Symbolic area has become recognized as a cultural imperative

Symbolic
values are the characters that are produced by the immaterialized labor of the
buildings past historic relation to human activities, connecting the meanings
of the past to the present day. In present time, ancient buildings and sites of
historical importance’s are places loaded with valuable community memories,
cultural significance and local identities, narrated in different timeframes
and contexts. These historical buildings and sites obtaining social, cultural and
emotional meanings, are becoming memory carriers and bare a strong intangible
component within their space because the story behind the massive walls recites
a powerful narrative of moment in the history of its community. By the passing
time preservation of these architectural heritage of an area has become recognized
as a cultural imperative and proposing a new use for adaption of such unique
historic buildings for new uses is one of the major issues in sustainable
development of the built environment and it has long been recognized that the
continuing appropriate use of the historic buildings is one of the best way of
ensuring their survival.

This
is a paper about exploring the relationship of a building or sites symbolic
values to a community, importance of preserving such symbolic values in the
proposes of adaptive and the impact of new use on the essence of intangible
values of the unique historically background. The paper will examine and
compare two case studies where designers have analyzed and used  symbolic values from past for new reuse
function implementation in the buildings, but in two different geographical
regions, i-e one in Belgium ” The Gravensteen castle in Ghent,
the name means “castle of the counts” in Dutch built
by Count Philip (1168–1191) in 1180, and second in Pakistan “Baltit Fort,
Karimabad, “, ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
Founded in the 8th CE, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list
since 2004”.

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Through
these comparative case studies of adaptive reuse of consequential sites of
different geographical regions this paper considers distinct adaptive reuse
approach to these particular places to examine not only the tangible or
physical appearance, but also the intangible essence of past, which conveys the
spirit of place, is adequately identified and used as a basic tool for defining
the new use to the sites and preserving significant cultural heritage assets.

Comparing
and reviewing these two sites will suggest the adaptive reuse of redundant
buildings defined in the context of the challenge of capturing and preserving
their essential spirit of place during the adaption process. Although adaptive reuse
customarily refers to finding a new purpose for defunct sites, but the adopted
methodologies for initiating conservation priorities might be applied to some situations
where the transferal of material and immaterial values is desirable, including those
of the collective memories and social meaning implanted in the tangible and
intangible cultural heritage for their respective communities.