Title page for ETD etd-06032011-162603

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Dunlevy, Shane Conlan
URN etd-06032011-162603
Title On Ornament: A Catholic Cemetery for Philadelphia
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Feuerstein, Marcia F. Committee Chair
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Member
Holt, Jaan Committee Member
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Member
  • procession
  • imagination
  • material
  • cemetery
  • catholic
  • chapel
  • columbarium
  • ornament
  • mausoleum
  • architecture
Date of Defense 2011-02-04
Availability unrestricted
The practice of architecture exists because man has sought shelter from the forces of the world he finds himself. It is wonder of this same world that has caused him to shape his rooms from age to age. In every instance, he recreates the world within the world with the materials of that world. It is the marks, the cuts, the juxtaposition, and the joining of these materials in which ornament dwells. It is present wherever man has shaped material for construction. It is a whisper when homogenized, and it is a trumpet blast when varied. This thesis will delve into the making of ornament, and my love for it.

My first cognizant encounter with architecture, was my fascination with the sculpted stones of the gothic cathedrals. It was the ornament that caused me to be fascinated and to remember. So for this thesis, I sought to imagine walls worth remembering. I wanted to touch every material with my mind’s eye so that it might be a gift for others. I wanted to ornate.

It seemed best for the design to be sacred and to be in an urban setting. I also thought that the presence of time and aging might help the thesis. I came to choose the program of a catholic cemetery in Philadelphia. I hoped to explore what meaningful marks and arrangements of materials I could impart to this ephemeral world.

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