South Wharf Promenade

The literature review above has provided the basic idea and knowledge that has been established by the peer reviewed works that can be accounted as the basis that forms the research questions. Here the method chosen to justify the research question will make an attempt to fill the gap between the existing literature reviewed that has already been studied and the original research questions raised. By using the multiple case study methodology, we will get a better understanding about the benefits and flaws that revolve around the development of the industrial heritage buildings. Therefore, here we have used The Vienna Gasometer, Tate Modern Museum (London), School of Architecture and Design (Tasmania). These examples are being used as all of them have a different purpose and approach towards the industrial building reuse and what impacts it made for the sustainable urban development.


The Gasometer were built in 1899 in Vienna, Austria. These containers were built to supply town gas to Vienna which were later shut down due to the change in the need for natural gas to town gas. The company which supplied the town gas built four such gas tanks each with 90,000 m3 storage capacity. After the retirement of these gasometers in 1984, due to technological reforms these massive gas tanks were abandoned. Although its internal devices were also gradually removed, which left the structures with its classical façade only. These gasometers stood as an iconic part of the city’s skyline. Only after being abandoned for a decade in 1955 it was listed as an industrial architecture marvel and was released to reuse the old structure.

In Europe these gas tanks were the largest of its kind during the time of its commission. These tanks are situated in an urban industrial zone that was under decay for many years after the decommissioning of the gas tanks and the numerous other industries in the surrounding area. Also, the location of the gasometer almost started becoming one of the major concerns as a result of the urban development and expansion of the city. However, the gasometer project became one of the main concerns. As a lot of historical buildings in Vienna have been preserved which adds to the urban identity and appearance of the city. Vienna took steps in preserving this architecture heritage by reusing it which proved to be one of the important factors for the cultural tourism

As it existed in one of the most potential area of the city it was decided to revive the building by reusing the structure and adding potentiality beneficial functions to it. The gasometer after its refurbishment housed a music hall, movie theatre, student dormitory, municipal archives and also about 800 apartments. A true sense of community has been created by introducing such social and economically beneficial functions.

The revitalization of the gasometers proved to be an investment that triggered the development of a new neighbourhood. According to the records, rigorous construction and development had already started even before the completion of the gasometer refurbishment. According to the estimates around 10,000 new

workspaces will be created in the surrounding vicinity which will see a rise in employment and economy.

Tate Modern, London


Tate Modern is one of largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the world located on the bank of river Thames in London. This is an excellent and the most successful example of an adaptive reuse of an industrial building.Tate Museum is based in the former bankside power station built in 1952, which was under use for less than 30 years. In 1981 this power station was shut down due to many reasons like the rising oil prices.

The Bank side PowerStation was built to satisfy the rising electricity demand in London and acted as one of the main electricity generating power houses. This produced enormous amount of smoke, noise, vibrations and grit that created a lot of urban and environmental issues. Due the increasing demands in the production of electricity the power station was decided to be relocated and the existing station was shut down. But as it was located in a very prime location on the bank of river Thames, several proposals for its demolition were made by the developers.

The Bankside power station had been an Architectural landmark for decades. The structure originally used as a power generation facility when housed the Tate Museum it made an impact on the surrounding neighbourhood as well. The Bankside area previously was gloomy with post-industrial locality that was at its decaying stage. But the proposed transformation of the power station evolved the neighbourhood to a popular cultural centre with new residential and commercial development and with an improved transportation connection. This also created a new spectrum for jobs. The proposed redevelopment proved to be a very beneficial step for the government as I brought direct private investment that supported the local economy and also improved the environment and met the community needs. The generation policies and schemes of the Bankside site made a significant impact on the industrial archaeological, architecture and the over all aesthetic value of the neighbourhood.

As London being one of the main centres for industrial revolution had many industrial sites. The growth of interest in the industrial archaeology by many organisations and individuals strived the need for introducing the protection and reuse of such buildings at policy level. Therefore, policy under the Town and country Planning Act, 1944, any demolition or alteration without any official permission is forbidden. Today the Tate Modern Museum houses many world-renowned artists’ works and has around 6.4 million visitors each year.

The boatbuilders yard started constructed in 1889 and continued to build new sheds till 1931. This was basically a cargo shed built for ship repair activity. This cargo sheds are among the last remaining part of the cargo and berthing facilities of the 19th century port of Melbourne. It is located in the South Wharf promenade near the Melbourne, CBD.

Over the year South Wharf has gone through major redevelopment process and a number of hotels, large shopping malls and other commercial facilities have been developed around. Due the surrounding development these sheds remained between the CBD and the Yarra river near the newly developed South Wharf promenade. As the cargo sheds numbered 4-9 have been used for different purposes in the past their condition was deteriorating. As a result of such conditions the site remained with decayed ship parts and other maritime objects. The sheds being listed in the Victorian Heritage Council there was a need for some long term and permanent use for these sheds which will add to its heritage value and benefit the surrounding environment. Therefore, it was decided to reuse these sheds by maintaining its originality. As a result of which The Boatbuilders Yard has been turned into a thriving restaurant, bar and café.

This adaptive reuse of the cargo shed has proved to be a great success as its has brought together the cultural and historical value of Melbourne’s maritime past. The small scale of this industrial heritage stands out from the surrounding large-scale buildings and compliments the urban environment.


Although the practice of Adaptive reuse has been popular amongst designers and architects as a tool to express their creativity, but as a principle of response to reuse of existing industrial buildings inside the cities, it has to reach all the fraternities including common people. It also needs to be understood that not all old industrial complexes have higher historical or heritage value towards conservation and hence, it becomes more important to incorporate more number of such buildings into the cone. It can be made possible by allowing these responses within the framework of governance. A set of policies defining such responses may see wider spans. It will still be a question as to how and where to erect such framework that allows possibility for more number of people involved in such activities to adopt Adaptive reuse. When practically seen it is also difficult to categorize old industrial buildings, to be able to simplify its process of adaptability.


The case studies discussed above have already shown potential benefits of adaptive reuses of certain industrial buildings. It has been seen as a tool to boost local economy and create valued spaces within the cities. Post reuse, the project develops a new identity for itself as well as for the city. In the making, it has also changed itself from a dead and unwanted place to an identity towards social wellbeing. It attracts a lot of national and international interests towards the development of the city. In short, it allows a smooth conversion of a liability to an asset. With some unanswered questions, it is still worth a response towards the number of old industrial buildings around us.