Open Access Thesis
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
The environment evolved five human senses; through these receptors the majority of us experience life. Or do we? The a vast majority of our daily landscape resides enclosed, shut off from the exterior; separating people from the elements, organizing and distributing the multitude of functions that affect how we live and feel. The mental state of society is poor, the “daily dis-ease” of we wrestle with; stress, emotions, fatigue, exhaustion, disconnection suck the life out of the moments we live to barely even see. These interactions and experiences we encounter in, on, under and around the architectural forms we travel between are often so boring and ordinary we don’t even label them as experience. I challenge architecture can be more. The tangibles (senses) can be invigorated and spaces can be driven and designed by the senses, by the body and by the mind. The creation of unique experiences involves not only the measureable (light, smell, touch, taste & sound etc.) but also immeasurable effects on the body (memory, unity, serenity, etc.) The core of this project aims to cultivate an architecture that provides an array of nurturing and invigorating experiential and exploratory moments harmoniously placed throughout the natural landscape.
Through this reintroduction to experience, the individuals attending the retreat will be engulfed in experiencing the moment and living each breath of sensation. For meditation is the existence in contemplation, relaxation and mental hygiene that provides the platform, the vessel for self-exploration and internal growth. Here the architecture becomes the marbles in the landscape, nestled into the site located in Mountain Park in Holyoke, Ma.
“Come experience life, and energize your body and mind”
Young, Kyle B., "Mount Tom Self-Transformation Retreat: Designing Experiential Architecture to Provoke Stimulatory, Expressive and Sensory Self-Exploration" (2014). Masters Theses. 55.