions of Germany.
“These examples suggest new possibilities for post-industrial, Rust Belt cities in the U.S., such as Buffalo and Cleveland, where the numerous historic buildings provide resources to be adapted for new uses, not liabilities to be demolished,” Broderick observed.
The M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture is the first academic program to unite the topics of sustainable architecture, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation within a single curriculum. Combining the multiple perspectives of finance, environmentalism, education, tourism, and government policy, this program will explore older buildings as assets to real estate development.
For more information on the masters program in Historical and Sustainable Architecture, go to: http://arthistory.as.nyu.edu/page/ma.