Jack Schildge

Icons of Solitude:

Peace, Quiet, and the Urban Condition

The urban environment lacks sufficeient public places to me alone, where individuals can feel free to rest, and that feel restorative. Many turn to the natural environment and often inherently isolated structures residing within it for these feelings. While solitude is easily achievable in the natural world, it is something that must deliberately carved out within the context of the city. This thesis identifies essential spatial and architectural qualities present in remote, man-made structures that promote solitude and reflection. Analysis of these architectural motifs highlights two important conditions, that these manifest primarily as transitional spaces, and that there are a number of associated dualities striking a precarious balance within them; dis/connection, re/dissorientation, views in/out, visual weight/apparent lightness, removal from/puncture into the ground plane. This thesis remixes and reapplies this catalog in the urban environment, reimagining the benefits solitary spaces have within our society.


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