WIT Press

Adaptive Reuse Of Military Establishments As Museums: Conservation Vs. Museography


Free (open access)





Page Range

125 - 136




1500 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


K. Günçe, D. Misirlisoy


The preservation of historic buildings is important since they are social and cultural evidence of the past. In their lifetime, historic buildings may lose their function and become abandoned. Adaptive reuse is a way for a historic building to survive by changing the function according to the needs of its region. Museography is a field that fundamentally contributes to the collection, conservation and protection of a significant part of the movable cultural heritage. It comprises the methods and techniques related to the practical function of museums. In a museum the most important concern is the organization of displays, the use of light, circulation in the place and accessibility. If a museum is in an architectural heritage, this situation may create challenges both for designers and museographers since important concerns for conservation and museography should be taken into consideration together. Military establishments were mainly constructed for defence purpose including castles, military posts and towers; however, the reason of construction, forms similar characteristics among military buildings such as introverted organization and solid facades. The aim of the study is to question the success of the adaptive reuse projects in terms of appropriateness of the museum function in a military establishment both in a conservation approach and museography approach. The study is a comparative research. Two selected castles will be compared in terms of use of military establishments as museums. The castles are selected from two different countries: Sforzesco Castle in Milan, Italy and Kyrenia Castle in Kyrenia, Cyprus which was used as castles before and are now converted to museums. The buildings are evaluated in two parts with the defined criteria: firstly in terms of conservation principles and secondly in terms of museography. In order to question the success of a museum in a historic building, it is not enough to evaluate it only in terms of conservation principles. The concerns about museography are also crucial. The solutions depend on the creativity of the designer; however the correct approach is the collaboration of designer and museographer.


conservation, adaptive reuse, defence heritage, museography