Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Jean-Francois Bedard

Honors Reader

Sinead MacNamara

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Architectural History and Criticism | Architecture


From the Far East to the Western world, architecture has historically strived toward permanence and monumentality. Recent “sustainable” design practice is likewise concerned with preservation, seeking to maintain quality of life for future generations by conserving both built and natural environments. However, in an age of rapid technological advancement, designed objects and buildings are quickly rendered obsolete, and in effect, our culture has become disposable. Buildings are designed to be replaced or updated according to technological progress, and that which is no longer useful or relevant is simply discarded. An ephemeral architecture has the ability to mediate between aspired permanence and inevitable change, sustaining cultural meaning despite a short existence. Framing a moment in time through construction processes and lingering fragments, a building designed to disappear can foster a potent communal memory. The fleeting experience created by a temporal architecture can serve a didactic purpose within its community. The tectonics of the building will be telling of its mutable nature not only as urban furniure, but also as a dynamic marker of place and time, showcasing the potential sustainable value in impermanence. An amenity for the 2013 America’s Cup sailing regatta in San Francisco will test the sustainable potential of an ephemeral architecture. The building will not only enhance the experience during the race, but also frame a historical moment for the city. Located on a waterfront site, the building will embrace the unique climate of the bay, as well as contribute to a collective coastal identity at the scales of site, neighborhood and city.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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