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Virginia Tech


This thesis is an investigation of architecture in terms of its importance to individual and cultural understanding of context and belonging. Architecture should be viewed as more than a mark on the landscape; it is a critical element of identity enabled through a continuous process of discovery, learning, and growth as a function of sensory perception.

The project used to illustrate this thesis is the Roanoke Catholic School at the crest of St. Andrew's Hill in Roanoke, Virginia. St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church serves as an important landmark in the city; therefore, the new school must contribute to the site and enhance the presence of the church as viewed by the residents of Roanoke. Likewise, the design of a private school which accommodates grades pre-Kindergarten through 12, provided the opportunity to show how the built environment may reflect varying needs of students as they grow, intellectually and physically, and the development of a sense of community in the school.

Architecture becomes an active participant in the lives of people both inside and outside of its specific content.



Context, Identity, Content