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EDWARD T. WHITE SITE DIAGRAMMING INFORMATION FOR ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ANALYSIS EDWARD T. WHITE PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE. Site Analysis: Diagramming lnformation for Architectural Design CopyrightQ by Edward T. White All rights reserved Printed in the United. Site Analysis Edward t White - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. [Architecture eBook] Working Drawings Handbook. Uploaded by.

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I t helps to ensure that there is an work during construction, ridges to take appropriateness t o those design ideas advantage of views or breezes, streets or that surface i n our minds i n that they corners that ensure high visibility to the were triggered by the relevant project building, alleys that allow easy service ac- cess, site scars that have already caused issues, conditions and needs and not disruption collect existing scars with the arbitrarily fabricated and imposed on scars caused by construction or the the project.

Too r'i? I t is important to remember that site design and building and space place- ment can involve sectional issues as we analyze long enough, we will be led to the solution. This will never happen. We must well as plan issues. As spaces down hillsides and stacking of designers we must continually work to ex- spaces in relation to contours and neigh- pand and deepen our vocabulary of ar- borhood scale are a few of the potential chitectural forms and concepts so that reasons to study the zoning of our facility there is something there to draw upon on the site in section as well as in plan.

That confidence facilitates the several ways to ascend to our building from conceptualization of site responses in de- a parking lot. These conceptual solution sign and contributes to the heuristic proc- types constitute the design vocabulary that ess of idea formulation. In doing the con- we accumulate from reading, travel, past textual analysis and engaging the site issues projects we have designed and visiting through diagramming, we trigger design buildings.

Analysis will give us the condi- response imagesfor dealing with the site. It will tell us The contextual analysis acts as a switch that we have a great view but not what to to recall the parts of our design vocab- do about it. We must draw from our vo- ularies that apply to the site problems cabulary of design responses for the appro- priate concepts. We may graphically express our site information in plan, section, elevation, perspective, isometric or any of the other types of draw- ings available to us.

The types of drawings we useshould besympathetic to thetypeof information we are recording. Some data is better expressed in plan, some in section, L L some in perspective, etc. Normally there are two components to any site information diagram. First, we must have a referent drawing of the site to provide a context for the particular site information we want to record.

Second, we must diagram the site fact itself. The referent drawing may be a simple plan of the site boundaries with bordering streets or a section through the siteshowing only theground plane. We use these simple site drawings as frameworks for diagramming the particular site issues that we wish to express. There are two rather different postures we may assume regarding the recording of the site informa- tion over these referent drawings.

J one referent drawing. The second approach segregateseach piece of site information to a separate referent drawing. This method values the expression of each issue sepa- rately so that it can be easily understood. By dealing with each fact individually we We should begin to develop our own may be less likely to ignore something. Where it is for us and may be used as an effective ations of any scale and is relevant to both appropriate to our situation it is perfectly graphic shorthand for documenting exterior and interior project issues.

We may permissible to use both methods within the site conditions. There are essentially analyze a region, a city, a neighborhood, a same contextual analysis.

We must design the initial dia- interior space. The discussion that follows actually record our site information over grammatic form, refine and simplify it, will deal principally with the analysis of the referent drawings are many and varied.

Some attention will There are no rules for the forms these must through graphic hierarchy and em- also be given to the contextual analysis of take and no universally agreed upon vo- phasis and finally introduce whatever interior space under "Other Contextual cabulary for them. Analysis Forms. We should think about the nature of the project, its needs, require- 2.

Site analysis should never be done at "long range. As discussed previously, our goal tives? What roles can the building play should be to analyze all relevant issues in enhancing the site and its surround- This "hands-on" direct encounter about thesite because thoroughness is vital ings?

All of these concerns should help with site from a personal and sen- to project success. The visit to the siteallows us todevelop a sense of what is unique, valuable and important about the site. This checklist will help ensure that g. Solid-void space relationships. Street lighting patterns. Architectural patterns such as roof tify the site concerns to be included in our forms, fenestration, materials, analysis. A prototypical checklist of potential site issues follows. Location miglht place special restrictions or a.

Location of the city in the state responsibilities on our design work including relationship to roads, such as "historic district. Nearby buildings of particular b. Location of the site neighborhood value or significance. Fragile images or situations that c. Location of the site in the neigh- should be preserved. Sun and shade patterns at different borhood. Distancesand travel times between times of the year. Major contour and drainage pat- lated functions in the city.

Neighborhood Context 3. Size and Zoning a. Map of the neighborhood indicat- a. Dimensions of the boundaries of ing existing and projected property our site. Dimensions of the street rights of b. Existing and projected building way around our site. Location and dimensions of ease- c. Age or condition of the neighbor- ments. Present site zoning classification. Present and future uses of exterior e.

