Tianhui Li

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2023


sustainable materials, weathering architecture, demolished buildings, deterioration, abandoned architecture, uninhabitable land, ecosystem






When thinking about afterlife of architecture, one would imagine architecture’s incapability of maintain its form due to its deterioration. Humans tear down buildings to construct new buildings, or update building by replacing damaged parts.

However recent study indicates that the traditional human-architecture relationship will end in the near future due to population increase and global warming. As humans lose more and more habitable lands, the remaining architecture on inhabitable lands will be abandoned. This raises the question of who then decides the fate of the abandoned architecture. This thesis sees weathering as the answer to the question and reimagines the human-architecture relationship through the lens of weathering.

This thesis project is interested in proposing an architectural design that accepts weathering architecture and converts conventional modern architecture-- which has been consumed for a certain program and demolished afterward-- to architecture that embraces slow degeneration while interacting with its changing context. The objective of the proposed study is to explore the process of architectural materials being weathered within a certain time frame to contemplate how weathered architecture would fit in a future society.

Oyster shells are the key material for the weathering architecture because of its capability of accommodating marine ecosystem. Its porous surfaces play various roles in each weathering stage, from air purification system to fertilizer for eelgrass. The changing roles are determined by its relationship to the context and specific human activities. The concept of letting architecture components remain the same while changing its functions is based on the project’s design philosophy that human operations will not become the decider of the weathering architecture.

Additional Information

Thesis group: Architectured: Material in Architecture and Structure

Advisor: Junho Chun



Creative Commons License

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

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