Integral pieces: an elemental approach to architecture

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The roles of the individual elements and their constituent pieces that form the basis for the language of architecture were investigated. Walls, stairs, floors, beams, and other elements are the primary means necessary for the expression of ideas in architectural terms. To effectively use these elements, an understanding of their material properties and characteristics is essential.

The role of the wall in architecture was especially important in this thesis. Walls have been considered primarily in response to their physical and material properties. Other elements were dealt with according to how they react with the wall.

The project is a complex of multi-use buildings to be shared by the university and the town of Blacksburg and is located on the site of the current parking lot of the Continuing Education Center at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street in Blacksburg.