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Title: Recollecting genius Loci: an architectural analysis of Place in Killarney, Ontario
Authors: Langlois, Alex
Keywords: Community;memory;place;resilience;stewardship;craft;cultural landscape
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2021
Abstract: A sense of place is one of the most fundamental qualities of architecture as it mediates between culture, nature, landscape and the continuum of time.1 Yet we tend to underestimate the significance of place in the formation of our built environments with detached realities of locality. Consequently, the once multifaceted community of Killarney, Ontario is currently being displaced with the rise of its prevalent tourism industry. There exists a disconnect between the local natural and cultural realm, resulting in economic, social and environmental imbalances. What is left to recall are the multitude of layers found within its cultural landscapes; a sequence of identity thresholds found among its storied grounds. This thesis explores the contributive role of the genius locus, in the identity of small remote fragile communities in hopes of preserving meaningful places (fig 1.01). The research addresses the analysis of genius loci as a historical phenomenon and as a modern role, by capturing the essence of a place that reflects the culture and regional sense of pride. This thesis seeks to become a resilient framework to re-establish the identity and to support core community values through a distinct, quietly assertive, and grounded contextual character. Through photographs, mapping and anecdotes, this thesis will celebrate Killarney’s histories of virtues through an eclectic architectural proposal capturing the site-specific landscape and lifestyles, while also connecting design achievements with the know-how and skills of handcraft-based knowledge. The goal of the project attempts to reconnect the multiple histories of place through regional architectural aesthetic, and the environment, utilizing local materials and construction techniques with self-efficacy as a moderator in the context of Killarney. Seeking long-term strategies to address Killarney’s robust natural resources and local craftsmanship, this thesis project will sustain and empower the community, while strengthening their roots to make and become part of a shared local ecosystem.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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