Amreeta Verma

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2023


threshold tectonics, Haudenosaunee, geomorphology, waste management, natural materials, locally sourced, environmental degradation, lifecycle of soil, tectonic structure of land, sustainability, sustainable construction, soil, ecology, natural terrain, cultural center




Architectural Technology | Architecture | Environmental Design | Landscape Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


This research posits that a revitalization of indigenous earth architecture practices in a contemporary context can mitigate the immense waste and embodied carbon in the construction industry while engaging practices of land return and reclamation. Locally sourced earth materials are the focus of this research because when utilized in a circular consumption cycle, they can be reused or returned to the natural environment. Designing with a temporal understanding of material decay, changing site conditions, and project life cycle reduces the impact of construction waste on the burgeoning issue of environmental degradation and resource depletion. Material experimentation is used to develop threshold conditions between the proposed earth architecture and existing built infrastructure. Geomorphology studies set the framework for material property analysis, textural and tactile experimentation, and tectonic logic adaptation. Connective conditions are designed with a focus on the dichotomy of found and built structures and existing site geology. Sustainable construction practices, material culture, and site history are examined through the lens of soil. These studies inform the design of a Haudenosaunee cultural center in the abandoned dewitt quarry producing a space of cultural and ecological healing. While built from primarily earth materials, the new style connects to both geological and manmade structures found on site. Bringing a sense of playfulness and light to a space that faced ecological and cultural damage by industrial processes, human occupation returns to the quarry in a positive and passive way with a reverence for nature and living in balance with our environment. This project is ultimately a demonstration of the beauty and sustainable capabilities of earth architecture, showing how damaged landscapes can be revitalized by creating new relationships with the ground.

Additional Information

Thesis group: Afterlives: Regenerative Built Ecologies

Advisor: Bess Krietemeyer, Daekwon Park, Nina Sharifi, Yutaka Sho



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.