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Thickening the Edge

Jeffrey M Bedard


Thickening the Edge IN>Form | PER<Form B.Arch Final Project

Jeffrey M Bedard Spring 2011 Mark Mistur - studio head

Thomas Mical - committee member

Table of Contents PrĂŠcis


. . . 02



. . . 10

Ecological Systems


. . . 22

Design Investigations


. . . 36

Of the Edge


. . . 46

Creating Duality


. . . 60

Thickened Experience


. . . 70



. . . 86



. . . 94

Figure 1: an aspen forest at sunrise





Thickening the Edge Jeffrey Bedard

Abstract At the threshold of boundary, multiple systems collide and ecologies transform allowing the adjacent logics to connect or to separate, creating an inevitable space to explore and experience. The edge is typically seen as a flat condition, portrayed as an occurrence only within a plane, the division acts as a line, separating or connecting one another at a barrier or joint. Perceived in the two-dimensional, the experience can be enhanced through the thickening of the plane into a volumetric spatial condition where the affected area of the coincided are stretched out of the planar as an expanded ecology at certain scales. As such, the condition that acts as a conjoined logic is expanded three-dimensionally to provide an enhanced experience of the exterior and interior conditions of an edge. This condition, or dealing with the thickening of a boundary condition, has long been a studied phenomenon within the philosophical, scientific, and architectural worlds. Merleau-Ponty1 identified the

experience of space as an extension of the body, where the flesh acts as a connective tissue between the mind and the world, creating a thickening of oneself through the experience of the surrounding environment. As such, a space can be developed as a “both-and” condition as opposed to an “either-or” where inhabitants experience and understand the duality without perceiving a disjunction. Within natural and built ecologies there has been an increased study of the “edge effect,” a juxtaposition of contrasting environments, where the division of two ecosystems acts as a gradient of qualities between and within the two. The rethinking of an edge condition will allow for a transformation from a two-sided state to a thickened condition of the boundary between both. As a synthesized logic, inhabiting the thickened space will establish a relationship of connectivity and separation via the experiential understanding of one’s immediate and projected surroundings.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher 1


Figure 2 Figure 2: Habitat 67 is a housing complex located on the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie based on his master’s thesis at McGill University and built as part of Expo 67.

Iain Borden is an architectural historian and urban commentator 2


Description At the base of Mt. Royal in Montreal, Quebec, the park’s forest abuts the cityscape where the two exist separately, as an either-or condition. The city itself can be seen as a vertically thickened city where the underground network of businesses and transportation allow residents to inhabit the ground, as well as the urban or ground plane and the sky – via the mountain top. The connection of the city to the mountain present a case of vertical growth in a way that is separate from the buildings because of the lack of connectivity to the ground and sky as one inhabits the buildings. Through the implementation of student living and public-use space as an expanded program of social and cultural relationships, an architectural intervention will provide a thickened experience of the space through the site and the city. By joining the cultural side of Montreal (represented

by public use) and the educational (signified by the student living), the interaction that happens within will allow for holistic integration of the long term public and the short term students. The multiplicity of temporal and programmatic use of the building will improve upon the city’s internal relationships as the users inhabit one space and thicken their understanding of Montreal as a dynamic metropolis.

Thesis By thickening the edge between differing adjacent conditions, an integrated system will exist within both as a conjoined ecologic where the spatial experience is understood as belonging to both conditions simultaneously, enhancing an expanded experience of the program, building, site, and ecologics.

“Boundaries present themselves to us as the edge of things, as the limit between the here and there, present and future. The boundary in all its manifest forms – wall, façade, gate, fence, river, shore, windows – appears to be a descrete separation between alternate sides of a magical divide; things are dispersed and ordered in space. Yet for postmodern urbanism, in which architects investigate the wrapping and layering of space and urban managers review its representation and control, nothing could be further from the truth.” - Iain Borden2





Figure 3: the space between urban and nature is seemingly undefined; however expanding each based of their own logics can produce a unique space between/ within both


Figure 4: The Glass Pavilion in Toledo, designed by SANAA; the building is comprised of curved glass walls where the thickness between some panes becomes inhabitable space while others become merely wall thickness.





The Philosophical Realm People have always been interested in the relationship between human and nature and as such, the connections or separations between the two. In the 19th and 20th century, philosophers began to question and write about the existence of the individual person and their relationship to the world around them. Some important minds within the existentialist belief included Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger who questioned the everyday norms of society and what it meant to be as a person who can experience and interact with the world. Both men inspired the next generation of philosophers including Georg Simmel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Christian Norberg-Schulz. While Simmel questioned society and culture through the lens of a sociologist, Merleau-Ponty and Norberg-Schulz became key roles in the development of phenomenology. In Rethinking Architecture, Georg Simmel writes about the examination of the bridge and the door as well as what they mean juxtaposed to one another. In and of itself, separation can only be realized after acknowledging the distancing between the two objects, thus providing a connection between the objects and/or their meanings. Three objects that were examined within this article were the bridge, the door, and the window. Each object plays an important part in distinguishing connectivity and sepa-

ration: the door as a built threshold of choice between the two, the bridge as an iconic extension of nature signifying the separateness through the connection, and the window as something that is not passed through, but looked upon, primarily outward. It is here that I would recommend another important boundary condition: the wall. This can signify separateness but a desirable act is performed when constructing a wall in relation to its height and boundaries. The juxtaposition of connection and separation play an integral part to an understanding of space and as such need to be more heavily examined. Whereas Simmel was talking about connection via space and location, Merleau-Ponty explored space as the extension of oneself where the whole can only be understood through the understanding of connectedness of the individual’s body. As he explained it in The Visible and the Invisible, the intertwining, or the “chiasm,” of mind and body, body and space form a thickened communication between one another and as such the visual becomes the tactile as the space and body change through inward and outward movement. The two consciousnesses of the mind are conceived through the comprehension of touch and sight where one sole touch or one sole vision become a small part of what makes up the experience of both past and present in both the

“My body model of the things and the things model of my body: the body bound to the world through all its parts, up against it; all this means: the world, the esh not as fact or sum of facts, but as the locus of an inscription of truth.” - Maurice Merleau-Ponty 13

Figure 5: relationships and heirarchy between “thinkers”

founder of phenomenology

Edmund Husserl known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."

Martin Heidegger

Jacques Lacan

Peter Zumthor

Christian Norberg-Schulz

Zumthor mirrors Heidegger’s celebration of experience and emotion as measuring tools

Felix Guattari "The Three Ecologies" his conception of "ecosophy" -- the three related ecologies of environmental, mental and social worlds

“Now more than ever, nature cannot be separated from culture; in order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems, the mechanosphere and the social and the individual Universes of reference, we must learn to think transversally.” 14

"Man dwells when he can orientate himself within and identify himself with an environment, or in short, when he experiences the environment as meaningful."

existentialist who radically questioned the value and objectivity of truth

Friedrich Nietzsche

Jacques Derrida

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Karl Marx

German sociologists with a neo-Kantian approach, asking 'What is society?' in a direct allusion to Kant's question 'What is nature?'

Georg Simmel

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is absolutely essential for humanity that it set itself a boundary, but with freedom, that is, in such a way that it can also remove this boundary again, that it can place itself outside it.â&#x20AC;?

Steven Holl built the foundational role that perception plays in understanding the world as well as engaging with it

provides an intellectual framework in which he connects phenomenology with architecture


Figure 6 Figure 6: Spanish Pavilion by Francisco Mangado at the Zaragoza Expo in 2008; the tree-like structure creates a gradient of spaces and lighting

specific and the general understanding of space. If man can be seen as homologous to the space he inhabits, then his experience—or understanding—can be stretched outward to become body, building, site, city, and nature as one. The flesh expands as it touches a wall as does the wall as it touches a room beyond, continuing until one understands the tactile relationship to the outer context and situation of the space being inhabited. Visually, the mind acts similarly, perceiving space through parallax and reformation from one’s previous understanding. Together, look and touch create a thickening of experience via the body and space that the mind inhabits. Psychophysiological space is an important understanding to the ideas or phenomenology and perception/ inhabitation of space in architecture. According to John Hendrix, perception of space is a fluctuating interac-


tion between what is physically being seen and what is being thought of and seen through the mind. We cannot see behind a partition wall, but as we change our position in relation to the wall and what is behind it, we begin to see little, but understand a lot via the mind. Where the eye can’t take us, the mind can; and it is here that architecture becomes an important role. If looked upon as the formation/ revelation of light, space only exists in the eyes and mind. Perspective is constantly changing and therefore one’s understanding is as well. Because of this, space cannot be seen as Cartesian, but rather as the amalgamation of light, sight, and thought, where one can change the space by merely perceiving it at different locations of perception. In Sustainability and Pleasure, an Untimely Meditation Payne describes a present and futuristic look into the area of the perception through the

means of the sustainable and pleasurable designs. In other words, we perceive something as good when we are able to understand that it is good for the environment/others and perhaps because of this, perhaps not, we feel pleasure. Through the means of perception and understanding of self and space, this article discusses the senses and as a designer, this can be of great importance to understand how one might understand or experience a built space. One passage to note is the perception of the cooked or raw (does one perceive the raw because of the knowledge of the ability to cook, or does one perceive the cooked due to the ability of it to be raw?). This can be translated to an architectural perspective in the sense that people can perceive the natural sense due to the understanding of the imposed/built while others will perceive the built due to the understanding of the nature that could or is present. The juxtaposition places im-

portance/bias on nature or the built form, but the problem is that both should be understood simultaneously as the dominant and submissive at the same time.

