Title page for ETD etd-06292007-163331

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Coxson, David Rittenhouse
URN etd-06292007-163331
Title The District of Columbia Waterfront Atelier (DCWA): A Machine for the Arts
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Chair
Jones, James R. Committee Member
Weiner, Frank H. Committee Member
  • waterfront
  • transparency
  • washington dc
  • diagram
  • industrial
  • warehouse
  • atelier
  • art
Date of Defense 2007-05-08
Availability unrestricted
In an attempt to address the accessibility of the arts in Washington, D.C. and also to engage the underutilized waterfront, this thesis proposes a cultural center for the arts that at once links the building with the water, but which also becomes a source of excitement for the city. The arts center will act as an atelier that mixes education, production and exhibition of fine arts, theater, dance and music, with the goal being to achieve a space alive with activity and shared energy.

Typically, buildings for art education have followed a model that emphasizes interaction by forcing artists of different media to share the same space in a classroom environment. Those same rooms may appear no different than, say, a room intended for an English class or science lab. The District of Columbia Waterfront Atelier (DCWA) aims to offer spaces that are designed for the specific medium and nothing else, thus, elevating the importance of the craft. By separating the arts into singular units, one may wonder if interaction between artists is lost. Interaction, however, may be achieved through different methods rather than, simply, by programmatic ones and the DCWA has become an exploration to discover alternatives to maintain and heighten the universal goal of an art atelier: to become engulfed and energized by the arts in an interactive setting.

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