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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis is an investigation into how land evolves into an architectural presence and representation to reconnect physical construction with social realities, human perception, and environmental considerations. As buildings lose their plasticity and their connection with the surroundings both physically and psychologically, they become isolated in the cool and distant realm of vision, lacking authenticity of material and tectonic logic in their construction. Landform architecture, which allows land to be engaged in an architectural representation, penetrates multi-dimensional architectural meaning through the manipulation of space, material, and structure. The built form of landform architecture is fundamentally developed from articulations of the terrain, but it transcends the topography in that it suggests and strengthens the potential relationship between physical construction and the outside world, thus allowing an enriched value to be attached to this emerging architectural typology.

The project that I develop will illustrate how landform buildings bridge artificial and natural constructions with enriched state of sensory and cognitive engagement as enmeshed experience in campus complex design. Most importantly, I will integrate energy saving approaches and other sustainable strategies through extractions from and extensions to the land. Instead of studying landform architecture as a novel building form, attention will be paid to the wide range of potentials that can be nourished in its future development. Reflections on the moral, technological, and design issues that enable landform architecture to perform an intensified articulation of reality is of great importance to the exploration of effective design methodologies that are able to generate the intensified interactions between human beings and buildings as framed by post-phenomenologists.

The design project is located in UMass Amherst, working as a campus complex to facilitate students and community member’s mingling, as well as the continuation of New England’s agriculture tradition. Permaculture theme guides the development of building programs and the evolvement of building form. By combining both passive design strategies and active design strategies, the building will work as a multifunctional campus facility which contributes to agricultural research, community involvement, and interactions between human beings and the nature.


First Advisor

Kathleen Lugosch

Second Advisor

Ajla Aksamija