Sustainability Comparative Assessment of Adaptive Reuse of Heritage Buildings as Museums: A Case of Tlemcen


  • Imane Djebbour Tahri Mohamed Bechar University, ARCHIPEL Laboratory
  • Ratiba Wided BIARA Tahri Mohamed Bechar University, ARCHIPEL Laboratory



Heritage buildings, Adaptive reuse, Sustainability, comparative assessment, Tlemcen (Algeria)


The question of adaptive reuse offers a harmony between physical character and functional of historical buildings. It becomes an effective strategy in order to enhance its sustainability and revitalize the overall appearance of the city. The interaction between the decision of reuse and sustainability aims only to find a balance between the project and sustainable development criteria. It mainly relies on the constant evaluation of historical building’s sustainability. In the case of Tlemcen city, the event “Tlemcen capital of the Islamic culture” has been a chance for the reuse of monuments in museums in order to endure over time. This document aims to examine how sustainability changes from a monument to another to identify issues affecting the sustainability of reused monuments. Based on an empirical approach, the document makes a comparative assessment of the six monuments reused as museums in Tlemcen city, which has a qualitative study based mainly on 80 semi-directive interviews with the three samples of the population; heritage specialists, managers and ordinary citizens. The research also began with a document analysis to review the changes brought by historical stratification also an in-situ observation that provides an opportunity to analyze monuments in the field. Finally, the quantitative evaluation was carried out using an evaluation grid containing an evaluation scale and the set of indicators obtained from the interview conducted. The results obtained from this study reveal that sustainability varies from case to another depending on the primary characteristics of the monument that directly affects the sustainability’s score of each criterion that influences the adaptive reuse process. Indeed, the new "museum" function installed does not ensureby itself a unified sustainability of the studied monuments.



Author Biographies

Imane Djebbour, Tahri Mohamed Bechar University, ARCHIPEL Laboratory

Department of Architecture

Ratiba Wided BIARA, Tahri Mohamed Bechar University, ARCHIPEL Laboratory

Département d'architecture