Security through Design in the Public Environment

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Virginia Tech

The following thesis project is an investigation in the topic of security through design. The study sought a site and program susceptible to attack in the public environment in order to design an appropriate response to the inherent tension from those attributes. The work represents an architectural reaction to the engineered assessments and solutions that permeate the post 9/11 world. The seemingly indiscriminate deployment of bollards, planters, and jersey barriers choke the representation of openness and freedom as well as the perception of safety from contemporary cities and buildings.

My personal design approach attempts to re-present a constraint through the experience of a user to celebrate the inherent potential of that perceived limitation. The presented solution has embraced security and other "limiting" considerations in the dialogue of design beyond base utilitarian functions. Acknowledging "security through design" solutions in this context requires consideration of various building archetypes and particular sites as independent design variables. The vehicle for this research was found as an institute to counter terrorism located in the Washington D.C. region.

Security, Safety, Anti-terrorism, Force Protection