Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Cecelia Voelker

Committee Member

Peter Lee

Committee Member

John Jacques


Over one million copies have been sold of the self-help and awareness books Looking Out For Number One and Pulling Your Own Strings. Last year, 2.5 million people voluntarily underwent psychoanalysis for anxiety disorders. In the last thirty years, hundreds of religions have formed in the United States alone.

This is the problem, and the concern of this thesis, that modern man is desperately searching many possibilities for a renewal of contact with his self, with meaning in his life. So this study will concentrate on the architectural design of still another potential avenue in this search; the retreat, the getaway wherein modern man seeks some reassuring collection of answers to the outrageous demands of an overwhelming society.

The method of this thesis, then, will be to first address these elusive answers with some appropriate questions. What is wrong with our society that man often feels this struggle of self? What can we learn from what has been done and is being done to reconcile meaning in life with everyday existence? Then, how must an architecture address this required fullness of experience in terms of a retreat center? And finally, how does this all translate into an actual design process, and beyond to an architectural statement?

The following sections of text relate directly to this sequence of questions.

Now, to the conclusions of the design, it is hoped that through a marriage of architectural, philosophic, and humanist viewpoints, both in subject matter and in the actual design approach - that through these means the end will emerge as a more aware, socially topical architectural work as a statement of my own design concerns. Beyond this, I leave the manuscript to the reader's own conclusions.

Included in

Architecture Commons



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