Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major Professor

Katherine B. Ambroziak

Committee Members

Avigail Sachs, Mark Schimmenti

Abstract

My goal in this thesis is to challenge the social issues that can arise from current downtown redevelopment plans throughout the United States. This proposal seeks to break down physical, spatial, and social barriers that can result from commercial development by creating a design intervention that is economically beneficial for the city while remaining inclusive to the community as a whole. This particular thesis will focus on the current downtown development in Muskegon, Michigan.

The challenge is to create a design and program that is as central to the community as industry once was. This will come in the form of specific design decisions and programmatic insertions that bring everyone back together. These initial moves will serve as catalysts to creating a series of all inclusive spaces that reinvigorate the downtown area of Muskegon, Michigan. The goal is to accomplish this through careful placement of performance, athletic, and trade training facilities, all tied together by a greenway and community market. These pieces of program can be great equalizers, and can create a healthy and vibrant downtown community along the waterfront of Muskegon Lake.

The project focuses on three different scales. The neighborhood scale focuses on addressing the spatial barriers that surround the downtown area and separate it from the adjacent neighborhoods. The downtown scale focuses on the overall campus plan for each of the programmatic elements of the design as well as removing the current barriers that stand between the downtown area and the waterfront. The final scale focuses on the immediate context surrounding the market and theater interventions.

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