Title page for ETD etd-04022009-122906

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Trull, Mark
Author's Email Address mdtrull@vt.edu
URN etd-04022009-122906
Title Architecture Under the Influence of a Topographic Condition
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Chair
Edge, Kay F. Committee Member
Weiner, Frank H. Committee Member
  • topography
  • multi-family
  • residential
Date of Defense 2008-05-08
Availability unrestricted
The thought of building on this land is frightening to me. Construction is necessarily accompanied by a relative level of destruction, and I always have to question whether the positive outweighs the negative. It is rare that the act of building is approached with the level of gravity it deserves, considering the significance of what is taking place. It is the replacement and/or displacement of ‘what is’ with what we think ‘should be’. And what ‘should be’? Luigi Snozzi tells us to “Destroy with sensibility.” So the question becomes, what is sensible, and conversely (and maybe more importantly), what is insensible. Architecture has the role of establishing the relationship that will exist between inhabitants and inhabited before the former even arrive. In a building that is designed with careful consideration of its surroundings, the inhabitants are themselves likely to extend a more careful consideration toward their environment. It is a fortunate relationship for both, as the inhabited is treated to at least a greater level of regard if not reverence, while the inhabitants benefit from the richness of experience that comes with a positive connection to place. In buildings where this role is neglected, the unfortunate relationship established by default is one of dominion with disregard.
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