S'11 Thesis: Matthew McMahon

Matthew McMahon
M.Arch Thesis Spring 2011
Faculty Advisor: Paul Lewis
Project Title:  “Vertical Property 


Property is typically defined by its borders in orthographic projection. The city map and the building plan produce horizontally biased divisions of space which determine the complete extent of property ownership. These property boundaries become the dividing elements of architecture (fences, walls, and enclosing envelopes) that demark one’s property from another and limit the possibility of more complex interactions between public and private space. This thesis replaces the legal boundary of the property line with a territory. Instead of a thin and distinct threshold, the line is imagined as an inhabitable vertical zone that expands the possibility for overlap between public and private property, and therefore the possibility of new spatial, social, and economic effects. To do so, the thesis works with the residential tower typology, borrowing strategies from its history to transgress and enrich the traditional relationship between property boundary and architecture.