Graduate Thesis Preliminary studies

Blacksburg, VA
Graduate Thesis, M.Arch.1, Virginia Tech

A residence hall is a temporary home, for at most four years. Yet, it can be the most impactful campus environment on a student's education and life. From lifelong friendships to retention rates, residence halls affect students as many experience their first opportunity to express their individuality and personal responsibility. No study can conclusively determine that one residence hall type is better than another. Rather, it is a hall's overall gestalt that determines student satisfaction and a positive perception of community.

The question of my thesis explores how residence hall architecture can anticipate its role as an inspiring distraction to the individual that provokes interaction, engagement, and community as a building type that is not quite transient and not quite permanent.

A comprehensive study of residence halls around the world and the impact of the physical environment on students formed the basis of my preliminary work. The project is located on Virginia Tech's campus, on a site designated to become a residence hall in the planned innovation and creativity corridor. The massing of the site focuses on the questions of porosity of the urban form, spatial arrangement (1+1=3), and visual communal connections.