The Life of Buildings:  A Narrative Through Time


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Virginia Tech


The metaphor of buildings as "living beings" offers insight into our attitudes towards buildings and how we might conceive of buildings differently as architects. By personifying buildings as being alive, we understand the full life of a building, not only its past history but also its future needs, transformations or uses. The ceremonial opening of a building often assumes a finished construction existing within a fixed moment in time. In reality, however, buildings perpetually evolve throughout their entire lifetime. The story of a building's life, a chronicle of both the process of making and its evolution, can be narrated by the architect through the language of details.

This thesis proposes a Gallery + Library Archive for Black Mountain College at the site of a fire-ravaged cotton mill within the River Arts District of Asheville, North Carolina. The project seeks to establish a continuum between the historic past of the site and the current transformations of the district. The architectural design of the new building serves as a vehicle to study buildings in time and details that reveal the process of a building's making.



time, making, weathering