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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dwelling as a form of homelessness: a Travelers’ Hotel on Davie Street, Vancouver Hagarty, Terry Martin


This Thesis Project began as an exploration of the architectural, philosophical and psychological nature of dwelling. From this exploration I have made an argument about the nature of dwelling based on several premises. First, that dwelling is determined by the boundaries between public and private space. Second, these boundaries of dwelling may only be adjusted or determined by a political operation- the mediation between private desire and public consensus. Third, the successful mediation of these boundaries depends on two basic conditions: equality and communication, principally speech. To test this thesis I looked for a dwelling typology where everyone was equal and where there was a minimum condition of private space. These conditions create the largest potential for dwelling in the terms of my argument. I chose the Travellers' Hotel, a changing typology that brings together people from around the world who share all the space of the building including the kitchen, and the two most private spaces of a dwelling; the bedroom and the bathroom. I chose a site in downtown Vancouver, the corner of Davie and Granville Streets, that is the intersection of major transportation and pedestrian axes of the city and major demographic, economic, and physical changes in the fabric of the city.

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