Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major

Architecture

Major Professor

Tricia A. Stuth

Committee Members

James R. Rose, Brad P. Collett

Abstract

The typical cycle of industrial use, disuse, and abandonment is no longer acceptable or feasible. This thesis investigates phased remediation and conversion of petrochemical structures and their respective sites with the intention of increasing both the socioeconomic vitality and environmental quality of the area.

The oil silo is an intriguing object and industrial artifact. Being close to one of these massive structures is captivating and there is something truly exciting and thought provoking about inhabiting a space that was clearly not meant for humans. These are qualities that provide opportunities to connect people with a site and create a place with substance in a way that is unique, thoughtful and long lasting. Millions of these structures exist throughout the world, creating the opportunity for a new typology of adaptive reuse.

Society is currently operating within a pivotal moment in time. There is a global increase of awareness and understanding when it comes to the limited resources available on this planet. Topics such as renewable resources, peak oil, and climate change continue to be key aspects of the global conversation. Reducing consumption, waste, and pollution are of the utmost importance in considering the future of our world. Petrochemical structures around the world may become obsolete in coming years due to the decline in oil dependence and the reuse of these structures will save tons of material from ending up in landfills.

This thesis posits that the spectacle of industrial infrastructure is a catalyst for repurposing and remediating underutilized lands, and that the process of repurposing and remediation presents powerful opportunities for place-making.

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