Humanizing the facade of the public commercial building in a contemporary American culture

Document Type



Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor's Name

Camilo Rosales

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Gisela Lopez-Mata

Third Advisor's Name

Alfredo Andia

Date of Defense



The projects studied for this thesis show that the more the façades match the values, tastes, and needs of its target individuals, the more frequently the place will be visited. They endow it with a sense of place and uniqueness and create an emotional bond with the individuals. The intent of this research was to derive a framework of principles to be used in the design of façades, and to establish a relationship between the facade, human scale, urban context, and building. The methodology for developing this framework is based on the analysis of building façades from the Renaissance to current examples of New York Times Square. The principles were generated from strategies of the case studies analyzed. Principles of monumentality, symbolism, and iconography were used to perceive façades as essential forms of architecture. The scale of facades emphasizes human dimensions. In turn, the façade is a device of communication to inform individuals, and its impact on retelling culture for a city.



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