Architecture Program



Megan L. Lutz

Date of this Version

May 2006


M. Arch. Thesis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, May 2006.


The grid plays an ever-present role in our daily lives--however, its time as an authentic organizational tool used to cultivate the terrain and encourage rapid growth has passed and its effects upon the individual experience must be re-examined. This project seeks to scrutinize the grid city through an individual’s personal lens, to create an intervention based upon activities, perceptions and interactions at the street level.

As it progresses south of O Street, Lincoln’s downtown deteriorates into a grid without a defined streetscape, a collection of individual buildings overshadowed by the space between them. Consisting of nine square blocks, the chosen site straddles the transitional condition, allowing for an investigation into the changing spatial circumstances, most notably the voids. The site is noted as the financial district--hence, the majority of its population leaves at five, relegating the night time street to the few pedestrians simply passing through. The proposed program of student housing and an urban “park” addresses the population problem by supplying 24 hour residents and providing for the needs of the current daily populace.

The design itself seeks to reveal the nature of the grid and react against it while revitalizing the activity levels within the site. With focus upon the alleys and voids, each block becomes a microcosm of the greater grid and the forms innate to it. The intervention’s engagement with the sidewalk and streetscape create directionality within the greater site, while heightening the pedestrian’s awareness of the grid by breaching its traditional tendencies and boundaries.

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