Since the 1990s, China has implemented the policy of “suppress the second industry and develop the third industry” in order to promote the adjustment of social and economic structure, and thus the industry has begun to face industrial transformation. As time goes by, the material language of the existing industrial buildings gradually conveys a broken, desolate expressiveness, which makes people have a certain “sense of fright caused by the fracture of time”, and it has also brought negative impacts to the shaping of the image of a beautiful city. Therefore, we need to re-understand the expression methods of materials in existing industrial buildings according to the needs of the new era.
Louis Kahn once said, “It is easier for materials to reveal the existence of meaning than space, and materials are easier to decode and illustrate. The rich texture and color of materials make it easier to perceive and grasp by human senses and has a more direct meaning than space.” Therefore, this paper explains the material types (material vocabulary) in the renovation of existing industrial buildings in China, and then through the analysis of related cases, derives the strategy and methods for the renovation of existing industrial buildings in China (materials pragmatics).