Date of Award

Spring 7-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Eduardo Duarte

Second Advisor

Heinrich Hermann

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Katz


This thesis addresses the challenges posed by rapid aging in Korean society, particularly in depopulated rural areas, where the aging population ratio is significantly higher compared to urban areas. With the predicted elderly population reaching 40% by 2050, it is crucial to develop effective strategies to cope with this demographic shift.

The increasing closure and abandonment of schools in depopulated rural areas further exacerbate the challenges faced by these communities. While efforts have been made to repurpose closed schools, many of them still remain unused. This thesis proposes the reuse of abandoned schools as community centers to tackle both the issue of closed schools and the need for facilities that promote healthy living among the elderly.

As individuals age, various factors contribute to a decline in physical activity, resulting in negative effects on both physical and mental well-being. Additionally, rural areas often lack sufficient infrastructure, such as welfare facilities, sports facilities, and parks, which are essential for supporting a healthy lifestyle.

By leveraging the power of architecture, this thesis suggests a design solution that encourages visitors to engage in physical movement and become more active during their visit to repurposed community centers. The proposed design aims to naturally promote physical activity.

The repurposing of abandoned schools into community centers not only provides a valuable space for social interaction and engagement but also offers an innovative approach to address the challenges faced by aging rural areas. By creating inclusive and accessible environments, these repurposed community centers can contribute to improving the overall quality of life for the elderly and fostering stronger connections within local communities.



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