To achieve this balance, architects design flexible and adaptable building systems in order to create buildings that will work in the future as well as they do in the present. This balance occurs when the envelope and the interior can be adapted for changes in technology, program or occupant and when buildings are loose fitting and composed of materials that can be taken apart, rather than demolished.
It is crucial that the adaptability of the building be readily apparent to the occupants. Looking back on Colantonio's work, this is also a balance between externally derived change and continuity from within.
As an example, when Schipol Airport, outside Amsterdam, underwent its most recent renovation, the partitions were created using lighter materials more easily deconstructed. Spaces were designed larger than absolutely necessary, assuming a flux in passenger capacity.
La Maestra Health Clinic in San Diego though seeming comprised of many carved up offices and examination rooms, assumed great future change from the onset. Floor and ceiling finishes span the entire building, rather than stopping at partitions. The electrical and mechanical systems are designed and built with a high degree of flexibility for future room layout changes.