Pieces of the Prairie: Informing New Architecture for a Saskatchewan Cultural Landscape
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Since the major influx of settlement in the 19th century, architecture on the Saskatchewan prairie has focused on imported types and products, a condition that has contributed to the lack of a clear regional architectural identity. This architectural thesis explores fundamental characteristics of inhabiting the prairie in order to create designs that are better adapted to its physical and cultural context. Investigations deal with the horizon-based experience, exposure, extreme temperatures, and the relationships between brought and found elements. The architectural implications of these characteristics are tested within the context of an overarching narrative of the socioeconomic and architectural forces at work behind contemporary projects in the region: A generic town and fictitious inhabitants are created to help the designs respond to common realities and challenges facing the prairie today. Based on these investigations, improvements are proposed for several major building types, including a house, duplex, rink, church, and school.