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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



Throughout time nature has been a prescribed healer of stress on the human condition. Its vital integration into our daily lives has been proven by scientific evidence. The majority of Americans spend approximately 1/3 of their life working, whatever that job may entail. Therefore, it makes sense that the environments that we spend so much of our life in for work at extremely important to our physical and mental health, however, current workplace models are not acknowledging that. Redefining the workplace to integrate nature would start to change work life in this country and how work itself is viewed.

This thesis focuses on creating healthy and holistic production spaces for workers in areas like Western Massachusetts. Because this area shares urban and rural qualities while being primarily suburban of major Northeastern cities such as Boston and New York, it provides unique ground for a wide array of work occupations and work types. On a chosen site of Northampton, MA, a new work model will be developed around the exposure to nature integral to a collaborative co-op/ incubator space for small businesses in the area who need office and production spaces in a community setting.

The progression of this research will lead to a developed incubation space with a positive environmental impact. Precedent research of archetypes such as Michael Singer’s Alterra Atria, and Miller Hull’s Bullitt Center exemplify sustainable criteria in relation to office architecture. By using concepts underlying an even further integration with the community ideas from John Dinkeloo & Kevin Roche’s Ford Foundation Headquarters, Candilis, Josic and Woods’ Freie University Berlin and BIG & Heatherwick’s New Google Headquarters. By creating a building that addresses the diverse makeup of the larger community of Northampton, MA, this co-op space would become an example of how a workplace can work with nature towards a greater impact on the environment post-occupancy.


First Advisor

Ray K. Mann