Filled with light: a new meaning for architecture

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


With completion of the project, it is important to critically examine the result in order to derive new thought or insight gained from the design process. I feel, at least for the time being, that the narrative of the architectural experience is sufficient, and of itself a valid closure for all lines of reasoning. However, we are left with the thesis that claims that the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Center for Culinary Arts has provided a new meaning; that it is filled with light. Perhaps a better, yet less abstract theory would claim that light provides us with the knowledge that sustains us in our productive and creative endeavors. Our creative visions are dependent upon it as well as our basic need for life itself.

This is a sad moment in the course of the thesis project for several reasons. First, many years have been spent with its involvement and facilitation. Second, the desire remains to continue with its path of exploration, to improve upon it - to make it better. Finally, the friends made along that path; I must let them go, at least for a time. And, at this juncture, I have found this to be inherently problematic with the nature of a thesis project.

Conversely, this is a happy moment. The project remains as a direct result of the experience. Though it has a "shelf-life" (the model and the drawings), the thesis remains that there is a new meaning: that which is filled with light. So, in transcending the experience, I take this gift of light which has been facilitated so patiently and constantly to that which is new. And, perhaps, those that have been involved with the process of its making will also find a new meaning as a result of the exchange.

"Hence the legend that in a classical work, even if only a tiny fragment survives, one can always reconstruct the whole."