The Scientific Realm More recently, in the scientific world, examination of the ecology occurring on or around edge/boundary conditions has been growing. Williams-Linera writes about the vegetation at the forest edges in Panama and Murcia researches the implications of fragmented forests on the occurrences inside and outside the forest ecology. While forests are being destroyed for resources, the boundary of the forest (whether manmade or naturally occurring) calls into question the adaptability of the systems within the forest ecology. Light, temperature, water, etc. all vary as one progresses several meters inward from the outer edge of a forest. This, in turn affects growth,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;What makes the weight, the thickness, the flesh of each color, of each sound, of each tactile texture, of the present and of the world is the fact that he who grasps them feels himself emerge from them by a sort of coiling up or redoubling, fundamentally homogeneous with them; he feels that he is the sensible itself coming to itself and that in return the sensible is in his eyes as it were his double or an extension of his own flesh.â&#x20AC;? - Maurice Merleau-Ponty


Figure 7 Figure 7: Crop field meeting the edge of a forest

Edge Effect in ecology is the effect of the juxtaposition or placing side by side of contrasting environments on an ecosystem 1

development, and habitation of other parts of the ecosystem. This edge effect is of concern to scientists especially when the edge is created and man-made systems inhabit the juxtaposed side. The edge effect1 in ecology is the effect of the juxtaposition of contrasting environments on an ecosystem. In this study, forests that have been isolated and fragmented through the growth/destruction of new forests are examined on the edge condition where there is an overlap or dominant ecology existing. The new/different growth that occurs at the edge of a forest and the changing temperature/ lighting qualities that occur within the fragmented forest all play important roles in the development of new/ old systems. Fencerow and Forest Edge Architecture discusses the comparison of varying types of boundary signifiers


such as fences, forest edges, hedgerows, etc. Any type of boundary condition can impact a pre-existing ecology and the effect can be the catalyst to drive changes or destroy present life and systems. Height and spatial characteristics play important parts in defining the experiential aspects of a barrier condition. A row of trees can signify a boundary, but allow people to pass through with only the perceived changes in light or temperature. Fences more distinguishably state a personal boundary that people may or may not be welcome to cross. Forest edges, too, provide a distinguished barrier that has drastic differences within its metaphysical qualities if next to an open field compared to a cliff. Often times, natural boundaries are viewed as either-or conditions where one system stops and another one starts. However, in actuality, edges usually occur over a gradient or diminishing quality where systems overlap or transform from one state

to another. The interaction between the two provides multi-scalar microenvironments where the edge of one system is thickened through part or all of the adjacent system. When forests are cut and abrupt transitions of the vegetation result between clearings and the remaining forest, the environmental conditions at the boundary drastically change. In Vegetation Structure and Environmental Conditions of Forest Edges in Panama, it details the changes and adaptations of a Panama forest at the edge of a man-made clearing. Major concerns include lighting and heating throughout the first several meters of the new edge condition. Specific plants will emerge within specific distances from the end of the forest and as such there are limitations to growth and development within the ecosystem. Abrupt transitions of vegetation occur due to the change in evaporation, temperature, solar radiation, and soil moisture. As such, varying resources provide for varying growth and development, changing the space between two systems gradually within the system’s bounds. When the edge of a man-made environment, such as a city occurs, similar conditions present themselves as within the boundaries of natural environments. In Edge of a City, the importance of the edge of an urban condition becomes evident through the understanding of perception, projection, and solid/void relationships.

At the edge of a city, there is an overlap of systematic conditions (rural/ wild and urban/suburban) which can provide for a distinguished space via the exploration of an architectural implication. If one considers the ending or beginning that occurs at this edge, the importance of visual and spatial cues becomes of great importance. Often times the end of a city/property is delineated by the means of a wall or barrier (i.e. object). Instead, architectural consequences could provide an inhabitable space that allows an experience of within and outside that of the city lines. According to Holl, parallax and spatial projection cause people to understand or project what might be perceived. At the edge of a city, what might be perceived can be drastically changed depending on the angle of view and the system logics embedded within wither side of the boundary.

The Architectural Realm Architects like Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, and Herzog and de Meuron have used material and spatial design to create a poesis between the mind and the body through an architectural discourse. They have also emphasized the use of surface and layering to distinguish or blur a spatial relationship. Simmons Hall, by Holl, acts as a porous membrane between the MIT campus and the city of Cambridge (see Figure 9). SANAA’s Toledo Glass Pavilion acts as an edge condition within itself where the glass walls pro-

R.A. Reed in Contributions of Roads to Forest Fragmentation (see bibliography) 2

“When forests are cut and abrupt transitions of the vegetation result between clearings and the remaining forest, the environmental conditions at the boundary change markedly.... including increased evaporation, increased temperature, increased incident solar radiation, and decreased available soil moisture.” - R.A. Reed2 19

Figure 8 Figure 8: Laban Center for Contemporary Dance in London, designed by Herzog & De Meuron; the design of the surface as a thickened skin opens up and connects inside to outside.

vide physical separations, but visually; the building becomes an extension of the landscape (see Figure 4). The Buro Center in Linz by Treusch Architects is on the edge of a dense city and reaches out towards the marina allowing the building to act as a resolved urban edge. Through the implementation of similar techniques involving, surface, space, and building, an architectural consequences within the ecosystem of an edge effect should emerge as a logical and social medium. In The Function of Form, form can only occur once it has been created by and for the objective/subjective functional principle. In doing so, the built environment acts as a mediator between people and the built and the environment. By establishing an environmental, social, cultural, and experiential definition of form, the two are able to more successfully allow inhabitancy to occur. By informing the form as to how to perform, archi-


tectural space can become a unique connectivity between many realms of the ecological within a given site. In designing this way, however, form may become fixed, but the function of the form does not. While people interact, experience, and perceive a building, they are constantly changing and re-informing the functionality of the built form (which can be seen as static). This means of affect can only occur if the proper mediation has occurred between the object and the subject within the architectural design. Steven Holl often times designs using a common philosophy within the realm of the phenomenology and the built environment. His major architectural intentions involve parallax, hinged space, porosity, light, and phenomenology. In many instances, his works have been integrated into some sort of boundary condition dealing with the previously stated intents. The explorations of these

Figure 9

themes provide an ability to denote a boundary/edge by means of a material/functional/spatial characteristic simultaneously. Within many of his buildings, porosity and light are used to deteriorate or emphasize an edge. His hinged spaces exist entirely in the realm of the boundary/threshold in the sense that spaces can fold or change to distinguish or blur themselves. Within his discourse, the edge is prevalent as a driving force for successful architectural implications. In relation to the idea of an edge/ threshold condition, Zumthor’s work and philosophy become relevant through the sequential and metaphysical qualities of his spaces through the focused study of materiality. Zumthor’s defining of a space occurs via materiality and light which is both signifying and experiencing a boundary condition. In his work, the material change or lighting change

might signify differentiation while the metaphysical realm is always being played with. The practice of Herzog and de Meuron is intriguing due to the material-based implementation of phenomenological reactions (see Figure 8). The surface condition is often an intriguing area of interest within their practice because of the interdependency that occurs between the spatial and the physical. By examining these conditions in relation to a surface (or wall) interesting relationships can be developed within the realm of the boundary between separation and connection that a surface/wall can provoke.

Figure 9: Simmons Hall, designed by Steven Holl acts as a porous sponge between the city and the campus; vertical sections cut through the buildings to create section connections through the building

Michael Benedikt, Environmental Stoicism and Place Machismo (see bibliography) 3

Moshen Moustafavi, Why Ecological Urbanism? Why Now? (see bibliography) 4

“Surfaces are unreal. They have only one side—their ‘out’ side— and as far as our world is concerned, outside goes on forever. “ - Michael Benedikt3

“the blurring of boundaries — real and virtual, as well as urban and rural — implies a greater connection and complementarity between the various parts of a given territory.” - Moshen Moustafavi4 21

Figure 10: aspen canopies, measuring ratio of sky to tree


Ecological Systems



Initial Investigation With regard to a thickening of edge, aspen trees are remarkable organisms that respond to a layered system through specific connections and separations. While the roots are interconnected between trees to perform one function, the forest canopy works on the opposite end to provide necessary conditions for the roots to function. The aspen forest as a whole acts as horizontal surfaces that relate and depend on one another with the trunks acting as separating members holding the two important layers at bay. While the roots literally provide growth and development, the canopy allows for light, heat, and energy to be absorbed into the forest. As the cycle continues, the porous canopy allows light to reach the seedlings below, which grow and provide a canopy for their young to grow as well. Trees are constantly dying and being reborn through their clones so the forest sys-

tem is in a constant flux of growth and development at all times. Aspen forests grow through implementing clonal colonization.1 An aspenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roots grow predominately laterally (only about two or three feet deep), reaching up to one hundred feet away from the base of the trunk. A root sucker will shoot off of one of the roots and begin to grow upwards. From this, a new seedling will grow and develop into a tree. As such, one tree may provide the grounds for many to grow (see Figure 12). By growing this way, the plant is able to obtain necessary nutrients without even having to develop its own root system to retain nutrients. As the tree matures, the porous canopy above allows bountiful light to reach the ground level, also providing an abundance of necessary light for these plants to grow. The above ground

Figure 11 Figure 11: aspen trees

Clonal Colony: a group of genetically identical individuals (e. g., plants, fungi, or bacteria) that have grown in a given location, all originating vegetatively (not sexually) from a single ancestor 1

1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation

Figure 12: time lapse generative growth of an aspen forest through clonal colonies

Figure 12


average height

48 feet


average canopy

30 feet

mature layer

sapling layer

sprout/sapling layer 6 feet

ground level

max root depth root system


0 feet

-6 feet

Figure 13

Figure 15

Figure 14

part of the plant (trunk and canopy) will typically live anywhere from 40 to 150 years, whereas the roots of the same tree can live to be thousands of years old. As such, the aspen becomes an important part in forest succession because while other species are wiped out from natural disasters such as forest fires, aspens only loose the top of the plant, allowing the bottom to regenerate and grow through the soil. Problems with this type of reproduction include the fact that if other trees manage to take over an area, the aspen has no way of travelling distances to reforest its own area and may die off as a result. The canopy of an aspen is a very porous membrane which allows a great magnitude of light and air to permeate through to the lower levels of the forest (see Figure 17). The structure of each leaf consists of a stem that is long in the vertical direction, but extremely narrow in the horizontal direction. As such, the leaf is easily moved with the

slightest gust of wind, thus giving it its nickname, the quaking aspen. This allows wind to be dissipated throughout the canopy providing a constant growth by intake of air. More importantly, the porosity allows plenty of light to penetrate to the lower levels of the canopy and the forest, providing equal amounts of energy to the plants throughout the system. The examination of such an organism shows the importance of the edge conditions. It is at these layers that vital interaction occurs with the surroundings allowing the system to thrive internally and grow externally. In architecture, similar ideas can be applied to multiple scales of the built form or spatial relationships. As such, a thickened edge condition can be very informative as it responds simultaneously to multiple conditions and acts accordingly to accommodate a multiplicity of functions or experiences.

