Assessment of the Adaptive Reuse of Castles as Museums: Case of Cyprus

Assessment of the Adaptive Reuse of Castles as Museums: Case of Cyprus

D. Misirlisoy K. Günçe 

Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Architecture, Cyprus

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Military establishments, including castles, fortresses, military posts and towers, were mainly constructed for defence purposes. The conservation of military structures as well as other heritage buildings is important since they are monuments that represent a sense of identity, and national pride, bearing a message of oppression. The only way to sustain these monuments is re-functioning with an appropriate approach since they have already lost their original function. However, the problem is to select the most appropriate function according to the structural and formal characteristics of the monuments.

The study aims to question the success of the adaptive reuse projects in terms of appropriateness of the museum function and its implementation in castles. Generally, there is a tendency to convert old castles into museums. Due to the physical characteristics, museum can be accepted as a compatible function, if museums are designed with correct approaches. Otherwise, the heritage buildings will lack a living function and become disused or abandoned. The study is a comparative research among castles located in Cyprus and converted to museums. Four castles of the castles in Cyprus that have been converted to museums have been evaluated and compared in terms of the use of military establishments as museums. The selected castles were evaluated in two parts with defined criteria: firstly, in terms of conservation principles and secondly, in terms of museography.

According to the results, generally the adaptive reuse projects have sustained the cultural identity of the heritage buildings; however, they have failed in bringing about efficient use and achieving socio-cultural benefits. Although structures have been preserved physically, most of them lack a living function and visitors. Existing exhibitions should be supported by other exhibitions or activities to attract more visitors. Also, successful museum design approaches around the world should be observed and analysed. Then, the existing museums should be re-designed.


adaptive reuse, castle, conservation, cyprus, museography


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