Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Pegah Zamani


This thesis focuses on the problematic design trends of malls, particularly those that prioritize economic efficiency at the expense of social and environmental considerations. It highlights how many struggling or closed malls share similar design strategies, often focusing on retail anchor stores and circulation-centric layouts. These design choices have contributed to an unsuccessful typology over the years.

The thesis aims to address this issue by proposing a new approach to a case in Duluth, Georgia. It centers around the concept of liminality, referring to a transitional state characterized by continuity, obscurity, and sentimentality. By applying this concept, the thesis suggests reimagining the mall as a cultural hub, utilizing the abandoned space to create a cultural district.

In this proposed cultural district, the focus shifts from solely economic activities to providing a space for meaningful human-centric experiences. By incorporating elements of liminality, such as continuity in the cultural narrative, obscurity in the blending of diverse cultural influences, and sentimentality in fostering emotional connections, the redesigned mall becomes more than just a commercial space—it becomes a place for community engagement, artistic expression, and social cohesion.

Included in

Architecture Commons