Figure 13: diagrammatic plans and sections of an aspen forest; showing the relationship between canopy and roots

Figure 14: aspen groves showing by color their clonal colonies

Figure 15: ground level of an aspen forest



Figure 16

Figure 17

Synthetic Ecologies

Figure 16: aspen leaves “quaking” in the wind

Figure 17: depiction of the porosity of the aspen canopy, where the leaves, due to their structural make-up, flutter and bend, allowing an abundance of light and wind through the canopy

Phoenix, Arizona is the fifth most populated city in the United States with the twelfth largest metropolitan area. It is the hottest city in the U.S. according to the greatest annual mean temperature of 122 degrees. The city is set up on a large grid where each massive block is about ¼ of a mile by ¼ of a mile and each is broken down into smaller sectors depending on the zoning of the space. Within the city, Grand Avenue, a long boulevard that runs at a 45 degree angle, is a major break in the monotonous grid. At the corner of 43rd and Camelback, there is an abundance of abandoned lots and parks that could provide a great public surface within the city as one travels between the residential, commercial, and industrial spaces around the area. The Phoenix site is a very flat area with have of the buildings being residen-


tial; the tallest buildings in the immediate area are the industrial buildings that are a maximum of five stories tall (see Figure 18). As such, the relative height of the canopy is in the same region as these buildings, but towers over most of the surrounding residential and commercial buildings. Most of the trees on the sire are also rather short, only reaching about the top of the average aspen canopy. The installation of such a system on this site would drastically change the sense of the ground in the area, creating a new overhead condition and thicken the edge of the ground. The synthesis2 of the aspen system and the Phoenix site would create a sheltered condition, expanding upon the notion of the flat ground and the hot sun found on the site. An underground system of connectivity would act as a way of travelling from place to place without having to enter the Phoenix heat. On the ground level,

physical and visual connections to buildings and the sly would remain constant throughout. Light would be filtered so as to provide shade were desired and solar collectors or photovoltaics would absorb excess energy to help the city. The large spaces would allow airflow throughout and the heat to rise up and out of the structure, creating a comfortable space on the ground level. In doing so, one would be thickening the public realm in the vertical direction, both above and below grade (see Figure 20).

a forest can be constructed of infinite numbers of spatial arrangements due to the vast differences in size and quantity of the organisms within. The different amounts of sunlight, heat, humidity, wind, water, and nutrients allow for a highly heterogeneous environment and flux in energy and development of a forest. As such, a great amount of edge conditions occur within and on the border of a forest ecology. These boundaries exist on the horizontal and vertical plane and always occur three dimensionally at some scale.

Forest Ecology

A forest grows, regenerates, and dies through series of succession. Typically a forest begins when new territory is available after there has been a disturbance or an emergence of an unoccupied habitat. Opportunistic species such as fast-growing, well dispersed plants settle and grow in abundance so as to begin reforestation in a fast and varying way. Over time, diversity decreases as new species begin

A forest ecosystem is natural woodland consisting of all living organisms that are functioning together with all of the abiotic factors of the environment. In dealing with a forest, this ecology includes the populations or communities of the multiple organisms at multiple scales. Depending on location and environment variables,

The synthesis of the aspen ecology and the Phoenix site is done in order to understand what the architectural consequences might be of the unification of two very separate systems into one design. 2

Figure 18: schematic of four blocks in Phoenix, AZ showing the residential, commerical, and empty spaces and how they are positioned within the context of the city

Figure 19: diagrammatic representation of an aspen canopy covering the open spaces of Phoenix, AZ



Figure 19 empty

Figure 18


ground level provides paths and benches in shaded regions

direct sunlight provides space for future planting/growth

underground netwo cool pathways for p travel between


solar energy absorbed

wind directed through â&#x20AC;&#x153;canopyâ&#x20AC;?

hot air rises through tall space

rk provides people to nodes

Figure 20: a synthetic version of an aspen forest within the confines of Phoenix, AZ as an architectural landscape



Natural Forest Succession

80’ 60’ 40’ 20’

0 12

3 45


89 10








90 100





200 AGE 100’

Managed Forest Succession

80’ 60’ 40’ 20’

0 12




9 10








90 100





200 AGE

Figure 21

Figure 21: natural and managed forest succession over a time period of 200 years; comparing the flux and control of the managed forest to the overgrowth and destruction of the natural forest


to prove dominant over some of the faster growing organisms. Usually, small grass and forbs seed first with an expansion of both diversity and size over time. Shrubs begin to grow and shade intolerant species become the dominant organisms, growing and overtaking shrubs and forbs. Once they have reached sufficient density and height, shade tolerant trees begin to find places that support their spatial and nutritious needs. As competition increases, more trees die off and conifers flourish as various species inhabit the same layers or edges to compete for sun and space. Once enough of the intolerant plants have died off due to competition, tolerant plants thrive and take over, reproducing and eliminating as much of the competition surrounding them. These dominant species will maintain a balanced community where intolerant trees cannot survive until a disturbance or change in the environment occurs and allows for new growth or succession (see Figure 21).

Forest ecology, and specifically the growth of the forest, has also become largely impacted by man as we grow or disturb forest ecosystems, either through attempting to control the system or interrupting the system through building or logging. In forestry, ecosystems are managed (naturally or by man) in order to allow a sustained growth of resources. Silviculture, more specifically relates to the growing and tending of trees and forests in order to provide raw material. Managing forests essentially means that the ecosystem becomes artificial because the growth is specified to a specific species or resource and all other variables are controlled through cultivation or grooming. Although this does not allow for diversity or natural development, many parks and forests are carefully maintained in order to either produce desired material or space.

Building Near Trees

half the height of the tree. The Tree Protection Zone can be more specifically calculated using a diameter ten times the diameter of the tree trunk at 1.5 meters off the ground (see Figure 23). Tree roots need water, aeration, food, lack of contamination, and room to grow. The biggest problems that can occur when building around trees are weakened root systems. This happens when either a root is cut or the soil around a root is so compacted that it can no longer get the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Either one of these problems can cause up to twenty percent loss in root mass which would greatly impact the strength and health of the tree. To prevent roots from growing into built space (i.e. foundations), proper depths and barriers must be in place to stop the roots from seeing that space as beneficial in one of the five ways they can thrive. Proper care and placement of trees is also important for soil control to prevent erosion or water runoff.

Trees are a very important part of the site and architectural consequences when developing a plot of land. To be properly integrated with the building, trees must be attended to throughout design and construction in the proper manners in order to maximize the experience of a naturally grown forest rather than rebuilding a grove of trees to simulate nature. In doing so, there are many concerns with building around trees in a forest in a way that allows for minimal deforestation and interferences with the natural habitat and growing patterns of the trees. Details such as the treesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; roots and growth patterns are important to acknowledge when building adjacent to pre-existing forests. The majority of a treeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s root system is found within one meter of the surface and the root systems typically grow outward the distance of up to one and

Figure 22

drip line

Figure 22: the natural succession of a forest ranging from mosses to grasses and shrubs, then aspens and pines to spruce and birch as the climax community




Figure 23: the drip line of a tree is a rule-of-thumb as to where not to build, but more precisely, 10x the radius of the trunk at eye level is the proper measurement of safety

Figure 23


Figure 24: photos of various kinds of forests, including managed forests, forest growth, and overgrown tropical forests

Figure 25: diagram depicting the area alloted to build around trees once the desirable ones have been selected and kept after clearing out some of the other older or younger trees

Figure 26: biulding paths or terraces on a sloped surface require certain cut and fill techniques depending on the particular slope and desired affect

Figure 25

Figure 24a


Once the proper distance and separation has been designed, building next to or among trees can provide a great spatial experience both inside and outside a work of architecture (see Figure 25).

Building on Sloped Surfaces Designing within the hills poses many problems within both the technical and habitable ways of constructing and living. The stability of the earth, surface drainage, subterranean water, and vegetation growth must all be carefully examined in order to safely intervene within the ecosystem. Proper site planning must be attended to in order to establish a sound foundation through the built and natural objects within the area being examined. Not only can retaining walls and foundations be implemented, but vegetation can be used to help with erosion control and soil stability. By placing or keeping certain trees along a hillside, the earth will remain stable through the interconnectedness of root systems and soil material. If natural means cannot be kept on the hillside as they may currently be, then building terraces with retaining walls or foundations may be needed to help retain the earth. If the ground is affected too much, water drainage will also need to be taken into consideration. Depending on the openness of the hillside, wind and sunlight will need to be considered for erosion purposes, but also for living or means

of sustainable energy. With the proper precautions, a hillside building can be very beneficial. In regards to space usage and functionality, the hillside must be used as a means of organization and placement of space within the built form. For stability and structure, it is best to build following the contours, placing the built form parallel to the hillside, rather than perpendicular. Designing is such a way allows for maximum sunlight to reach the spaces, assuming the building is only one room thick, sweeping along the natural curves of the hillside. In doing this, utility or mechanical rooms can be placed within the hillside, allowing the more used rooms to be placed on the outer edge where they can interact with the hillside as one can be above or within the vegetation as well as see the landscape beyond. Because of the interaction with building and a slope, there is always opportunity to provide balconies or terraced open space above or at grade with the slope. As such, cut-and-fill techniques will most likely need to be implemented in order to interact directly with the ground. While building on a sloped surface can be much more complicated than flat earth, the benefits for spatial relationships and inhabitability become numerous. The built form can become so connected to the hillside ecosystem thus providing a greater interaction with those inhabiting the building as they concurrently inhabit the hillside and the landscape beyond.

cluster form rsing

cluster form descending

cluster form / land form

land form rising

land form descending

land form berming

Figure 26

Figure 24b


Figure 27: a photo of a conceptual model representing the thickening of a hillside


Design Investigations



Figure 28

Thickening Space is often perceived as the immediateâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;what do I inhabit; what space am I within. However, the perception of space can be expanded upon through the visual connections one may draw from the gaze or understanding of what is beyond a directly inhabited space. A thickening of space can occur through direct visual connections occurring through a layering of porous surfaces, thus creating a presence of space much larger than the actual space that can be inhabited. It can also be thickened through a series of interconnected volumes that act as a larger whole that is all at once inhabited and understood through visual understanding of physical connections. While both techniques provide an end result of thickened space through an enhanced sense of presence, the means of which they are acting are dissimilar.

The layering of planes occurs essentially two-dimensionally; one space is repeated and the emphasis is placed on the barriers (i.e. walls) between the spaces (see Figure 31). The volumetric arrangement produces space through the three-dimensional connection of planes that suggest volumes as the negative of the surfaces (see Figure 32). While both are constructed of planes, the layered technique accentuates the transparency or hollowness of the surface while the volumetric strategy uses whole planes in order to emphasize the hollowness of the space between the surfaces. The thickening occurs via the understanding of connection through the separation created by the planes as boundary conditions.

Figure 28: the extrusion between separate surfaces allows for an interstitial space that is connected to its surrounding barriers

Thickening can also occur in a more literal sense, as extrusions between two planes (see Figure 30). This exploration shows the connection between


Figure 29 Figure 29: diagram showing x-ray layered surfaces as perceived from the outside looking through

Figure 30: extruded material between two transparent surfaces, creating space through a carved volume

Figure 31: layered surfaces creating a thickened space through visual connectivity and spatial weaving in the sectional perspective


surfaces and the spatial configuration that may result as the two planes gravitate towards one another and interact. This technique emphasizes the thickening of material or mass as one edge transforms into another edge while still remaining separate yet passing through each other. Examining how mass can be thickened also provides an opportunity to carve space out where one inhabiting and experiencing might be able to perceive two physical separations through the connective tissue between. The thickening of an experience occurs through the thickening of its surroundings. The mind must perceive the enhanced space as an interrelated paradigm that coexists as the duality, the “both-and.” When one can perceive their relation to their immediate context and their projected reality of inhabitance, a thickening of the mind has occurred via the visual and tactile, thus thickening the space and the experience.

Thickening the Hillside A hillside presents a unique condition in regards to spatial relationships with the ground. While the hill represents a presence over or above something below, the relationship between the ground and a person changes from “on top of” (i.e. a flat condition) to a question of “in” the ground, “on” the ground, “out” of the ground, or “next” to the ground. This change in perception allows for a unique case of the thickened condition of the ground as the hillside becomes floor, wall, and space. The condition of being above the ground might be next to a condition of being within the ground or high above the ground. The dynamic relationship between space, perception, and habitability all come into question as the hillside is developed and designed so as to create a thickened site. When thickening conceptual space, repetition and unitization can occur

Figure 30

Figure 31


Figure 32

Figure 33


Figure 32: volumetrically linked spaces of transparency and opacity, connecting spaces and thickening the volumetric proportions of the space within

Figure 33: a thickened hillsie using the technique of peeling the ground and implementing angular walls to create the random appearance of forest and terrain through a thickened site

Figure 34

infinitely in all applicable directions. However, when applying a thickening of space to terrain such as a hillside, other limitations and aspects must be considered. For one, designing on a hillside calls into question many of its own design constraints including how it may interact with the land. This relationship may be that of cutand-fill, peeling away, or lifting from the surface (such as on pilotis). Pilotis lifts volumes and surfaces off the ground, providing an additional layer over the ground plane, but allows for no interaction with the actual ground plane itself. The peeling method creates an expansion of the ground and one can pass under the lifted surface, but the ground still remains just a surface that we can only see one side of. The cut-and-fill method allows for a greater interaction with the ground where mass is removed and built up in order to dynamically change the surface condition of the earth. While all provide a certain degree of thick-

ening the ground, each results in a very different spatial experience of the ground plane and its relation to an inhabitant.

Figure 34: diagram of volumetric thickening of space

Through studying the thickening of space on a hillside, implementing the pilotis and peeling methods, the resulting formal logics also play an important role. With the pilotis, long bands of walkways and walls present themselves, suggesting spatial qualities at multiple scales, creating layered space and a thickened experience (see Figure 36). When constructing a logic using the peeling off the ground, more chaotic, random actions occurred, creating only one scale of space in a haphazard manner (see Figure 33). While both produced different results, the pilotis proved more successful because of the interconnected perception of scalar space and hierarchical relationships between forms in the model. This strategy did prove to be lacking on the




within below

Figure 35 Figure 35: diagram showing the hillsideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationship of space where there can be a presence within or without the earth, below or above the surface; implementing design on such a site would allow for the thickening of these relationships and the actual hillside itself

Figure 36: a thickened hillside through the creation of fenced spaces and linked surfaces

Figure 37: a thickened hillside via the means of suggested volumetric connections and linked surfaces of space


ground condition though because a user could only exist on the ground plane or on the created surfaces, not within or above the ground or the surfaces. As such the space became three-dimensionally thickened, but did not provide physical connections vertically, thus limiting the actual experiential qualities of the spaces formed by the model. A final method tested for thickening a hillside was in the form of suggested space (see Figure 37). This technique involves peeling the ground, surrounding spaces by walls, and also creating larger frames that unify and suggest a volume. This technique involved carving into the ground as well as peeling away to produce space through and within the ground plane. As such, the built forms were anything added to the carved surfaces, including fencing, walls, roofs, and frames hovering over local positions in the model to suggest unification

and connectivity. The trees become another part of the thickened ground condition as the canopy provides an additional surface to interact with and provide shelter/space. While scalar shifts produce different results, the thickening of the slope becomes a dynamic interaction of space, ground, built, and natural within the context of the hillside.

Figure 36

Figure 37


Figure 38: the city of Montreal, downtown area as seen from Mt. Royal


Of the Edge



Figure 39

Choosing a Site


In order to create a thickened project, the site selection had to be carefully considered based on the possible opportunities of edge conditions and relationships within the desired location. The selected site has to be one of scalar presence, where the large and small relationships interact, depend, and relate to one another. Positioning the design at the edge of a city in relation to the natural context as well as considering density and seclusion all must be taken into consideration when choosing the site. By designing in Montreal at the base of the mountain, the sectional relationship of earth and sky can further add to the thickened experience of the public and private programmatic spaces integrated within the site. By positioning the project here, a truly thickened experience can occur via the connectedness of the aforementioned reasons.

The island of Montreal was established in 1611 by Samuel de Champlain as a fur trading post and base for further French exploration in North America. Then known as Ville-Marie, it remained a French colony until 1760 when it was surrendered to Great Britain after their victory in the Seven Years War. Eventually getting its name from the Mount Royal, Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832 and was merged with the 27 surrounding municipalities on the island in 2002, creating a unified city of Montreal covering the entire island. Located at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, today Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec.

Figure 39: Mont Royal in proximity to the downtown area of Montral

referred as this by Monocle magazine 1

Montreal consists of 141 square miles with a population of 1.6 million residents, giving a density of about 11,496 people per square mile. Clas-


Figure 40 Figure 40: diagram of the urban and natural landscapes of the island of Montreal and the surrounding area (the color green indicates a park, green space, or farmland)

sified as a humid continental climate, Montreal’s summers are warm and often muggy (average temperatures ranging between 61 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit) with very cold winters of snow and ice (average temperature ranging between 9 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit). Annual precipitation is around 39 inches and on average 86 inches of snowfall, which occurs from November through March. With 66.5% Francophone and 13.2% Anglophone it is also the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. The city has become an important center of commerce, finance, industry, technology, culture, and world affairs, although it’s main attraction is as “Canada’s Cultural Capital.”1 The city hosts a number of venues for all interests with a great diversity of people and culture. The city is home to numerous museums, music venues, sports venues, government buildings,


churches, universities, clubs, etc. Of great importance to the culture of the city is Place des Arts, a complex of different concert halls surrounding a public square. This square hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Just For Laughs comedy festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and many more. Another unique feature to Montreal is the number of churches located within the city, one of the four Roman Catholic Basilicas being Saint Joseph’s Oratory on the western slope of Mont Royal. Ice hockey is also of great importance in Montreal and the city’s professional hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, is one of the original six teams in the National Hockey League. The city also hosts seven other professional teams, including football, soccer, and rugby teams. With such a diversity of people and interests, the city has been consistently rated as one of the world’s most livable cities.

