Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Degree Level





Herman, Greg

Committee Member/Reader

Jacobus, Frank

Committee Member/Second Reader

D'Alisera, JoAnn


This thesis will analyze common spaces and circulation spaces in terms of configuration (in relation to each other) and quality (whether they are interior, exterior, or allow space for interaction between residents) in an attempt to determine how stairs, elevators, hallways, and common spaces impact the level of community within a public housing project. Community in this study refers to lasting relationships among residents living in the same housing project. The goal is to answer the question “What role do circulation and common spaces play in the success or failure of a public housing project?” and to determine the best design practices to give architects a guideline for future designs of public housing.

Fifteen housing projects throughout New York City, Great Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands were chosen to represent three housing typologies commonly utilized to design public housing. These typologies include courtyard, tower, and slab types. Each typology is analyzed based on its type and configuration of circulation spaces and the characteristics of common spaces (whether they are indoor, outdoor, and how they relate to circulation spaces). To determine the success or failure of the establishment of community within specific housing projects, testimonials are taken from online sources such as group facebook pages and newspaper articles to gain a better understanding of residents’ opinions of living in specific projects.


public housing, common spaces, community, New York City, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands