Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
William Carpenter, FAIA, PHD, LEED AP
In collaboration with the The King Center and Freedom Hall, Mountaintop Exhibition Hall is embedded in the heart of the Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta, in the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. This center for creative expression honors artistic exhibits and performances dedicated to the nonviolent movement against injustice. This new intervention in the historical park promotes societal transformation and recurring visitation from the greater arts community.
This development began with research into phenomenology, with emphasis on an experiential approach to architectural design. Sensuality of experience lead to an exploration of Khôra: the third place; being beyond phenomenological materials – those manmade and naturally occurring; the space between material and immaterial. A search for the sacred commenced, sacred sites of Atlanta analyzed, and the concept of the sacred scrutinized. This thesis asserts that the sacredness of a place is derived from the sanctity of human life and is symbolic of the history of a people. The most significant civil rights site in the United States, the sacred location of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth, life, and tomb were selected. The building program was informed by the site, and the building concept derived from the site: Birth – Expression – Burial.