The city of Montreal is made up of 19 large boroughs which are further subdivided into smaller neighborhoods. The Borough of Ville-Marie hosts the most neighborhoods, including the city’s downtown, the historical district of Old Montreal, and the Quartier International. The largest neighborhood is the Plateau within Le Plateau-MontRoyal Borough and is deemed one of Canada’s most creative neighborhoods because of the large amount of artists in the labor force there. The city has an Italian, a Chinese, and Latin neighborhoods as well. Overall, each neighborhood within each borough has its own unique culture with its residents being comprised of some similarity or common lifestyles. When looked at as a whole, the city becomes a connection of separated cultures that comprise the diverse city of Montreal. The island of Montreal is connected to the surrounding suburbs via 12 road bridges, one tunnel, two railways, and

a metro line. Like most other cities, vehicular traffic is a problem within the city, but the public transportation is extensively used and as such, is a sufficient form of travel through and into the city. The network of buses, subways, and commuter trains extend through and off the island are operated by the Societe de transport de Montreal which serves an average of 1,347,900 daily passengers in 2010. Montreal’s Metro is Canada’s busiest subway system in total daily passenger usage, serving an average of slightly more than one million passengers per day. Each station was designed by a different architect with individual themes and artwork throughout; further emphasizing Montreal’s diversity and push for a culturally rich environment for the city’s inhabitants to live their daily lives in.

Figure 41: overview of Montreal, showing the close proximity of the heart of downtown to the large park on Mont Royal

Figure 41


Figure 42 Figure 42: shows the land use designation of the borough of Ville-Marie, of which much is mixed-public use na dresidential

Figure 43: shows the relationship of building density within the borough of VilleMarie, indicating the dense downtown area represented by the darker shades

Figure 44: shows the building heights of the borough of Ville-Marie, indicating the relationship of the downtown to the rest of the city


Mont Royal Mont Royal is a small mountain within the city of Montreal, covering 494 acres, located just north of the downtown area (see Figure 41). The mountain is part of the Monteregian Hills (a linear chain of isolated hills) situated between the Larentians and the Appalachians and is a deep extension of a vastly eroded ancient volcanic complex that was active millions of years ago. The three peaks that make up the mountain are Colline de la Croix (Mont Royal proper) at 764 feet above mean sea level, Colline d’Outremont (Mount Murray) at 692 feet, and Westmount at 659 feet. Although these heights would otherwise be considered a hill, it is considered a mountain in relation to the Monteregie region. The main type of rock within the mountain is a gabbro composed of pyroxene, olivine, and variable amounts of plagioclase, meaning much of the area consists of dense, dark, coarsegrained igneous rock.

The mountain is also the site of Mont Royal Park, one of Montreal’s largest public greenspaces. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead who wanted to emphasize the mountainous topography through the use of vegetation; the higher up the mountain, the more sparse vegetation would be to give the illusion of exaggerated height. However, his vision was never fully realized because of a depression that Montreal suffered through in the mid 1870s and many of Olmstead’s ideas were lost. Today, the park contains two belvederes, a small man-made lake (Beaver Lake), s short ski slope, various hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails, a sculpture garden, and the Smith House, an interpretive center. Mont Royal Park is one of the last oases of nature within the heart of the city of Montreal. With an extensive biological diversity, Mont Royal has become an important host to much

Figure 43

Figure 44


Plan Sections Showing Elevation Changes - based off of zoned building heights

Mont Royal



elevation :: 100â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

horizontal connectivity between skyscrapers and mountain


Mont Royal 54

elevation :: 300â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

elevation :: 500â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

elevation :: 700â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

connectivity acts as an extension of the ground


Figure 45: diagram of the relationship of building height and mountain height within the downtown area of Montreal


Figure 46 Figure 46: overview of Montreal showing the mountain (which thickens above ground) and the undergound city (which thickens below ground); both indicated by the shadowed areas

Figure 47: seasonal imagery showing summer, autumn, and winter on the specific site in Montreal

of the city’s wildlife. Within the park, there exists a multitude of species of fauna, including 182 birds, 20 mammals, 2 reptiles, and 2 amphibians. It is also home to 65 tree species and 600 plant species, making it the city’s most cherished green space and symbol of conservation right within the downtown area of Montreal. Because of the constant pressures of urban development and intensive use, Mont Royal Park’s ecosystems and biodiversity are constantly threatened. With the proper knowledge and guidance, the park’s wildlife can remain preserved as the wilderness within the city for years to come.

A Thick City Montreal is a very diverse city with an abundance of unique culture, sites, and design. Because of the downtown’s close proximity to the mountain, and the presence of the underground city, Montreal itself, becomes


a thick urban setting both programmatically and spatially. Within the heart of downtown, Montreal has a presence in the sky and in the ground. This relationship is due to the tall skyscrapers that exist above the underground portion of the city, known as RESO (a homophone of the French word Reseau, meaning network). This underground system of tunnels spread over 20 miles connecting all types of buildings including malls, apartments, hotels, banks, offices, museums, universities, recreational facilities, and transportation (see Figure 46). With over 120 exterior access points, the underground city also has access to over 60 residential and commercial buildings. This thickening of the inhabitable ground becomes of great importance throughout the city as it not only allows patrons to get out of the weather, but also allows the continuity and unification between transportation, living, business, and recreation as one system.

The city also acts as a thickened site in another way in relation to the mountain (see Figure 45). The presence of the 764 foot mountain top (which building heights cannot exceed) allows for a connection throughout the city on multiple scales. When one is on the mountain or in the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forest, there is a constant visual connection at eye level with the taller buildings of the city. This, in a way, allows the gaze to be drawn outward, connecting the viewer to the city, although they still remain physically separate. On the other hand, while in the city, many of the streets run perpendicular to the base of the mountain and as such allow people to see the presence of the forest and mountain while walking or driving through the city. The extension of the person to the ground, to the mountain top becomes a unique relationship very different than that of the buildings in downtown Montreal. For these extruded spaces sit on top of the land, not within the land or below the land as the mountain/forest can. As such, the mountain allows for the connection to nature, a connection to the sky, and a connection between different parts of the city. While in the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forest, the city remains a backdrop and an extension of the vertical trees within the natural landscape. The play between the park and the city becomes of great importance when designing for the thickened condition where the urban cannot be without the natural and the forest cannot be without the man-made.



Specific Site The thickened city becomes present when looked at as a whole. The larger scale of connectivity and relationships draw upon one another in a way that allows for the downtown to relate to the park and the underground. While these relationships form a broad understanding of the city, the boroughs and individual neighborhoods in some cases still remain separate entities as a fractured landscape Figure 47


Figure 47


Arts & History

Health Center

McGill University Administration Health


Social Sciences

Rue Peel

Medicine Studies Law

Science & Research Rue Stanleyy


Mt. Royal Park Apartments Communications

Rue Drummond



ins Avenue des P

Figure 48

Montagne Rue Montag gne

Figure 49

rather than a thickened one. As such, a constructed complex that can unify, or at least bring together people will fully integrate a site into the entirety of the city as an enhanced experience of space, program, and the city. By intertwining various public and private spaces for every type of person, a specific site can start to represent a small scale projection of what the city means as a living ecosystem. In the South-west of the borough of Ville-Marie, Mont Royal slopes downward to meet the city at Avenue des Pins. At the intersection of Avenue des Pins and Rue Peel, an undeveloped plot of land that lies between the park and the city is currently a young forest. This site is positioned on about a ten degree incline and is the home to a fairly young forest and switchback road that begins the ascent up the mountain. It is here that a thickening of the city-forest relationship will allow for a better relation-

ship to the both at the same time (see Figure 49). This both-and condition will not only exist within the ecosystems of the urban and the natural, but will build upon enhancement of the boroughs and neighborhoods within the city of Montreal. As a forested site, the proper development of land and forest will allow for a conjoined condition of the city and the forest while simultaneously interacting with the ground and the sky as volumetric spatial conditions. While the site is primarily surrounded by residential and some institutions, the piece of land can be developed as space for all those surrounding to use as well as the city beyond. As a thickened site, the integrated design should reach outward and inward to the surrounding communities as an aleatory space for anyone and everyone in the city.

Figure 48: Context Plan where the project will be located

Figure 49: A photo diagram showing the desired effect of creating a new space that is netheir forest or city, but both conditions coexisting as one



Figure 50: balcony of Theatre de Quatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sous Montreal; showing the use of glass as an illusion of expanded space and connection to the city

Creating Duality



Figure 51

Thickened Program A thickening of space requires a program that simultaneously be socially and pragmatically thickened through an enhancement of its use and inhabitants. This must also occur through cycles of time in order to expand the user population daily and yearly. Thickening in this sense requires a multi-functioning program that allows for the use of space to change throughout the day as the activated spaces shift and different users inhabit different spaces according to their purpose for visiting the building. This shift can also occur on a yearly basis if the main inhabitants differ on a year-to-year basis, thus providing a mapping of the project as constantly thickening throughout time via its users. Opening various spaces to the public while keeping some private also allows for an edge condition that can be thickened by the means of who will inhabit the space. In consid-

ering various social performances as user interaction through space, time, site, and the public, student living will provide a basis for thickening the educational, cultural, social, and livable realms of architecture through the public-private and interior-exterior dualities that provide the edge conditions to be thickened.

