Aesthetic Movement Ideals in Contemporary Architecture: The President Garfield Historic Site Visitors Center
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The James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio includes numerous structures of mid 19th century Victorian Era architecture. After the grounds became a national landmark in 1945, all new additions conformed to the existing historic style. This Thesis proposes that the existing visitors center be relocated from the carriage house to a new structure on site. This new visitor center is sensitive to the existing however, visually different. This architectural position is contradictory to previous additions in the past 50 years. Therefore, to draw a parallel and in an effort to allude to the past, the contemporary visitor center contains the same philosophical ideals of the Victorian reform Aesthetic Movement. Three of those ideals that are present in the visitor center include horizontality, dynamic space and honesty of structure. For the Aesthetes, horizontality was an influence from Japanese design, while the creation of dynamic space was meant to create an emotional response. Honesty of structure meant that a building should posses a clear and evident expression of its structural system and materials. In other words, using materials for their own sake. Even though over one hundred years have passed since the beginning of the Aesthetic Movement, this thesis is an exploration and continuation of those main ideals into contemporary architecture.
- Masters Theses