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From Maslow to Architectural Spaces: The Assessment of Reusing Old Industrial Buildings

Zheng, Xuesen; Heath, Timothy; Guo, Sifan


Xuesen Zheng

Sifan Guo


In many cases, the purpose of reusing old industrial buildings is to serve the public. Converting a building that had a particular function and is unfamiliar to the public to a civic building is a great challenge. Significantly, the public’s curiosity towards a special-purpose industrial building alone is not enough to give the building a long life following its conversion and regeneration. To be sustainable in public life, the design of reused old industrial buildings should also meet the needs of the public. It is important to realise, however, that everyone’s needs are different. This paper will therefore analyse whether Abraham Maslow’s (1943) famous psychological theory, the Hierarchy of Needs, which not only summarized the content of human needs, but also divided them into levels, can be applied to the reuse of former industrial buildings. The paper translates this into the field of architecture to develop an assessment framework for the reuse of old industrial buildings. This assessment framework is able to combine mathematical models for quantitative assessment of future projects, and uses Shanghai 1933 Old Millfun, China as a case study for its demonstration. This provides an evaluation of a completed project and identifies challenges for further development, as well as providing guidance for future adaptive reuse projects.


Zheng, X., Heath, T., & Guo, S. (2022). From Maslow to Architectural Spaces: The Assessment of Reusing Old Industrial Buildings. Buildings, 12(11), Article 2033.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 18, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 21, 2022
Publication Date Nov 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2022
Journal Buildings
Electronic ISSN 2075-5309
Publisher MDPI AG
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 11
Article Number 2033
Keywords Building and Construction, Civil and Structural Engineering, Architecture
Public URL
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