Building a federal ideal : juxtaposition of individual and the state
Author(s)McCullough, David Scott
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This thesis is about the design of a hypothetical national institution called the American Institute. The Institute consists of a presidential library and archive, a somewhat scholarly center for national debate, and a museum for the public presentation of critical national issues. Included in the program are facilities for large public symposia. A site for the Institute was located in the Fort Washington National Park on the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C. Beginning with a program invented to reflect a clear historical circumstance, this thesis attempts to draw multiple design rationale from a mixture of projected physical needs and social and political ideals. These rationale then lead directly to a design philosophy that guides the subsequent building design. Without the use of any conscious formal historical reference, the design asserts itself as uniquely representative of a national spirit, evoking the mood of the United States during the tenure of an imaginary presidency, and satisfies physical needs through a clear organization. The thesis is presented in three parts. First the hypothetical historical condition is presented and the building needs that result from the condition. Secondly, the philosophy derived from both physical need and political ideals is described. Finally, the American Institute is presented, described both in physical terms and in terms of the possible social and political understandings implied in the final design.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1990.Supervised by William Hubbard.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology