Title page for ETD etd-06072003-090605


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hart, Timothy Robert
Author's Email Address timhart@maine.rr.com
URN etd-06072003-090605
Title Vita Beata
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brown, William W. Committee Chair
O'Brien, Michael J. Committee Member
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Member
Keywords
  • urban design
  • urbanism
  • urban sprawl
  • proportion
  • architecture
Date of Defense 2001-09-19
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
"The main role of the art of building is to make our life pleasant and happy, an invaluable vita beata"-Marco Frascari.

Vita Beata-the blessed life, the good life-this is why we design and ultimately build. Designers too often forget this important reality and unwittingly design places which may serve the financial expediency of their clients, or their own intellectual hubris, but entirely miss this highest aim of architecture.

Such an epicurean design position demands that the highest priority be placed on architectural relationships and conditions which serve people in their endeavor to be reconciled and at peace with their surroundings. This thesis examines three such relationships: the relationship of the house with neighboring houses, the relationship of the house with its site, and the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Houses built under today's urban (or suburban) sprawl paradigm often create dysfunction and disharmony in these critical relationships and subtly alienate and harass people in their daily efforts to fulfill their most fundamental human desires.

Several precedents from master architects are considered which actively address these important relationships, with very positive results.

A small, multi-unit, residential project is proposed with respect to these relationships and in response to the harmful practices of urban sprawl.

Our culture desperately needs relevant proposals from architects which address the blight of urban sprawl. Too often, architectural ideas are limited in their relevance because they are conceived in utopian notions that disregard, or naively overlook, important contextual factors and relationships.

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