Weaving History into Building Design

When a class project asked students to design a library in Arizona, Caitlin Thissen, a recent architecture graduate, wanted to not only design a usable library but one that embraced the community’s traditions. Thissen used the traditions of the Hohokam tribe, who settled in northern Arizona, as a precedent for developing a building system and program for the library. She intertwined the history and traditional design into the contemporary design. “It’s important to consider materials and their meaning as it evolves over time in relationship to location and their use in design and construction,” Thissen said.

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