Figure 51: UQAMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Campus designed by TĂŠtreault Parent Languedoc & Saia Barbarese Topouzanov

Montreal Cultural Metropolis In the past decade, Montreal has been developing itself as an outward-looking metropolis of creation and innovation (see Figure 51). Through an enrichment of activities and development, the city is aiming to enhance the populationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s understanding and perception of Montreal through the revitalization of program and interaction within the city. As such, the progression of relationships between heritage, knowledge,


Figure 52

Figure 52: Faculty of Music, McGill University; Saucier + Perrotte

Figure 53: The Bikuben Student Residence, Copenhagen, Denmark; double spiral circulation around an atrium provides the greatest possible contact between users


Figure 53

territory, sports, leisure, social values, and economy have been focused on in order to thicken the city through its inhabitants and how they use/ interact/inhabit the city. There is a desire to spread an enhanced experience of the city through the development of these factors. The city seeks to educate its residents through the understanding of the historical heritage and culture as well as expand the mindset through the promotion of educational facilities and libraries that provide a global and local outreach. Developing the city through arts and sports also becomes an important part in the contribution of balanced living and well-rounded citizens that provide additional value to the city of Montreal. Additional concerns include the social and economic betterment via the development of the city through new programs and functions within the city, allowing people living or travelling to Montreal to have a better understanding and experience

throughout the varying realms of inhabitance. The broadening of the city and thickening of its social realm provide a well-supported foundation for an integration of university housing mixed with public program to allow the permanent (city) and changing (students of higher learning) to coexist in a singular space, thus thickening the interaction between the two. UniversitĂŠ. Montreal has one of the highest concentrations of post-secondary students in all major cities in North America (see Figure 54). The students, composing about 4.4% of the population, belong to nine universities and twelve junior colleges within a five mile radius of the city. The two Anglophone universities are McGill and Concordia and the seven francophone universities include the University of Montreal (UdeM) and the University of Quebec (UQAM). McGill, Concordia, and UQAM all have around 300 pro-

grams of study and host a population of about 35,000 students each. The University of Montreal has over 200 programs of study and nearly 60,000 students attending the school. As such, the city is greatly impacted by the fluctuating presence and activity of the students on a daily, and seasonal (i.e. the school year) basis. The interaction internally and externally among the university settings and the public have in some cases created boundaries and others created a unification of people and use. With a push towards the future, the university and public spaces must be integrated in order to obtain a thickened sense of the city. This revitalization is being addressed architecturally with the push to build new, better, and more urban architectural space throughout the city. Evidence of this can be seen within the Faculty of Music Building and the UQAM Master Plan. Both design projects activate the public realm on the ground and allow for city to be

absorbed into the site as the architecture responds to the context and the cultural/social necessities of the people. The enrichment of experience and space integrates holistically with the city-street edge as well as the public-private duality. A housing development should achieve similar characteristics through the conjoining of space and use rather than the separation.

Student Living Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs for living are physical, social, and personal. Student housing inhabits a unique range of living as it exists somewhere between a merge of a hostel and a house. The social and physical sphere requires a great deal of attention because of the impact it can have on student growth and campus living at a larger scale. This group becomes significant due to its 24-hour a day impact on the usage of space as the students adjust, Figure 54: Diagram of public and institutional spaces within the city of Montreal. Red indicates universities and educational facilities, blue shows libraries, and yellow indicates public or community centers

Figure 54


Figure 55 Figure 55: Tietgenkollegiet, student housing Copenhagen; this design places equal importance on public and private space and provides connected spaces through the inward focused shape and sectional cuts throughout the building

educate, grow, perform, and live. A student residence acts as a social-recreational center and an educational community simultaneously. In the social environment, scalar shifts of users become very important as the private individual must be accounted for as much as the larger community of an entire floor, building, or complex. The physical environment must provide proper space, light, heat, noise, and connectivity between various private and public spaces. Increased performance can be achieved through proper consideration of these factors as a thickening of the experience occurs through the connectivity of small to large, private to public, and inside to outside occur simultaneously. To further thicken an experience of student living both internally and externally to the university and the city, a residential college can provide a multitude of programs, social interactions, and ties with the city at large. A


residential college is an organizational pattern for a division of a university that places academic activity in a community setting of students and faculty. By placing a residential program like this into the building, the interaction and uses become much greater than living as the functions expand to eating, learning, gathering, etc. Through the implementation of a residential college, decentralization, faculty leadership, social stability, and genuine diversity will result throughout the hall. As part of a residential college, the housing can also have an abundance of public space to further expand the users to the residents of the city as well as the university. By having public programs including food, health, arts, and education, a variety of users will fill the spaces for varying programs and at varying times, allowing for the thickened use of what could be a singular space. The integration of living and visiting through the residential college and

public spaces will provide for a programmatically thickened experience of people, activities, and space. By increasing what occurs in a residential building and expanding when things occur, a student living program with integrated public facilities can greatly enhance the perception of space as a thickened condition.

Typology Dorm typology has recently been challenged through architecture within the social and programmatical realms of the building. Although modern designs have varied greatly, the basic layout designs have branched from five main formal logics including the section type, the corridor type, the apartment type, the apartmentlike type, and the multistory type. The section typology is formally organized into a quadrangle building with common spaces at the head of the quadrangle and the building is divided into eight vertical sections. The corri-

dor typology is long and narrow with common spaces concentrated at the center of the building. The apartment typology can essentially be any shape in plan where the importance connectivity is achieved through arranging the space for small group living units with centralized common-use areas. The apartment-like typology is like the apartment typology but each grouping is stacked vertically with no horizontal connection between the grouped units. The multistory typology can be of any extruded shape; it places all rooms on the exterior with service spaces in the core. Minor complications or adjustments can be made to these basic layouts in order to reinterpret the spatial/social realm of the building type (see Figure 57).

Figure 56: the college complex in Urbino by Giancarlo De Carlo implements three techniques for a complex housing dorms and public space on a hillside

Some modern architectural examples of play on the dorm typology are prevalent as every new design is attempting to better or change the relationship of spaces and uses of a student residence. The Bikuben Student

Collegio dellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Aquilone: topography alignment

Collegio della Vela: topography terracing

Collegio del Tridente: hillside terracing

Figure 56


Section Type

Corridor Type

Apartment Type

Apartment-Like Type

Multistory Type


Figure 57

Residence in Copenhagen, by aart, improves the possibilities of a community spirit through a framework of social networking (see Figure 53). To provide the greatest possible contact between common and private rooms, there is a connection of each space to a double spiral surrounded atrium, allowing the living quarters of each individual to expand to the entire building through direct and indirect spatial and visual relationships in the atrium. Another housing project in Copenhagen, the Tietgenkollegiet by Lundgaard & Transberg Arkitektfirma, uses a concept of creating space for the communal and private life by assigning equal weight to all spaces (see Figure 55). The building is oriented around a central courtyard and is intersected by five vertical cuts which divide the spaces and provide access through the courtyard. Another example of effecting the typical organization can be seen in Simmons Hall, by Steven Holl. This college residence

is a typical multistory hall but implements large sectional cuts through the space in order to open communal and private spaces to one another sectionally through a building. Collegio del Colle and Collegio del Tridente by Giancarlo De Carlo are two examples of how the typologies can interact and respond to the site conditions. Collegio del Colleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s typology follows the contours of the hillside and as such becomes a series of bars connected with walkways whereas Collegio del Tridente is built as a series of terraced bars bisecting the hillside, opposing the natural contours but responding to the slightest change in elevation through the terraces. Both respond to a hillside condition in very different ways, yet both provide a series of connected spaces the interact with the topography and other units on the complex (see Figure 56).

dorm room study room

student living

private room bathroom classroom lounge support rooms dining auditorium


gallery gym restaurant public gathering

daily variance






Figure 58



Program Details The specific program requirements cover an area of around 200,000 square feet of which about half is student residential and the remaining half is shared public space. The private spaces consist of singles, doubles, and triple dormitories. Groupings of the bedrooms will share bathrooms, study spaces, private rooms, kitchens, lounges, laundry, family suites for professors, and public gathering space. Outside of these directly related programs, a pool and gym facility, classrooms, an auditorium, a mail room, gallery, restaurant, cafĂŠ, and performance hall will be added to bring in the public and interact with the students living within. As such, privacy and security will be considered and program adjacencies will define locations of nodal communities that are permanent to the site with public spaces attached. Through this duality of space and inhabitants, thickening

of the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience and user interaction will produce an enhanced form of living within the site and city of Montreal (see Figure 58).

Figure 57: the five basic typologies to dormitory configuration as defined by Harold C Riker in Planning Functional College Housing. Blue represents communal spaces and gray represents private rooms.

Figure 58: program diagram showing the relationships between square footages (left) variety of people using the space (right) and the amount of daily use the space gets (center bubbles)


Figure 59: original design rendering showing layering of thickened spaces throughout program, site, and city


Thickened Experience



Figure 60

The Urban Forest The design project itself must be able to exist in both the urban and the natural environments as it thickens the experience of the edge condition into a new spatial experience (see Figure 60). While the downtown region of Montreal connects to the mountain via Rue Peel, the urbanity of is able to travel through the site because of the pedestrian and visual movement into and through the site. The heavily used switchback road on the site acts as a constant push-and-pull through the layers of space and program. While constantly being visually connected back to the city, those experiencing the site are also always aware of the forest they inhabit. The designed site is never fully experienced as a forest condition or a city condition, but rather can be understood as its own entity existing within both. The urban relationships of

program and spatial volumes mixed with the flow of people and diverse interaction emanate the activity of the urban. The arrangement of spaces and volumetric linkages simultaneously provide a sense of security where users can see but not be seen as the secluded feel of a forest setting integrates with the built environment. While the two spatial experiences merge into one spatial realm, the new experience becomes a thickened state of connectivity to the mountain and the downtown.

