Title page for ETD etd-04122013-203310

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alphonso, Taylor C.
Author's Email Address talpho4@tigers.lsu.edu; talpho4@lsu.edu; taylor_alphonso@yahoo.com
URN etd-04122013-203310
Title Sustainable Architecture: Addressing the Conditions of Poverty and Homelessness
Degree Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Emery McClure, Ursula Committee Chair
Damico, Randolph Committee Member
Zwirn, Robert Committee Member
  • homelessness
  • sustainable architecture
  • sustainability
  • architecture
  • poverty
Date of Defense 2013-04-12
Availability unrestricted
Any large city faces the challenge of addressing homelessness and poverty. The most common action taken to address such conditions is providing temporary shelter accompanied by assistance through welfare programs; these are not permanent solutions. They do not assist the impoverished in establishing themselves in the community as the shelters are temporary, and ignore the fact that many lack the required education along with job and life skills to ultimately establish independence. Many cities do not offer affordable educational opportunities to this demographic, and they tend to overlook the importance the actual facility may have on the encouraging and promoting experience. Engaging and responsive educational facilities, specifically vocational, hold the power to influence an individualís educational experience, providing positive outcomes for not only that individual, but the surrounding community as well.

This thesis identifies the current state of poverty and homelessness within the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, while also exemplifying the need for vocational education, which has proven to improve similar conditions. Architecturally, it presents a generalized design of a vocational education facility that will reuse an existing site and its buildings to not only benefit the surrounding community, which is in a rebuilding effort, but also the impoverished by providing a means of education, shelter, training, and even work. As an additional benefit, the process of adaptively reusing an existing site addresses the ecological need of living in a more sustainable manner and embodies how this approach has the potential to better the living conditions of the community as a whole.

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