Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.
Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Sustainability, Preservation, Historic preservation, Adaptive reuse, Sustainable development, Data mapping
Sustainable development practices and historic preservation efforts are imbued with contradictions, overlappings and shortcomings. Adaptive reuse is a tool for the sustainable preservation of existing building stock that bridges these approaches and more appropriately addresses the values of time, energy, place and community with respect to the built environment. Destruction of both material and abstract qualities can be circumvented by actively engaging a site, landscape or context through revealing and crossbreeding complex patterns, traces and perspectives. The value of a datascape is optimized when such a re-contextualization consists of both additive and subtractive manipulations and is flexible, continuous and regenerative.
To avoid demolition and severing connections to the past and to extend the potential success of the development of the former Belchertown State School for the Feeble Minded in Belchertown, Massachusetts, I investigated ways by which the existing Auditorium Building and its relationship to the site could be re-contextualized. Since 1992, this defunct state-operated facility has been closed, transferred to the town and considered for economic development. Within the one hundred fifty-five-acre parcel that remains to be developed there are approximately sixty acres of forested areas and wetlands, a freshwater pond, and numerous abandoned school buildings in poor condition. The Auditorium Building, centrally located within the buildable area of the state school parcel, acted as a gateway into the campus and historically served as a gathering, performing and learning space for both school and Belchertown residents.
In conjunction with precedent and programmatic research, I mapped patterns of State School site data which included not only existing, visible data but that which is historical, potential and invisible. The interpretation of these vectors, connections and boundaries served as a framework for re-contextualization and aimed to identify contextual attributes that require preservation, accretion or removal. The grafting of this data to the Auditorium Building and its surroundings exposed and affected various patterns of behavior that ultimately impacted its form, program and relationship to the landscape.
Sigrid Miller Pollin
FIGURE 2_Aerial photo of Belchertown State School Site.pdf (1606 kB)
FIGURE 21_Interior Photo Kogod Courtyard Smithsonian Institute.pdf (170 kB)
FIGURE 22_Exterior photo Kogod Courtyard Smithsonian Institute.pdf (4430 kB)
FIGURE 23_Interior Photo of Kogod Courtyard at night.pdf (16227 kB)
FIGURE 24_Exterior photo '62 Center for Theatre & Dance.pdf (1444 kB)
FIGURE 24_Interior photo '62 Center for Theatre & Dance.pdf (401 kB)
FIGURE 24_plan '62 Center for Theatre & Dance.pdf (458 kB)
FIGURE 24_Watercolor of '62 Center for Theatre & Dance.pdf (177 kB)
FIGURE 25_Frei Otto 1.pdf (565 kB)
FIGURE 25_Frei Otto 2.pdf (428 kB)
FIGURE 26_Open Air Theatre Brooklyn.pdf (116 kB)
FIGURE 28_Interior photo Auditorium Building.pdf (2446 kB)
FIGURE 31_Wire Monkey Dance.pdf (63 kB)