Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Trace Gainey


True architecture has the ability to engage the human body and its senses from a holistic standpoint. However, there is a growing presence of architecture that is created with a bias toward the visual sense, lacking sensuality, and leaving the other senses unstimulated. Negative emotions, like anxiety, experienced by individuals within a particular space can be attributed to various factors, including the sensorial qualities encountered and the memories associated with that space. Within the field of this study, there have been architects who have confronted the issues of contemporary architecture, neglecting the holistic experience of the body within space. An example of this can be seen in An Architecture of the Seven Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa, where he uses materiality and spatial experiences to give significance to the role of the senses within architecture. Similar themes can be found in the book Atmospheres by Peter Zumthor, where he extracts the elements of the impactful experiences, or atmospheres, that he has encountered, providing a framework for the process of creating architecture that moves its inhabitants. Embodied examples of these ideas can be seen in Therme Vals and the Swiss Sound Box, two projects by Zumthor that use the sensorial qualities of the spaces to define circulation, placing a greater emphasis on movement about the space and its role in impacting the user. Using the ideas and principles of these architects, an exploration will be conducted to explore how the sensorial qualities of different experiences can be used to create body-centered and memory-evoking spaces. This approach will involve incorporating principles from the literature, themes of everyday atmospheric experiences formulated within an index, and qualities of the precedents within the index. This approach will also aim to address the following research questions: How can a multi-sensory design approach emphasize the importance of bodily awareness while creating memorable experiences? What factors contribute to the felt emotions in a space? What environmental or cultural factors influence the perception of multi-sensory design? How does multi-sensory design contribute to a sense of place and belonging? Sculpting the Senses: Architecture for the body in place is a collection of spaces being designed in order to address the issue of the neglected senses in architecture. The spaces exist within a community center located in Atlanta, Georgia. This community center will house programs that encourage moments of both introspection and communion amongst individuals using the sensorial qualities of the atmospheres. Further expected outcomes of the thesis aim to establish a new approach to contextualizing experiences and using them to create atmospheres for a particular environment.

Included in

Architecture Commons