SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1986

Developmental History of Institutions—Life History of Their Buildings


This paper attempts to discuss mutual influences of the organizational development of institutions and their buildings. This is done in a dynamic approach in that the process of birth, growth, maturity, aging, and decay of institutions is described in its mutual impact on the life history of buildings from the briefing and design through realization, utilization, alteration, and rehabilitation to the physical decay and demolition or rebirth.

Building performance is not only a characteristic of the building itself but is highly determined by the dynamic process of development and transition which an institution undergoes during its existence.

So, even flexible and adaptable buildings show a deterministic, static character, and their total building performance must be permanently readjusted during the history of their use.

Building rehabilitation and preservation is seen as a means to support the organizational development of institutions in certain critical phases of their existence. The appreciation or condemnation of old buildings—as seen from institutional expectations and needs, from policy and value concepts, and from strategic and economic aspects—stems by no means only from functional or technological reasons.

Author Information

Peter, J
Kassel University, Kassel, Germany D
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 69–85
DOI: 10.1520/STP23013S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4968-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0458-7