Testing the Greek Landscape

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2007-06-11

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This thesis is an exploration of the effects of site upon building design and form. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate the transformative influence of terrain upon every other aspect of the design process. The region of Meteora, Greece is selected because it offers a variety of extreme topographic conditions within a concentrated area.

The test is designed scientifically, using program as the constant and terrain as the variable. Four specific sites are used within the greater area, each with very different terrain. The variety of topography allows the comparison of four instances of building to site interaction. A program appropriate to the region is a monastery, which is then applied to each site as a case study. The design process is used to resolve a total of six resultant issues for each site: building access, massing, character of the monastery, structural system, construction methodology, and aesthetic response to site. These six issues are then compared across the examined sites to demonstrate the governing role of topographic interface in architectural design.

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