Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design

First Advisor

Camden Whitehead


The proposal of this thesis project is an exploration of the relationship between music and the built space. The space chosen for design is the first two floors of the Lady Byrd Hat factory located at 140 Virginia St. in the Shockoe Slip area of Richmond, VA. This project proposes the design of the building for the purposes of a music center that will benefit the community by providing music therapy, music and vocal classes, a performance space, and a café. It is to be used as an instrument for communication, health, and education. The main users of the space are music educators, music therapists, music ensembles, students, patients, and audience members of performances. I began by studying the history of the building, evaluating the site, and studying the architecture of the building. I conducted a series of conditional studies based on the architecture of the building to analyze the form. I evaluated the structure, symmetry/ balance, geometry, entrances, levels, stairs, ramps, angles, and circulation of the building. Then I studied the building according to light/ dark, public/ private, loud/ quiet, warm/ cool, large space/ small space. Creating a series of concept models helped me to understand the building with its strong dissection of columns, circulation, usable areas, rhythm, and repetition. The development of a program for users' needs, square footage, and special design considerations for each area led to a series of floor plans. I then began arranging the usable areas within the building according to each areas design needs. After a study of musical instruments, I began conceptual drawings of the space. The design of the space evokes imagery of the built forms of instruments and the details they hold.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008