Curating sustainable adaptive reuse of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista: developing indices for historic spaces

Mary Ann Venturina Bulanadi1,2,*

Author Affliations

1College of Fine Arts and Design, University of Santo Tomas
2Research Center for Culture, Arts and Humanities University of Santo Tomas
*[email protected]


The study explores sustainable adaptive reuse of historic interior spaces within heritage structures as a means for cultural sustainability and community involvement. The research addresses the scarcity of trainings on adaptive reuse, which contributes to the perpetuation of incomplete techniques, improper procedures, and undocumented or decentralized standards. Through an ethnographic study from 2019 to 2020, this study determines the processes involved in curating spaces for adaptive reuse and develops appropriate historic interior design indices. Data collection focused on the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, a historically and architecturally significant structure in Quiapo, Manila. In particular, three data sets were examined: (1) the workflow for the previous curation of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista’s Joyeria Room as an illustrative example of adaptive reuse; (2) a comprehensive assessment of its present status and viability for adaptive reuse; and (3) interviews / discussions with key informants to support fieldwork data. Findings indicate that the adaptive reuse of historic interior spaces enhances a heritage structure’s status as a community asset and helps determine its specific role in promoting cultural sustainability in the area. A process flow on developing a Socio-Cultural Sustainability Index (SCSI) was produced to guide interior design development specialists in properly conducting adaptive reuse of historic interior spaces.