Title page for ETD etd-08052006-115423

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mosso, Santiago
URN etd-08052006-115423
Title Building as Witness
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Chair
Feuerstein, Marcia F. Committee Member
Holt, Jaan Committee Member
  • Building
  • fireman
  • indexical signs
  • marks
  • Santiago Mosso
  • Ariadna Belmonte
  • Laura Croce
  • Nestor Cerami
  • Cecilia de la Vega
  • Andres Martinez
  • fire truck
  • Fire Station
  • Witness
  • wax tablet
  • history
  • memory
Date of Defense 2006-06-07
Availability unrestricted
A fire station is a building where not too many things happen. But the few that do are either too forgettable or too memorable. This thesis tries to achieve time, innovation and realism. There's a redundancy in this building, in people's actions that makes it memorable.

This building is the evidence of my way of thinking architecture. It reflects my memory as student and architect. It shows an undeniable background. It's questioning why buildings don't endure in time, why they are disposable objects. I'm trying to find reasons to make a building respectful, socially involved with its surroundings.

The project is a midsize fire station. It answers to an actual necessity to relocate the existing fire station on Prince St. (Alexandria, VA) giving more space for firefighters and better access for two trucks. The new site is an existing parking lot that crosses a whole block from South Washington St. to South Columbus St. between Wilkes St. and Wolfe St. This site gave me the possibility to create a building where trucks can access and leave it without turning or maneuvering too much.

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