An architectural thesis is perhaps the most confusing for a student because of the range of typologies of buildings that exist. It also seems intimidating to pick your site program and do all the groundwork on your own. While choosing an architectural thesis topic, it is best to pick something that aligns with your passion and interest as well as one that is feasible. Out of the large range of options, here are 20 architectural thesis topics.

1. Slum Redevelopment (Urban architecture)

Slums are one of the rising problems in cities where overcrowding is pertinent. To account for this problem would be one of great value to the city as well as the inhabitants of the slum. It provides them with better sanitation and well-being and satisfies their needs.

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Slum redevelopment project Habitat 100_©urbz.net

2. Maggie Center (Healthcare architecture)

This particular typology of buildings was coined by a cancer patient, Margaret Keswick Jencks, who believed that cancer-treatment centres’ environment could largely improve their health and wellbeing by better design. This led a large number of starchitects to participate and build renowned maggie centres.

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maggie centre_©Paola Acevedo,Fundació

3. Urban Sprawl redesign (Urban design)

The widening of city boundaries to accommodate migrants and overcrowding of cities is very common as of late. To design for the constant urban sprawl would make the city life more convenient and efficient for all its users.

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Thesis Project By betweenarchitectureandurbanism_©betweenarchitectureandurbanism.com

4. Redesigning spaces Under Elevated Roads and Metros (Urban infrastructure)

A lot of space tends to become dead space under metros or elevated roads. To use these spaces more efficiently and engage them with the public would make it an exciting thesis topic.

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Redesigning dead space under elevated roads_©blogto.com

5. Urban Parks (Urban landscape)

Urban parks are not only green hubs for the city, which promotes the well-being of the city on a larger level, but they also act as great places for the congregation and bring a community together.

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Smithe Richards-Urban Park_©renderings by DIALOG

6. Reusing Abandoned buildings (Adaptive reuse)

All buildings after a point become outdated and old but, what about the current old and abandoned buildings? The best way to respond to these is not by demolishing them; given the amount of effort it takes to do so, but to enhance them by restoring and changing the building to current times.

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Abandoned stadium reused to make urban park as well as cultural hub_©ONZ Architects

7. Farming in Cities (Green urban spaces)

With climate change and population on the rise, there is statistical proof that one needs to start providing farming in cities as there is not sufficient fertile land to provide for all. Therefore, this makes a great thesis topic for students to explore.

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Urban Vertical Farm of Brightfood _©Lifang International Digital Technology Co., Ltd. Stefano Boeri Architetti

8. Jails (Civil architecture)

To humanize the function of jails, to make it a place of change and rehabilitation, and break from the stereotypical way of looking at jails. A space that will help society look at prisoners as more than monsters that harm, and as fellow humans that are there to change for everyone’s betterment.

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Anstalten correctional facility_©Adam Mork

9. Police Academies (Civil architecture)

Academies that train people to be authoritative and protective require spaces for training mentally and physically; focussing on the complexity of the academy and focussing on the user to enhance their experience would work in everyone’s favour.

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Police Academy Abu Dhabi_©ua-intl.com

10. High Court (Civil architecture)

Courtrooms are more often than not looked at as spaces that people fear, given the longevity of court cases. It can be a strenuous space; therefore, understanding the user groups’ state of mind and the problems faced can be solved using good design. 

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Lund district court_©Felix Gerlach

11. Disaster-resilient structures (Disaster-relief architecture)

Natural disasters are inevitable. Disaster-resilient structures are build suitably for the natural disasters of the region while also incorporating design into it, keeping in mind the climatic nature of the location.

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Disaster resilient structures by yasmeen lari_©heritage foundation of pakistan

12. Biophilic design (Nature-inspired architecture)

As humans, we have an innate love for nature, and the struggle between integrating nature and architecture is what biophilic design aims towards. To pick a topic where one would see minimal use of natural elements and incorporate biophilic design with it would be very beneficial.

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Koichi Takada Architects- Marketplace_©Doug and Wolf

13. Metro stations and Bus terminals (Transportation spaces)

Bus terminals and metro stations are highly functional spaces that often get crowded; and to account for the crowd and the problems that come with it, plus elevate the experience of waiting or moving, would contribute to making it a good thesis topic.

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Foraleza subway extension_©Pedro Mascaro

14. Airport design (Transportation spaces)

Airport designing is not very uncommon; however, it is a rather complex program to crack; thereby, choosing this topic provides you with the opportunity to make this space hassle-free and work out the most efficient way to make this conducive for all types of users.

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Nelson Airport Terminal_©Pedro Mascaro

15. Sports Complex (Community architecture)

If your passion lies in sports, this is a go-to option. Each sport is played differently, different materials are used, and the nature of the sport and its audience is rather complicated. However, to combine this and make it a cohesive environment for all kinds of users would make a good thesis topic.

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Las eras sports center_©Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

16. Stadium (Community architecture)

Unlike a sports complex, one could also pick one sport and look at the finer details, create the setting, and experience for it; by designing it to curate a nice experience for the players, the public, and the management.

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Ariake Gymnastic stadium_©SS Company Limited

17. Waste-recycling center (Waste management)

Reducing waste is one of the most fundamental things we must do as humans. Spaces where recycling happens must be designed consciously. Just like any other space, it has been given importance over the years, and this would make a good thesis topic to provide the community with.

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Seattle Public Utilities South Transfer Station_©Chi Krneta

18. Crematorium (Public architecture)

Cremation of a loved one or anyone for that matter is always a rather painful process and a range of emotions is involved when it comes to this place. Keeping in mind the different types of people and emotions and making your thesis about this would mean to enhance this experience while still keeping the solemnity of it intact.

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Udan Crematorium_©Inclined Studio

19. Museums (Community architecture)

Museums are spaces of learning, and the world has so much to offer that one could always come up with different typologies of museums and design according to the topic of one’s interest. Some of the examples would be cultural heritage, modern art, museum of senses, and many more.

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Cau Dat Tea Museum_©BODC

20. Interpretation center (Community architecture)

An interpretation center is a type of museum located near a site of historical, cultural, or natural relevance that provides information about the place of interest through various mediums.

Verdun Citadel_©Nicolas Castets
References:
  1. 2022. 68 Thesis topics in 5 minutes. [image] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NczdOK7oe98&ab_channel=BlessedArch> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
  2. Bdcnetwork.com. 2022. Biophilic design: What is it? Why it matters? And how do we use it? | Building Design + Construction. [online] Available at: <https://www.bdcnetwork.com/blog/biophilic-design-what-it-why-it-matters-and-how-do-we-use-it> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
  3. RTF | Rethinking The Future. 2022. 20 Thesis topics related to Sustainable Architecture – RTF | Rethinking The Future. [online] Available at: <https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/rtf-fresh-perspectives/a1348-20-thesis-topics-related-to-sustainable-architecture/> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
  4. Wdassociation.org. 2022. A List Of Impressive Thesis Topic Ideas In Architecture. [online] Available at: <https://www.wdassociation.org/a-list-of-impressive-thesis-topic-ideas-in-architecture.aspx> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
Author

Flora is a student of architecture, with a passion for psychology and philosophy. She loves merging her interests and drawing parallels to solve and understand design problems. As someone that values growth, she uses writing as a medium to share her learning and perspective.

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