The term “museum” was first used in the Renaissance, in reference to private collections. The past decade has seen changes in museum architecture. Not only are there more museums than ever before, but also more functions to accommodate, more range in the kind of art they contain and more sustainable criteria in their design. By the early 20th century, new museums were replacing their architectural attitudes with open space organizations, often illuminated only by artificial light. Also, architectural transformation has taken place with the introduction of sustainable design understanding.

In this manner, we can define sustainable museum as a museum that provides more ecological solutions in spatial organization, materials and presentation of collections. Understandably, to create a sustainable future for museums, designers are assumed to use several eco-tech objectives which are likely to include; reducing the capital or embodied energy of the building materials and reducing fossil fuel energy use for heating, cooling, lighting, hot water, etc.

Today, due to the accelerated increase in technological innovations, most of buildings become enable to adapt the altering conditions of urban life. This situation can be mentioned as the structural life of building is usually longer than its functional life. In order to achieve the socio-cultural sustainability by the means of design criteria and protect the cultural heritage, to create a new function for the existing buildings in their existing structural envelope can be accepted as a solution approach for the issue. Especially, the industrial buildings that were built at the end of 19th century are now being rehabilitated as museum buildings or other cultural complexes.

Obviously, an adaptation function to re-use and re-functioning of existing buildings has social, economical, ecological and cultural benefits for the society. The aim of this study is to examine the reasons of re-functioning an existing industrial building regarding social, cultural and sustainable design criteria and analyze the process of this functional transformation into museums with chosen samples.