Date of Award

8-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major

Architecture

Major Professor

Theodore E. Shelton

Committee Members

Scott W. Wall, Marleen K. Davis

Abstract

The American city contains large brownfields and urban wastelands, remnants of our industrial past. The sprawling and unchecked development of our cities combined with short-sighted zoning laws and vast industrial infrastructure created these gashes in the post-industrial landscape. Old rail yards, industrial processes, abandoned buildings, interstates, and abandoned riverfronts and wharves wound the urban landscape, and the reactionary response is to clear the site and start over. Yet as Carol Burns states, there is no such thing as a “clear” site- all sites contain permanent imprints of past and present events. This thesis posits that architecture possesses the power to heal the wounds left by these damaging actions by constructing on the site buildings that reconnect the old and the new in a manner that regenerates the site. These constructed sites begin to heal the wound while leaving an architectural “scar” on the site.

This thesis addresses the social and ecological wounds left on the city of Knoxville by the interstate system. I will demonstrate how architectural scars can activate the residual spaces around and below the interstates that once divided the city, re-stitching the urban landscape. The program explores the potential for healing the social and ecological wounds through the insertion of a community elementary and middle school as a scar.

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