Historical campuses enabled post-Age of Enlightenment organizations’ operations and allowed them to adapt with times, supporting their processes of adaptive reuse transformation throughout the institutions’ recursive managerial cycles. However, the radical reforms which concerned these organizations since the second half of the 20th century, disabled those mechanics and instated a diffuse phenomenon of dismissal of their historic campuses, instating processes of abandon, demolition, degradation or degeneration and entailing the steady loss of their architectural, urban, functional, economic, historic and socio-cultural values.In the perspective of re-enabling, promoting and fostering fully-sustainable adaptive reuse transformations of the heritage to avoid the value losses, this research recognizes the lack of integration between the intervention domains participating in adaptive reuse operations as the main cause of the phenomenon. Specifically, it points to the impossibility for organizations to inform, support and assess such cross-domain broad-spectrum transformations following the serial structure of current adaptive reuse operational models.
Once observed the specific managerial, entrepreneurial and architectural characters of such transformations, the research focuses on the analysis of their processes and procedures in order to define the extents up to which they can be integrated and synchronized. This results in a parallelly-structured operational model in which the coherent processes of the three intervention domains are executed synchronously throughout the identified procedural and operational phases. These phases are then consolidated by defining the conduction tools available to the process managers (and to the ones of each individual domain), the nature and the relevance of the information transfer among the processes within a same procedural phase and/or the previous/next one and finally the reciprocal contributions of each domains in respect to the others.
The research then focuses on the theoretical validation of the proposed alternative operational model for adaptive reuse transformation of defunctionalized historic campuses. A comparative analysis reveals an increased ability of adaptive reuse operations conducted through the integrated operational model to consistently address the interests of the involved stakeholders and to be backed by major support networks. Additionally, it shows their higher aptitude in managing the risks inherently related to the operations by allowing its incremental phasing, which provides an otherwise absent degree of tolerance for ambiguity and proofs them from the excessive hindrance represented by intrinsic and extrinsic transformation factors. The integrated operational model also prompts to more fully sustainable transformations thanks to the coexistence of the control processes pertaining to each intervention domain. Overall, the proposed model better allows to restore, preserve and enhance the architectural, urban, functional, economic, historic and socio-cultural values of the dismissed historic campuses rather than the current ones. To achieve these performance increases, however, it relies on the presence of a favorable stakeholder environment at the local, regional and possibly national scale, whose involvement in the entire transformation process requires their availability for greater time and effort investments. Due to these requirements, the inclusion in the intervention program of elements such as a flagship project-orientation, the reliance on triple, quadruple and quintuple helix innovation models and the constitution of public-private partnerships should be strongly considered to facilitate the transformation process.