The historic rehabilitation of the E.E. Warren Opera House in Greenfield, Iowa: Design of a café, chamber of commerce, and art gallery focused on wayfinding and adaptability

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Dieleman, Brittany
Major Professor
Cigdem Akkurt
Committee Member
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Art and Design

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the application of two frameworks, historic rehabilitation and wayfinding, to a practical interior design project. It forms a bridge between interior design, historic rehabilitation, and wayfinding. The objective of the study is to create a successful historic rehabilitation project that will be a catalyst for the rehabilitation of the historic town square of Greenfield, Iowa, by applying the wayfinding and rehabilitation framework discovered through in-depth research. The study also reveals the potential use of the computer program UCL Depthmap in future rehabilitation projects and interior design in general.

First, this thesis analyzes the original E.E. Warren Opera House Building, the Hetherington Building, and the town of Greenfield, Iowa, in order to assess the existing conditions and use the information to transform the two historic buildings. The analysis uses a computer program called UCL Depthmap to analyze wayfinding and visual connectivity. Second, the learned framework and research is applied as a case study to an actual design process for a historic rehabilitation of the E.E. Warren Opera House and Hetherington buildings into a retail and mixed-use space. Following the initial schematic design, UCL Depthmap is used again to analyze the design and determine its level of interconnectedness. After the analysis, a schematic design is chosen and developed fully into a finished floor plan. The design implements the frameworks previously researched and the information learned from the computer analysis. It focuses on historic rehabilitation and adaptation to new functions and requirements by responding to existing conditions in a positive and respectful way while still conforming to user needs. The design also focuses on creating successful wayfinding within the buildings and city.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014