Life in Downtown

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Virginia Tech


Architecture is a product of its surroundings. The response to site, program, and history of place differs everytime. How we interpret a place is influenced by our own experiences in life. We each possess a unique set of tools which we use to construct the spaces that surround us. A place is given life and vitality through the people that use them. It is the architect's job to create a place that encourages life to exist.

Everyday activities take many forms - eating, sleeping, working, playing, sitting - all forms of interaction. When these activities are set in an urban location, life begins to dictate the spaces necessary for them to take place. An urban setting needs people to thrive; and people choose to live in these settings for human interaction, dependence on others, and a sense of belonging.

This thesis investigates the integration of urban housing and retail space in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. It is architecture that is desperately needed in order to sustain urban life in this part of town.



threshold, farmers market, wall, catwalk, plaza, street edge, city market, transition space