making sense  




  last updated: November  2007
This site chronicles the 5 year process of my architectural thesis that sought to explore the concept of “place” in architecture, applying the learned principles to a hypothetical project on an undeveloped portion of waterfront land. This project  attempts to encourage a city to discover itself and the relationship between its unique sense of place and its waterfront ...

The efforts of this thesis have inspired a community based coalition currently establishing the preconditions for a major multi-use attraction facility on Thunder Bay, Ontario’s waterfront – visit the Lake Superior Place website to find out more...


the primary goal of any architecture should be to create meaningful places for people to live their day to day lives







understanding human existence and the spirit of place

Thesis Proposal.

Thesis Proposal - making sense of place...

We live, work and play in a world made up of many types of places. We use the word "place" to describe our daily experiences, yet we are unaware of the concept of place and the role it plays in the design of the spaces in which we live. Place affects how we experience the spaces we encounter in our daily lives and these spaces in turn give meaning to our lives and the relationship we share with the locality....
click to view the thesis proposal in PDF format    

Theoretical Research. 

.. right-mouse-click over the following link and select "save-target-as" to save the PDF file to your computer for viewing...
Part One - Theoretical concept explored...

The ways in which we build define an understanding of how our lives coexist with our natural surroundings. We look to nature, not only to understand it, but to overcome its forces. The way in which we experience our natural surroundings can be defined by the spaces in which we live. The understanding we develop through  the relationship between our built and natural environments should reveal the spirit of place. Three elements; man, nature and space, need to coexist in a meaningful way in order for there to be an experience of place....

click to view the theoretical research in PDF format       



architecture reveals a new landscape


The Site.

Part Two - Site Analysis...

There is a spirit to be found in every place - they can exist spiritually and can be revealed through memories of the past that can be found within the local environment or the locality. We need to find the spirit that exists within the environments where we build in order to create a meaningful existence between man, nature and space....
Click to Link to the Site Development Page






involving the community in an awareness of place


The Program.

... right-mouse-click over the following link and select "save-target-as" to save the PDF file to your computer for viewing...
Part Three - Building Program...

Cities have changed in many ways with  advancing technologies. The boundaries of our locality are expanding and the ability to define our place within it has become more difficult. There is a growing trend to redefine the image of our cities through the renewal and redevelopment of our downtown and waterfront lands.  This thesis looks at the relationship of a mid-size city and its waterfront in an attempt to involve the community in an awareness of place - creating a focus on the waterfront that will enrich the image of the city and symbolize a local spirit of place....
right-click and select "save-target-as" to download PDF file





symbolizing the aspirations of man and the forces of nature


The Design.

Part Four - Building Design...

The Laker anchored alongside the massive concrete grain elevators has been described by our fore-fathers as a symbol of  "progress, wealth, power and urban maturity". It is an image of industrial activity that is disappearing from waterfronts worldwide - an image that is known to symbolize growth and prosperity for the cities they harbor. This image has been chosen to form the conceptual framework for a civic building on the local waterfront that will involve the community in an awareness of place and celebrate the local heritage and history of an industrial waterfront.... 
Click to go to the Design page

Thorold J. Tronrud, "Building the Indiustrial City", Chapter Six, Thunder Bay - From Rivalry to Unity. 1995.



the full thesis report can be downloaded in PDF format


Thesis Report.

My full report can be downloaded in five parts from the following links . . . to download, right-mouse-click over the link and select "save-target-as" to save to your computer hard-drive in PDF format.

Part One - Theoretical Concept

Part Two - Site Selection

Part Three - Building Program Development

Part Four - The Building Design

Part Five - Appendix to the Report


It will be through the development of the site that the city and it's waterfront will be united, much in the same way as is symbolized by the bridge in the following poem written by Martin Heidegger.

This poem has provided the inspiration for the theoretical explorations of this thesis.

"The bridge swings over the stream with ease and power. It does not just connect banks that are already there, the banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream. The bridge designedly causes them to lie across from each other. One side is set off against the other by the bridge. Nor do the banks stretch along the stream as indifferent border strips of the dry land. With the banks, the bridge brings to the stream the one and the other expanse of the landscape lying behind them. It brings stream and bank and land into each other’s neighborhood. The bridge gathers the earth as landscape around the stream". 

Christian Norberg Schulz quotes Martin Heidegger, from his book "Genius Loci".

Thunder Bay Chapter of the RAIC Syllabus -  Student Thesis

The information, documents and design concept on this web site are copyright protected and the property of Cory Stechyshyn
 and are free for downloading
 but are not for reproduction without permission by the author.

copyright (C) 2005 Cory Stechyshyn, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

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