Advocating Silence

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Virginia Tech

The buildings people inhabit everyday frame their existence and provide a backdrop for life. This relationship is inextricable and, as such, begs the question as to whether buildings can function as more than mere containers for life or whether they, at some point or in some capacity, can begin to bare influence over the life or quality of life of their patrons. This project is an intention to explore this qualitative, unquantifiable aspect of building. Through a manipulation of volume and mass, constriction and expansion, solid and void, light and shadow, and the qualities of interiority and exteriority an occupied space will begin to impress itself upon the user. The main objective of this project is to use these architectural properties to create a place that fosters introspection through self awareness. By choosing presence over practicality and content over convention, the construct proposed in this thesis attempts to create spaces that are imposing and unfamiliar yet somehow emotionally reminiscent. Confronted by these contradictions and juxtapositions, this building will stand as an object, in opposition to the occupant, and through that opposition inspire and promote a greater awareness of, and possibly a reflection upon, normally unconscious thought processes.

Architecture, silence, stone, masonry, dry-stack, self, consciousness, physicality, mass, heaviness, ruins, mountain, pavilion