Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Marietta Monaghan, PhD

Abstract

The last election cycles of 2016 and 2020 became a tumultuous time for many Americans. More than ever, Democracy has been tested through recent events and has had many doubting the integrity of our governmental structures and the strength of our civic buildings. The events of January 6th unfolded before all of America’s eyes as we witnessed the breaching of the United States Capitol, which was supposed to be the most secure and honored building in Washington. America’s cultural diversity brings different opportunities within distinct contexts. So how do we reflect our ideals and necessities into the city halls that stand to represent us and our history through Architecture? Could we merge these two principles of representation and the practice of our ideals to create a robust and meaningful design? This thesis begins by establishing what American democracy demands and by consulting the historical development and contemporary precedents of city halls for possible solutions to these questions. As designers of public spaces, an examination of the demographics of a municipality and its context should always guide how we design for the people our approach serves. To promote the people’s ideas, we must create opportunities for constituents to express their rights in a space designed for them, giving them a forum to express grievances and celebrate their cultures. In this new era of political awareness, this thesis proposes we reform the way city halls are built to provide transparency and inclusivity for the community. City halls are used not only for civic functions but also to enhance the quality of life through a set of interdependent relationships. By creating a more dynamic and diverse city hall, this thesis will demonstrate one way to give the power back to the people.

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