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(3APP1145) ReBuilding Home: Memory, Dwelling, and Architecture

3APP - 1145
Drexel University / us United States
1 members
Ryan Debski

Project type:
Residencial Colectiva

REBUILDING HOME attempts to make a new home for the people of Futaba, a place to dwell that not only recalls the memories of the past and allows new memories to be created, but also where the refugees can dwell meaningfully as a community in the physical environment (architectural and natural) that the people of Futaba can call home. In short, this thesis seeks to answer how architects can contribute their craft to the rebuilding of communities that have been devastated in such a way that is sensitive to both time and place, but also memory and history to create architecture that is at once timely, time-full, and eternal.

Historically, disasters have provided architects and their public the opportunity to think broadly and deeply about the built environment. War, natural disasters, and disasters created by humans - fires and nuclear meltdowns alike - have created these opportunities to rebuild. This form of rebuilding offers a vision or faith in the future as well as the confidence that the past can be improved upon. Buildings, as reflections of the values of the culture they belong to and because of their longevity, have the ability to store the collective memories of a community as well as the identity of the people they represent. Because of these memories, there is an inevitability that whatever is built will be both a confirmation and a criticism of what existed before. This perhaps explains why, after World War II, the people of Warsaw rebuilt their city as it previously was from the rubble of the old, or why the Senso-Ji temple in Tokyo was rebuilt after it was bombed and destroyed. Other places, such as Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 or Seoul after the Korean War, were rebuilt anew without much referencing of the past, while still other reconstructions combined the old with the new.

In addition to memory, the concept of dwelling plays a central role in this thesis. The word dwelling has several complementary meanings. A dwelling is a residence that represents the taste, values, and social relationships of its inhabitants. Alternatively, "dwelling" signifies a private process involving introspective recollection, reflection, and immersion in emotion. To Heidegger, dwelling, as the essential property of human existence, reflects the relationship among man, culture, and environment, and is the apparatus through which man identifies and orients himself in the world. However, "dwelling" perhaps has the most meaning in the modest context of daily living in communities. Humans, as social beings, need to share our thoughts and emotions with each other in order to learn, to heal, and to create. This social need for togetherness and connection to others is deeply embedded within the individual members of the community and comes from our dependency on our fellow beings. Disasters, by disrupting and severing the interpersonal connections within the community, either temporarily or permanently damage the community and prevent its members from living meaningful lives. This project proposes a solution for rebuilding the community of Futaba, and restore meaning to the refugee’s lives.

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(3APP1145) ReBuilding Home: Memory, Dwelling, and Architecture
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