Dec 01, 2022  
2021 - 2022 University Catalog 
    
2021 - 2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ARCH 517 - Collaborative Revitalization Studio


Prerequisites: ARCH 413   or PLAN 511
Requirement Fulfillment: Graduate Studio option for Master of Architecture (complete 2 Arch 515, or 1 Arch 515
and 1 Arch 517)
Capstone Requirement for MS in Historic Preservation
Note: Graduate Studio option for Master of Architecture (complete 2 Arch 515, or 1 Arch 515
and 1 Arch 517)
Capstone Requirement for MS in Historic Preservation
Delivery: Studio
A fundamental shift is occurring in architecture, planning, and urban design. New construction has
increased significantly from its lows immediately post-recession, but the rapid and accelerating
urbanization of the US (and the world in general) in the past generation has necessitated an entirely
new mini-industry and mode of thought - that of adaptation and revitalization. While the previous
several generations of architectural and urban thought considered existing buildings and architectural
developments as either sites to be cleared for new construction, or sites to be preserved for ‘historic’
value, we now have to contend with some very real and very practical considerations about land and
resource utilization. What does preservation mean? What is the embodied value of an existing building?
We now have a much better understanding of full extent of the building industry’s contribution to
carbon emissions, and the numbers are staggering - by some metrics, between a quarter and a third of
the world’s entire carbon emission footprint stems from the activities of the building industry, from the
harvesting and transportation of materials, to the rate of new construction, to the performance of
those buildings after construction.
Americans - particularly young Americans - are moving back into dense urban areas at an astonishing
pace. Land is scarce and increasingly expensive. New construction in these confines is increasingly
impractical and its sustainability (as currently practiced) is dubious. Infrastructure built in the mid-20th

century isn’t going anywhere, and must be contended with and designed around. Furthermore, this re-
urbanization has moved beyond major cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Economic

pressure has pushed smaller communities with existing density and infrastructure access, like

Providence, RI, or Charleston, SC, to grapple with these questions and deal with an influx of young
workers and businesses.
Revitalization and adaptation is now a new paradigm of consideration, beyond simply “preserve” or
“demolish.” How can we take what exists and not only preserve and celebrate its intrinsic value - both
physically in its embodied structure and materials, but also culturally - but truly adapt it for dynamic
modern re-use?
This studio will focus on these broad issues, on the emergence of revitalization and adaptation, and the
broader implications of fitting modern programs into historic buildings in an urban environment. Minimum Passing Grade: B- (graduate)

5 credits
Spring



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