Title page for ETD etd-061099-095805

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author St. Leger-Demian, Merrill Dina
URN etd-061099-095805
Title Urban Rhythms: A School of Music and Mixed-Use Project for Washington, DC.
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Chair
Holt, Jaan Committee Member
Hunt, Gregory Keane Committee Member
  • school
  • music
  • institutional
  • mixed-use
  • urban
Date of Defense 1994-04-15
Availability unrestricted
I believe that there are certain forces, I call them rhythms, which exist in the urban environment. They are rhythms because they are both physically and perceptually dynamic. These rhythms shape the city, and give character to the different neighborhoods in the city. They help organize the sites in those neighborhoods; they influence the designs of the buildings on those sites, the rooms within the buildings and even the buildings’ smallest details.

Rhythms are found at every scale of design. They exist regardless of language or articulation of the Architecture. They are independent of style or ornament. They are clues for the architect to discover and act upon. They can be anything from actual physical elements, to fleeting emotional ones. They allow projects to be tied intimately to the environment around them. They give the city its fabric. These rhythms are in a constant and dynamic evolution, yet they help produce and enhance something seemingly static - the sense of place, because they are already an intimate part of the place.

I believe that architects have the opportunity to capture these rhythms, to manipulate them, and to use them in the creation of places which energize the user’s experience. In fact, architects have the responsibility to do so in exchange for the priviledge of impacting the development of the city. This project is an exploration of design with these rhythms.

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