Figure 60: photoshop diagram of the desired blurring affect between urban and natural landscapes

Positioning the urban forest at the location within/between Mont Royal Park and downtown Montreal allows for the site to be populated with not only the long and short term users of the site, but the people in the city who desire the integration of nature into the urban life. While the park is actively sought out and used year


Figure 63

Figure 61 Molson Stadium

Downtown Montreal

Figure 62


Figure 61: slope-analysis diagram (red=50% grade, yellow=5% grade) Figure 62: external views from the local site

Figure 63: diagram showing the black or white spaces of canopy or sky


round, the new space created within the edge of the two will allow for people to interact with the idea of a city and the idea of nature in a new way where the park is no longer a means of escape from the city life. The urban forest can be interacted with as a new means of serenity and urbanity where the simultaneity acts as an enhancement of both types of lifestyles within one spatial means.

Of the Site Thickening the immediate site where the project is to be located meant inhabiting every layer and spatial condition present within the wooded hillside at the base of Mont Royal. While the urban-nature relationship was mainly expressed horizontally between the relationships of the city to the forest next to it, the local site condition would be experienced vertically as the edge between earth, tree, and sky become one space to inhabit as the project. The wooded hillside became a new volumetric edge where there is no distinction between underground, on ground, in the trees, and above the canopy, but rather the entire hillside becomes a fuzzy, 3-dimensional plane of space. The canopy level of the trees becomes a clearly mapped space of figure-ground for the project to inhabit (see Figure 61). The sloped surface and topographic features relate to physical boundaries of buildable space and geographical relationships

to the form of the roadâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a main experiential path for the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and visual connectivity to the city beyond (see Figures 62 & 63). The formal and tectonic relationships between these site characteristics build the foundation for positioning the project within the immediate context, allowing the built form to become a part of each layer of the site, and the experiential spaces to relate back to each level of the site. While the relationship to the ground becomes important as a thickening of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s understanding of above, below, or at grade is challenged, the trees also become an essential aspect of the experiential qualities of the project. The organization of trees and their positioning on the contoured site have an integral role in the expanded experience of the site tectonics of light and space. While the trees are always changing sue to growth and seasonal shifts, so is the phenomenological characteristics of the lighting within the site. The canopy always provides a certain degree of shading and the cast shadow is always changing due to the movement of the sun (see Figure 64). As such, the site becomes a dynamic play of light and heat while the spatial and structural components of the trees themselves may remain fairly static (see Figure 65). This duality of visual and physical allows for the creation of space that in and of itself is connected to both the sky and ground conditions. While these conditions are also being devel-

Figure 64

Figure 65


Figure 66

oped, the integration of the system as a whole allows for a built experience to assimilate into the site. Figure 64: (page 75) sun study of local site involving the trees that are currently present

Figure 65: (page 75) canopy and tree location study of local site

Designing a project of the site rather than within or on top of, provides a systematic logic towards internalized external factors that relates oneself to their immediate context with an understanding of larger experiential conditions they may be a part of. Formulating site relationships for program, form, and users to be implemented into permits the integration and enhancing of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experiential relationship of people, building, and site.

Expanding the Program

Figure 66: relationship diagram showing physical interaction between various program within the project


Developing the site relationships within and without architectural components would not be successful if the phenomenological qualities of time, space, and experience were not developed through programmatic

and formal interactions. Developing the project via the means of student living and mixed public use, the cohabiting and interrelatedness of each individual type of space becomes an important design consideration internally to other program and externally to the site. As such, diversity and positioning of program plays an important part in successfully creating a thickened experience of programmatic space. The organization of space most importantly related to levels of private and public needs, followed by necessary adjacencies within the program and to the outside site where they are to be situated (see Figure 66). Organization through physical privacy and institutionalized spaces begins to arrange spaces amongst themselves, while also simultaneously positioning certain programs on the ground versus in the air (i.e. community and public spaces closer to the ground for

support rooms

support rooms


dorm room





dorm room

study room

study room




private room

support rooms




public gathering





public gathering

private room




dorm room





study room



public gathering

private room




Figure 67

easy access, see Figure 67). At which point, internal relationships of physical adjacency or connectivity begin to arrange the layout of program. While considering these relationships, the integration with the site begins to develop formal logics that relating each programmatic space to a larger grouping of spaces, and back out to the site conditions (and vice versa). The growth of the programmatic spaces into the site allow for necessary relationships to form between users, spaces, and form. Through this process of programmatic development, varying relationships are able to form between the different program types and site relations. The communal spaces within the student housing and the public mixed spaces become part of the ground condition, allowing the more private spaces to transition away from the public relationship to the ground and into and beyond the canopies of the trees. The

more public spaces become linked at the ground level, moving in, out, above, and below the ground plane, acting as the roots of the project, creating a foundation for structure and traffic flow into the building. At the other extreme of the spatial organization are the living quarters and private spaces for the student residents. These spaces are extended into and through the tree canopies to allow the residents privacy, natural light, and visual connections outward beyond the site. Although they grow outward from the public grounded spaces, they are connected via transition spaces such as study spaces, classrooms, lounges, and other mixed public-private volumes that act as the trunk between the canopy and roots of the architecture. Together the built form connects internally and externally to the program, site, and city.

Figure 67: diagram showing the overlapping sectional conditional posibilities between programmatic relationships


Graduated exercise gathering



socialize enterttainment

living n

community ty


ga gathering


community m

pub ublic

living gathering

community living v

cultural dining

Figure 69

Thickened Relationships Spatial relationships throughout the project constantly deal with the visual and physical connectivity between spaces or tectonics. As such, these interactions also concurrently relate to one another in specific ways, creating communal or secluded forms of space. Also, physical volumetric overlapping and fencing of spaces creates another layer of spatial thickening between and amongst program. Sectional and planar shifts create linkages or separations that provide visual or physical relationships to be realizedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or at least suggested. It is through these relationships that the user is able to connect to other unfamiliar people and spaces; providing an enhanced phenomenological understanding of the architecture one is within.



Figure 68


Being primarily composed of student living, the organization of the site becomes one relating to the fundamen-

tal proposition of community. Different organizational techniques for a community structure (see Figure 68) allow for different interactions among the users to occur. Primary concerns among each design strategy are the focus of connectivity and attention from and towards private and public spaces. As such, a combination of all can be implemented at different scales and locations around the site in order to create a thickened experience of program and architecture. Within the dormitory units, linear organization allows for separation and privacy of bedrooms, while nodal and focus organizations occur branching out from the dorms in order to connect private to public and public to site. A mixture of these two techniques is also implemented externally to create areas of interest as destination points throughout the site. Such strategies help organize the local spaces to their larger community, then again to join the communities to the entire project

Figure 70

aligned visual

as a whole within the site. These relationships are present when the project is looked at in plan (see Figure 69) as to how spatial overlaps and community organizations allow for a layered scalar shifting of space to occur, thus thickening the overall projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationships within itself. The perimeter shape and internal overlaps of the different spaces (represented by different colors) show the connectivity and focus areas that allow for the programs to interact and morph from separate logics into one larger system. At many of the nodal intersections of program, vertical connective tectonics were created to rip through the building and connect the overlaid programs to one another, but also the site and sky as an vertical urban alleyway. It is at these moments in the project where vertical shifts allow for another layer of interaction between and amongst programmatic spaces at a much more personal level

shifted slight shift

angled shift

(see Figure 70). The distance between two or more spaces and the 3-dimensional offsetting of the spaces all play a part in the perception and experience of the space in regards to sight, sound, and touch. The phenomenological implications of such relationships provide for intriguing personal conditions of understanding spatial and psychological interactions within the architecture.

joined physical

Figure 68: diagrams showing typical community structure within a group living situation

Final Design

Figure 69: collage diagram indicating spaces of overlap and connection in plan view

The final project design explores the relationships and experiential qualities that occur through the means of thickening multiple edges at various scales, creating a thickened experience of the edge condition between two typically separated spatial realms. Sectional and layered relationships within the project connect people to program, program to form, form to tectonic, tectonic to site, and site to city. Whether the user experiences the

Figure 70: relationship diagram showing sectional connections between the shifting of two adjacent spaces


Figure 71 Figure 71: sectional perspective showing the thickened state of program within one section of the building

Figure 72: exploded axonometric of the thickened project, showing the connectedness and relationships within the tectonics of building to site


project once in their life, or they are a permanent resident there, the design aims to provide new and broad experiences on a daily basis as the dynamic forces of the urban and natural coexist to create a thickened experience of the many edge conditions. At a personal level, the program and built spaces create isolated, yet connected areas for various users and various activities to coexist (see Figure 71). The building grows out of the ground and branches through and over the trees, sectionally linking ground to tree and sky. Spaces designed to sleep or live are volumetrically and phenomenologically connected to spaces made for community and public gatherings. The thickness of the space becomes immediately connected to the expansion of the mind via the experiential qualities of the senses. Underground and at-grade public spaces form to the ground and mimic the switchback

road found on the site. Simultaneously the surface of the earth peels, breaks, and stretches to absorb and carry the conjoined build environment. These spaces are also wrapped and layered so as to provide internal relationships and connectivity to be realized as scalar spatial shifts throughout the site. Concurrently, the trees and vertical connective pieces grow out of the ground and connect all levels of space and site to one another as a vertical, urban meeting place of site, program, and people (see Figure 72). Whether experiential relationships occur at the personal, built scale, or at the scale of the site, the project implements the tectonically layered associations both sectionally and in plan in order to create an architecture where the most immediate space becomes part of the larger whole. When examined in section, the project can be seen to be an integral part of the site as it grows from the ground and

Figure 72


Figure 73 Figure 73: section of project showing thickened relationships of site and building


becomes part of the canopy, while simultaneously allowing inhabitable space to occur throughout all layers of this growth (see Figure 73). While trees grow out of the hillside and provide a form of roof to the site, the vertical connective pieces open the project to the sky, while still maintaining continuity and connectivity to each layer of the site and built form. This foaming of the edge allows for the linear condition that exists as the ground surface to become a volumetric space that is thickened below and above the planar surface. By hollowing out the earth and extending it outward into the trunk and canopy levels of the tree, the ground can be seen as an expanded surface that ultimately becomes a thickened space. The intermingling of this ground condition with the trees provides further connectivity between the ground and the sky through the particularity of the tree levels. Architectural and tectonic means begin to inhabit this

space throughout all present levels where spaces interrelate in new and dynamic ways, providing a sense of totality and a holistic relationship to the overall project. Different spaces begin to float, while others are drastically anchored to the ground. While people fill up the spaces, the section comes to life as one experiences all aspects of program and site simultaneously throughout all types of spaces of the site. The layered typologies of the project relate themselves between program, architecture, and site. Examining the project through a series of plan sections (see Figure 74), one begins to understand the relationships between the multidimensional thickened edge. This series of plans shows the relationship that exists among the various layers of site and building, whether it is the relationship from ground to canopy or bedroom to public spaces. The stacking of contours,

trees, and building slowly begin to reveal the interconnectedness of these thickened aspects within the project. The revelation of different typologies at one single plan cut shows the complexity and dependency of each part of the project within and of the others. As such, the project becomes a thickened condition of space, architecture, and site.

