Maxwell Altman

Reengineering Value

Through adaptive reuse an equitable densified inhabitation solution can be instituted for the Broad Street Synagogue, using a doctrine of value defined by emotion instead of economics to generate positive experience through materiality.

An initial investigation into dwelling and the concept of value has instigated a desire to redefine value from the traditional economic stance. Value in living currently suggests a focus on qualities that directly influence and maintain aspects of monetary value, however value can be placed instead in what influences emotional well being. Equity becomes a powerful motivator for the inclusion of positive influences, even when not directly monetizable.

When considering the critical tools to impact the experience of spaces directly, and in turn the ease of inhabitation, materials prove to be crucial. Sentimentality and nostalgia emerge as responses to both existing and new materials intrinsically tied to emotion, providing their own means to influence and interpret that which exists while other means of perception complete the engagement. Evocation of memories (subconscious or otherwise) and the presence of an absence induce a journey attentive to detail without necessarily always caring for their origin.

Adaptive reuse emerges as an equitable opportunity in many aspects while providing a source of emotional heritage. I choose not to dictate a doctrine of singular restoration but instead a dialogue of retention, restoration, and removal under a lens of emotion and pragmatism. This provides moments to be precious, creative, or idealistic in regards to the elements within the entity.


Preliminary Experiments


4 collages combined into a singular image on a 2x2 grid, black and white buildings with purple accents.

Preliminary collages created during the research phase concerning the act of dwelling and high density housing.

The Existing: The Broad Street Synagogue


An exploded axonometric image of the Broad Street Synagogue with two isometric images of the building assembled at the base.

An exploded axonometric image of the Broad Street Synagogue (Before Adaptive Reuse Intervention).