Value engineering the palace of learning
Author(s)Behrends, Seth (Seth Steven)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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For the past fifty years the institution of public education has struggled to evolve beyond its Fordist origins and adapt to a society that favors innovative thought and interpersonal collaboration over a steadfast adherence to an assembly line mentality. During this time the architecture of public education has stubbornly resisted. The result has been the codification of a typology derived from authoritarian organizational strategies that prioritize spatial efficiency while failing to question whether the architecture is aligned with a school's educational philosophy. Educational research suggests that student success is linked to strong communal support networks. The public school as Civic Monument, however, represents an architecture isolated from the communities it serves. Meanwhile serial organization of classrooms accessed by double-loaded corridors lined with the ubiquitous student locker represents a public space incapable of fostering healthy interactions. This thesis offers a critique of the architecture of public education. The relationship between school and community is examined at an urban scale. Massing, facade, and site logics are addressed in an effort to reevaluate the role of the school as an organizing tool capable of activating previously neglected space while reinforcing the existing fabric and character of the site. On an architectural scale, the project addresses the nature of public space within the school, presenting an alternative to the double-loaded corridor. The relationship of classroom to circulation is inverted in an effort to activate the public space of the school and empower a student body with a sense of ownership in its academic environment.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2009.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 58-59).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology