Returning Home: Collective Dwelling Through Incremental Architecure
Nelson, Zachary C.
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Thomas Moore defined home at three scales: the psyche which shelters our souls, the physical place that we make domesticity in, and the broader metaphysical context in which we find our culture, history, and selves within. Today however, housing in the United States is birthed by economic interests, creating modernized "units" that are detached from humanity and the way we dwell. Consequently, the "American Dream" for new generations has been disintegrated, and our built environment has lost its ability to relate to the broader contexts of our lives. To combat the consequences of an inflating housing market, the federal government has created economically reductive social housing projects, exacerbating the issue through "efficient" architecture and inhumane impositions that manifest even more inhumane conditions. The most notorious examples of this approach are the failed housing projects at Pruitt-Igoe, in St. Louis, Missouri. This thesis reexamines the process of creating home as one intrinsically related to dwelling. By providing a community with foundational facilities to support its growth over the old site of Pruitt-Igoe, this project explores the possibility for incremental interventions across the site that may be developed to create tangible connections between the residents themselves and the broader context of home at its various scales.