Figure 74: series of plans cut through the project, showing the relationship from ground to building to tree to sky


elevation 305’

elevation 290’

highest level depicts most of the project as part of the canopy, connecting to the sky

groupings of space connect to the ground while concurrently existing above the canopy and roofs of other spaces on the site

elevation 245’

elevation 230’

moving above much of the project, additional pieces begin to connect back into the hillside while simultaneously inhabiting the tree canopies


many parts of the project have broken away from the ground, while the multitude of spaces become one with the forest logic of the site

elevation 275’

elevation 260’

some parts of the site remain very wooded and allow for above and below relationships to occur with the built and natural environments

additional underground spaces juxtapose the sprawled tectonic of the built form within the trees

elevation 215’

elevation 200’

the ground begins to open up and the interaction between the architecture and the trees becomes more prevalent

lowest level presents the majority of the project as relating to the ground as a hollow and stretched condition


Figure 75: view looking through the site and project to the city





Figure 76

A Thickened Experience Architecture has an important role to play in the relationships and directivity of interaction. As such, the enhancement or reduction of spatial experience greatly impacts the phenomenological realm we perceive. Through developing, designing, and thickening simultaneous edge conditions, a work of architecture will allow people to experience more of the world around them in an enhanced interaction of their immediate to their global environment. Through the development of program and spatial relationships integrated onto a wooded, sloped site situated between nature and city, one begins to understand the possibilities of separations and connections that occur at every scale. By exploiting these edge conditions (urban-nature, ground-tree-sky, and public-private) in a manner that allows both to coexist creates a thickened experience of space where one understands both simultaneously.

Often times architectural tectonics are employed to denote boundary conditions, signifying the end of one thing and the beginning of another. However, the phenomenological experience of a space can be greatly enhanced when a multiplicity and dynamicism can be created due to people, space, structure, or site relationships. Architecture has a duty to challenge the way people experience and thus the way they think about their inhabitance. By developing a singular space that can be considered to be part of multiple programs creates a unique diversity of interaction and experience. Such can be said when integrating tectonics and site relationships between the internal and external relationships of ground-building-sky. By connecting and blurring the boundaries within and without nature, people can obtain new experiences from visiting the same site multiple times.

Figure 76: rendering showing the connective wrapping of spaces via the facade and fencing of spaces


Figure 77

Figure 78


Figure 79

Exploring a thesis with such a multitude of possibilities, various site and tectonics must be played out to begin to fully understand the power of a thickened space. Through focusing on solely the internal or external factors, in depth understanding of coexistence of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;both-andâ&#x20AC;? condition should be more realized and able to develop at scales as large as the urban and as small as a wall system. However, further exploring of site integration is also necessary to have a truly thickened understanding of space as site/architecture/person. While architecture will always strive to provoke something more in those experiencing it, integrated design relationships must be considered in order to create simultaneity of understanding and experience within each person experiencing the work. Through the layering and enhancement of all aspects of design, people can become an extension of the work

itself as they are integrated into the realm of the inhabitants, the program, the spaces, the built form, and the site that the architecture is one with. Figure 77: image of original design showing the connectivity between the architecture and the site Figure 78: view of the project from the switchback road looking through the forest Figure 79: view of one communal space connecting the student living and public spaces to one another and the site beyond


Figure 80: sectional model showing the relationships of the architecture to the hillside as a whole

Figure 81: sectional model depicting the connection between the interior and exterior through the project

Figure 82: sectional model showing the internal program and spatial connectivity between built form, site, and the vertical urban connections

Figure 80


Figure 81

Figure 82


Figure 83: aerial view of project looking up the mountain away from the city




Architectural Borden, Iain. 1996. “Thick Edge: Architectural Boundaries and Spatial Flows.” The Architecture of Separation. Holy Trinity Kingsway. London. Ebner, Peter. 2010. typology+Innovative Residential Architecture. Birkhauser, Basel Fisher, Karen. “Seattle Public Library as Place.” The Library as Place: History, Community, and Culture. By John Buschman and Gloria J. Leckie. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007: 135-60. Gausa, Manuel. 1998. Housing New Alternatives, New Systems. Birkhauser Publishers, ACTAR Barcelona. Hays, Michael K. “Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form.” Perspecta 21: The Yale Architectural Journal, 1984: 14-29. Holl, Steven, Francesco Garofalo, and Christopher Huw. 2003. Evans. Steven Holl. New York: Universe. Holl, Steven. 2000. Parallax. Basel: Birkhäuser-Publishers for Architecture. Libeskind, Daniel. 1991. Daniel Libeskind Countersign. London: Academy. Mayne, Thom. 2006. Morphosis. New York, NY: Rizzoli. McKean, John. 2004. Giancarlo De Carlo Layered Places. Edition Axel Menges, Stuttgart/London. Mullins, William and Allen, Phyllis. 1971. Student Housing. Praeger Publishers, New York. Mullins, William. 1971. Student Housing: Architectural and Social Aspects. Praeger Publishers. New York Riker, Harold C. 1956. Planning Functional College Housing. Bureau of Publications: Teachers College, Columbia University New York. Ruff, Thomas, and Steven Holl. 1994. Architectures of Herzog & De Meuron. New York: P. Blum. Untermann, Richard. 1977. Site Planning for Cluster Housing. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. Zumthor, Peter, Maureen Oberli-Turner, and Catherine Schelbert. 2006. Thinking Architecture. Basel: Birkhäuser.

Research Buchanan, Bill. 1998. “Bernard Maybeck: Hillside Building.” Oregon Coast Net: Oregon Coast Real Estate and More. Brookings to Newport. Web. 15 Dec. 2010. <>. Derrida, Jacques. “Force and Signification.” Translated by Alan Bass. Writing and Difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. Fritz, Ron, and Gray Merriam. “Fencerow and Forest Edge Architecture in Eastern Ontario Farmland.” Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 59.3 (1996): 159-70. ScienceDirect. Web. (accessed 2 Oct. 2010) Gass, William H. 1986 “The Face of the City.” Harper’s. 37-46 Guattari, Félix. 2000. The Three Ecologies. London: Athlone. Heidegger, Martin. “Building, Dwelling, Thinking.” Poetry, Language, Thought. Translated by Albert Hofstadter. Harper Colophon Books, New York, 1971. Johnson, Galen A. and Smith, Michael B. Smith. 1990. Ontology and Alterity in Merleau-Ponty. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1968. The Visible and the Invisible. Northwestern University Press, Evanston. “Montreal Cultural Metropolis.” City of Montreal, November 2004 Murcia, Carolina. “Edge Effects in Fragmented Forests: Implications for Conservation.” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10.2 (1995): 58-62. ScienceDirect. (accessed 2 Oct. 2010) Reed, R.A., Johnson-Barnard, J., and Baker. “Contribution of Roads to Forest Fragmentation in the Rocky Mountains.” Conservation Biology 10: 1098-1106. < _of_roads_to_forest_. html>. (accessed 24 Oct. 2010) Riker, Harold. 1956. Planning functional college housing. Bureau of Publications. Columbia University, New York. Roy, P.S. and Joshi, P.K. “Landscape Fragmentation & Biodiversity Conservation.” Indian Institute of Remote Sensing. < 0001.htm>. (accessed 22 Oct. 2010) Waterhouse, Alan. 1993. Boundaries of the City. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. Wheelwright, Phillip. “Philosophy of the Threshold.” The Sewanee Review 61.1 (1953): 56-75. JSTOR. (accessed 4 Oct. 2010) Williams-Linera, Guadalupe. “Vegetation Structure and Enviornmental Conditions of Forest Edges in Panama.” Journal of Ecology 78.2 (1990): 356-73. (accessed 4 Oct. 2010)

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Figure 44:,3101655&_ dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Figure 45: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 46: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 47: Google Earth Images Figure 48: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 49: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 50: Figure 51: tetreault-parent-languedoc-saia-barbarese-topouzanov-in-montreal- canada/exterior-design-uqam%E2%80%99s-campus-by-tetreault-par ent-languedoc-saia-barbarese-topouzanov/ Figure 52: plex.htm Figure 53: Figure 54: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 55: Figure 56: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 57: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 58: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 59: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 60: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 61: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 62: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 63: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 64: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 65: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 66: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 67: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 68: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 69: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 70: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 71: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 72: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 73: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 74: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 75: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 76: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 77: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 78: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 79: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 80: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 81: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 82: original image by Jeffrey Bedard Figure 83: original image by Jeffrey Bedard




Thickening the Edge  

Jeffrey Bedard B.Arch Final Project Thesis at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture

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