Theses Master's

Managing Transparency in Post-War Modern Architecture

Leukart, Makenzie

The purpose of this thesis is to understand the role of transparency in modern architecture. Specifically, as it relates to our understanding of its interior and the implications of this relationship regarding managing its integrity over time.
Inconsistencies in the application of current preservation policies to modern architecture occur largely because the regulations were developed for these more closed, traditional architectures. In that architectural expression, the separation between outside and inside occurs visually. The dissolution of concrete divisions between exterior and interior that occurred within modern architecture requires the thought process involved in preserving, renovating and re-using these structures to be reconfigured. There is a direct link now between the interior and exterior from the public’s perspective. The focus of this thesis will be on buildings which utilize transparency to reveal the interior, focusing on views from the outside-in.
I will look to rework the generalized questions of stewardship in modern architecture towards the use of transparency specifically. The three main questions wanting to be answered in reference to transparency are as follows;
1. How is transparency used in this building?
2. Does the way transparency is used effect possible future reconfigurations of space?
3. What interior elements (if any), beyond the physical façade, augment the purpose and reading of transparency?
These questions are explored in a series of case studies. The case studies will provide background on the original intent of the building and then continue to explore the building’s contemporary history touching on effects of evolving programming and exploring implications of any physical alterations on the significance of transparency. The lessons learned from these studies as well as identified commonalities will be used to make recommendations of needed expansion of preservation policy to properly preserve this archetype into the future.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Prudon, Theodore
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 24, 2016