Urban redevelopment through adaptive reuse offers a compelling alternative to demolishing derelict
and disused buildings and presents the prospect of retaining the cultural relevance that historical
buildings can offer a community.
The aim of adaptive reuse is revitalizing and generating sustainable values of these buildings, adaptive
reuse is adopted as a process of modifying, adapting and reusing obsolete buildings with their existing
structures to extend their life cycle whilst performing a new function.
Adaptive reuse presents a significant opportunity to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, improve
the urban landscape and maintain their unique contribution to the cultural identity of a place. Kisumu
city owes its origin and history to the British colonialist. Kisumu was identified by the British explorers
in early 1898 as an alternative railway terminus and port for the Uganda railway. However, the decline
of the port and railway activities over the recent years has seen some of the historic buildings in Kisumu
city deteriorating and becoming obsolete.
This thesis attempts to explore and interpret the contradictory forces of building new as the direction of
redevelopment of contemporary Kisumu city, by investigating the emerging phenomenon of adaptive
reuse. The purpose of exploring reuse architecture is to determine how adaptive reuse is contributing to
a more historically and culturally sustainable architecture/society in Kisumu and Kenya at large.
The main result of the study is that from around the turn of the 21st century, there is a small, but
alternative development of adaptive reuse emerging in Kisumu that is a spatial restructuring
contributing to a more cultural and historical sustainable architecture in the county.