Date of Submission

Spring 5-3-2022

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Ermal Shpuza


Does development of urban areas naturally lies at odds with maintaining any memory of their historic character, e.g. historic artifacts, structures, land? If so, such a perspective may have warrant. The Atlanta area serves as an easy example: the Loew’s Grand was conveniently burned down by arsonists after it received historic status and protection; the Fox Theatre was almost redeveloped into a parking deck, and; the placard for the site of Leo Frank’s lynching was moved across the street to make room for an entrance ramp to a toll freeway.

But this single perspective, or prejudice rather, despite warrant, is a myopic projection onto all new redevelopment. Development that respects historic sites can improve those sites to the advantage of both the observance of their history and the desirability of redevelopment. Consider further that given cities must change and grow (or even encroach), development must formulate such a new approach.

It cannot preserve an Immaculate archive of that past, and it must not erase every sign of it either. How can Architecture orient toward nature while protecting it from predatory development?

Given the dearth of examples for protecting natural environments and historic sites in Atlanta in particular, this proposal will seek to interrogate, investigate, and recommend a small set of architectural approaches to respect and vivify sites while encouraging sustainable redevelopment. For the sake of such a wide and tenuous scope, this proposal will select, and constrain, its parameters to a useful and commonplace condition within the metropolitan Atlanta region: small forests within urbanizing centers. Architecture can act as a barrier to invasive unsustainable development and boon to public quality of life: By creating a barrier against development outside a border; By reuse of low-performing development inside a border; By retracting land from sprawl, And by expansion of public access.

The undertaking will consider the following: I. Use, the social and urban need for such spaces; II. Method, the systematic method for attaining them, and; III. Purpose, the larger conceptual and theoretical purpose they fulfill. Lastly, it will conclude with a specific site and hypothetical approach with discrete architectural solutions.


Case study is sited in North Sandy Springs, Georgia.