Title page for ETD etd-08202008-144026

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Blake, Michael Joseph
Author's Email Address blakem44@vt.edu
URN etd-08202008-144026
Title The New Harmony: An Adaptive Reuse Transit Hub
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Chair
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Member
Ritter, James William Committee Member
  • Morris A. Mechanic Theatre
  • Baltimore Regional Rail System Plan
  • Music and Architecture
  • Jazz and Architecture
Date of Defense 2008-07-03
Availability unrestricted
The development of jazz during the American industrial revolution represents a broader shift in the zeitgeist of the New World. With a rich heritage of rhythmic emphasis in both art and life, African American jazz musicians were able to internalize the increasingly polyrhythmic nature of the metropolis, and groove with the potentially oppressive presence of the machine. Their brazen embrace of the temporal encouraged artists of all media, replacing the burden of permanence and exactitude with the fearlessness of an improvising jazz soloist. The jazz-inspired works of Le Corbusier and Piet Mondrian, for example, explored a synesthetic relationship between the visual and the audible has captured the imagination of the great artists, musicians, architects, and philosophers throughout the history of culture.

My thesis exploration attempts to continue this tradition in the context of an increasingly accelerating speed of life, and the new, environmentally sensitive role of the machine. Just as Jazz poeticized the hectic rhythms of the industrial age, I believe that architecture should be conceived of as a synchronizing element within the contemporary urban landscape. Through my design of an adaptive reuse transit hub, my intent was to embrace the temporal in a manner that not only reflects the spirit of the age, but also creates musical architecture.

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