Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-8-2010

Document Type



This thesis investigation will focus on the cultivation of a new design theory as a third option focusing on the area amongst the existing strategies of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse. Preemptively before the theory can be developed, an understanding of the term Hot Rod must be clearly understood to fully realize the merits it may hold for architecture. The link between Hot Rod and Architecture as a generative exploration, from which architecture can relate specifically, brings out their historical significance. Both of which have individually shared and lost within a subculture to mainstream cultural transition.

Understandably, with the usage of the term Hot Rod predefined definitions are immediately defined and adopted. In reaction to the misinformation time will be setup to clearly state the importance of identifying and understanding the initial concept of what the term Hot Rod means. Due to the influences of technology and mainstream culture the origins of hot rod have been lost to a new style today. In turn, research will begin by composing a theory to express the characteristics inherent of the essence that is hot rod.

The adaptation to architecture will begin by acknowledging the two similar design strategies most closely related to the concept of hot rod: Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse. Programs that hold merit as informative design strategies in architecture today however lack a layer of adaptability which is devoid of existence within architecture; the middle ground, or a third ulterior motive. Historic Preservation yields results of a true restoration process which restores a selected project though adds to it a policy of government regulation that protects the architecture from any denaturing of what the project was initially built as. Where adaptive reuse lies in the realm of new program based in old function. Many of the new adaptive reuse projects in existence sustain no resemblance of what the initial function of the buildings once were.

The proposal of a third consideration is one that remedies a similar result as to rejuvenating a building of obsolescence, but maintains and improves upon where the building is without repurposing its foremost function.

The act of rejuvenating an object begins to extract where the idea of hot rod can be understood in its natural state as traditional hot rodding opposed to what it can be known today as street rodding. Traditional hot rodding can be summarized by identifying clapped out automobiles, and resurrecting them proportionally to their primary intended function by the means first introduced to the sub-culture procuring speed from nothing. Through this process, the resurrection of these once obsolete cars are revived as livid performance machines capable of competing within categories of today’s modern performance vehicles; rendering the need a question of the necessity of new when compared to the obsolescent. The ending conclusion will be how the thesis will be framed in regards to the way it will be orchestrated and explored; to ask a question of hot rod theory and answer it through the production of three levels of hot rod architecture.

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