A Modern House for a New England Main Street
Pfeffer, Erich John
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Almost every New England town with colonial roots has a manicured Main Street, or some thoroughfare that is meticulously cared for in attempt to preserve and display its history through its architecture. Buildings range in age from as old as the town to as new as yesterday. However, in most cases, Main Street is not a true reflection of the complete history of a town. After a certain point in time, it was no longer acceptable to build in a manner reflective of the current conditions. If a new building was to be erected, only eclectic adaptations of past styles were deemed suitable, to achieve scenographic coherence. Resultantly, any significant truth to Main Street's architecture ceased to develop. A true reflection of the actual societal institution as manifested through the architecture of the town was lost. It is this loss that I refer to as "truth". This thesis is about finding, and restoring, truth through the design of a new house on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Glastonbury is a town full of colonial history, with more than 150 houses built before 1800, many of which exist on Main Street. The design for this house is not a direct condemnation of historic eclecticism; rather, it is an attempt to demonstrate how a house can be designed to reflect the true connection between time and place in the institution of "the house". The design acknowledges history through proportion, form, and scale, and it admits contemporary values through abstraction of details, use of materials, and organization of space. The product is a statement about how to design a house that comprehensively and truthfully reflects the spirit of its setting.
- Masters Theses