Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

Hansjoerg Goeritz

Committee Members

James R. Rose, Thomas K. Davis


Throughout the Appalachian region, one can experience the vast disappearance of the American landscape as we know it. Whether driving through the rugged coal mining towns of Virginia, or the suburban sprawl taking over the rural farmland of Tennessee, it becomes clear that this is a spreading epidemic. Without an appropriate balance of urban, suburban, and rural areas, we begin to loose the landscape which has always been so closely linked to this country’s cultural and physical identity.

This thesis focuses on the agrarian Appalachian culture with a proposal for a project rooted heavily in cultural identity. With programs based in areas of agricultural research, education, and tourism, this proposal unifies concepts of agriculture and commerce, the two key components found on the Tennessee state seal. Agriculture serves as the basis for the regional economy of the future; through research and education, agriculture is reborn. Grounded in concepts of American Pastoralism, the Picturesque Theory, and Urb and Suburb, this thesis enters into a larger conversation of contextual lineage and cultural heritage.

Sited in Grainger County on a peninsula of the Holsten River, this project takes advantage of 170 acres of rolling, pastoral landscape, accompanied by 5,000 feet of river frontage, and a stunning view of the Cumberland Plateau and Great Smoky Mountains. This inspiring site adds a bit of irony to this larger conversation – what once was a family farm, then an aspired upscale subdivision made complete with a private landing strip, is returning to it’s cultural roots with the implementation of an agricultural research and education center. The stage is set for the dynamic conversation between research and education, culture and commerce, and thus, building and landscape.

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