Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor Alan Smart
Professor Robert Svetz
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Architecture | Landscape Architecture | Other Architecture
The proposed “cemetery” and retail center for the Idora neighborhood of Youngstown, Ohio is the result of one research semester and one design semester. The design proposal arose from dissatisfaction with the architectural community’s propensity for using jargon and clichés when describing the contemporary suburban condition. Many critics and commentators understand suburbia through the lens of the postwar period. It has been suggested that suburbia was developed for use as a media weapon – and thus, at the conclusion of the Cold War, should have been rendered architecturally irrelevant. However, suburbia has remained stagnant. Design standards employed by developers continue to operate in support of an image-making regime. The image of domestic bliss suggests that Americans are capable of only one, homogenous form of existence. My thesis argues that a contemporary notion of suburbia can in fact be achieved by embracing its history and recognizing the overall ex-urban fabric as an occupiable historical document. A retail center – modelled on the strip mall typology – can behave as an antidote to suburban anxiety, when paired with a specific architectural language that establishes a ground-plane manipulation in which suburban homes can be recalled.
Chertock, Samuel David, "A New Suburban Elysium: A Headstone for the Dying Periphery" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 741.
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