DETAILS OF THE EXISTING INFORMING THE DESIGN OF THE NEW: A CRITICAL APPROACH TO THE ADAPTIVE-REUSE OF WATERSMEET FARM, SOUTH CAROLINA, CREATING A HISTORICAL NATURE RETREAT CENTER
“God lies in the detail” stated Mies van der Rohe… …“The detail is in the adoration of Nature” stated Louis I. Kahn… …for decades, even centuries, architects have been theorizing, designing and constructing details, in search for the perfect answer – the perfect story – to their particular design. This thesis is an exploration on exactly that – the architectural detail, and how it can inform and enhance the overall design. Instead of analyzing the details contained within a particular architectural movement and how they have changed design, this thesis looks at the details created by the common man – the builder of rural vernacular architecture. These structures contain basic joinery, materiality and detailing, passed down through history and heritage, as common building knowledge. How can these rural vernacular details educate an architect on a current design? This thesis explores the threat to historic cultural landscapes and the various preservation techniques, analyzes various theories on detailing, looks at numerous architect and program precedents, studies the history, style, and construction of the dilapidated buildings on site, and finally creates an adaptive-reuse solution. Furthermore, it is a critical analysis of the term “detail”. How does the old structure inform the new design? The building additions are treated with a continuity-to-contrast approach as you move deeper within the site. The project site is located in Oconee County, South Carolina, and contains an interesting history. This 300+ acre farm was once owned by Silas Butts, who among many things used his grist mill to produce moonshine - the profits of which supported an orphanage and schoolhouse.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:rural vernacular renewal details cultural landscape
Date of Publication:01/01/2005