Philadelphia Public Housing: Reknitting the Urban Fabric

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Virginia Tech


Our world continues to undergo significant and extraordinary changes. Technology is firmly becoming embedded into society, population is steadily increasing, and a greater awareness of our fragile environment is emerging.

Cities are responding.

There is a reclaiming of the American downtown. Suburban USA still sprawls at alarming rates, but cities are beginnng to shed their image of havens for crime and the homeless.

A more acute investigation at the neighborhood scale reveals situations more reluctant to adapt. Pieces of the urban fabric over time have been torn from their whole. Some, the result of neglect, while others are the victims of sweeping Modernist ideas that never came to fuition, leaving racial, social and economic barriers that halt the momentum of change. This thesis project, Philadelphia Public Housing: Reknitting the Urban Fabric, addreses these issues by forming a bridge between a place, with its inherent urban language and the people who inhabit that place.

In an age of mass produced housing, how does one create an architecture at the urban scale that harmoniously coexists in an environment of crafted, historic housing, while embracing a standardized set of parts and assembly, maintaining integrity and promoting the building of community?



housing, genius loci, community, urbanism