Front, back and side yard setbacks requiied by zoning classification. Any strong vehicular or pedestrian f. Square feet of buildable area inside traffic generating functions in the setbacks should also subtract neighborhood. Existing and projected vehicular g. Building height restrictions re- movement patterns. Major and quired by zoning classification. Drainage patterns on the site in- i.

The number of parking spaces re- cluding directions of surfacedrain- quired if we know the building age perpendicular to contours , area.

Any conflicts between what the collection ditches, arroyos, river- present zoning classification al- beds, creeks, etc. Zoning classifications that the site jacent property and any neighbor- would need to be changed to in hood water-related patterns such as order to accommodate all the viaduct systems or storm sewers.

Existing natural features on the site I. Any projected changes that would and their value in terms of preserva- alter the dimensional characteris- tion and reinforcement versus al- tics of the site such as street widen- teration or removal. This would ings or purchase of additional also include opinions regarding property. Legal or expense to remove features. Legal description of the property. Covenants and restrictions site type and size , ground cover, rock area usage allowed, height restric- outcroppings, ground surface tex- tions, screening of mechanical ture, holes or ditches, mounds, on equipment or service yards, restric- site water pools, ponds, lakes, riv- tionson rooftopelements, architec- ers and stable or unstable areas of tural character, design require- the site site scars versus virgin ments in historic districts, etc.

Name of the property owner. Type of soil at different levels below d. Name of the governmental levels surface and bearing capacity of the or agencies which have jurisdic- soil.

Soil type. Any projected or potential changes 6. Man-Made Features in any of the above categories. Size, shape, height and location of 5. Natural Physical Features any on site buildings. If these are to a. Topographic contours. Major topographic features such as interior layout should also be high points, low points, ridges and documented. If the buildings are to valleys, slopes and flat areas.

Location and type of walls, retain- of use and volume of use. Off site pedestrian movement pat- c. Location, size and character of ex- terns using the same characteristics terior playfields, courts, patios, mentioned for on site movement. If a pedestrian movement pattern is areas. Where it may be important to our served or reinforced, our analysis design we should record the paving should also include an evaluation patterns of man-made surfaces.

Location and size of curb cuts, be improved. O n site or adjacent vehicular stop shelters. Also included should detailed analysis of the existing ar- be intermittent traffic such as chitectural character surrounding parades, festivals, concerts, fire our site.

This is particularly impor- truck routes, service truck fleets, tant where the architectural etc. Off site or neighborhood vehicular design of our facility historic dis- movement issues such as traffic trict, etc. Some factors to consider generators buildings or uses that i n analyzing surrounding architec- are significant destinations or ori- tural character include scale, gins of vehicular traffic as well as proportion, roof forms, window the other traffic characteristics out- and door patterns, setbacks, mate- lined under on site traffic.

Adjacent rials, colors, textures, open space or nearby parking areas that may be versus built space, visual axes, used for off site car storage in our landscaping materials and pat- project. Off site traffic patterns terns, paving textures and patterns, should also include the relation of porosity extent of openness and our site to the public transportation assertiveness ins and outs of wall routes, stops at or near our site, forms, connections, details and ac- probable directions of approach to cessories, exterior lighting, outdoor our site by the users of the new furniture and carstorage methods.

Traffic 7. Circulation analysis should document future a. Locations of probable or optimum "back" of the site or dealing with access to our site for each type of site barriers or difficult soil condi- pedestrian and vehicular traffic that tions. Sensory Views from the site including posi- g.

Travel time to walk across our site, tions on the site where the views to drive across the site or by the site where these times may be impor- are not blocked, what the views are tant to our design time it takes to of, whether the views are positive or negative, the angles within walk between classes at a school. Utilities aries. Includes what the views are a.

Location, capacity and con- of, whether the views are positive veyance form type of pipe, etc. This should involve they are blocked, the angles within the depth of each utility under- which the views can be found and ground and, in the case of power, whether the object of the views whether it i s above or below grade.

Location of power poles. Mews to the site from areas outside b. Where utility lines stop short of our the ,site boundaries, including site boundaries, their distances streets, walks, other buildings and from our site should be given. Where there are multiple oppor- seen, angleswithin which it isseen, tunities to connect to utilities that most dramatic views of the prop- are adjacent to our site, we should erty, best views of the site and areas record those locations or edges on that are viewable, particular points our site that seem to offer the best of interest that may be objects of connection opportunities.

This views from outside our site and may be due to the capacities of the potential for these views to con- utility lines, contour conditions on tinue or be blocked by develop- our site i n relation to sewer, the ment outside our site over the long need to minimize on site utility term. Views through our site from posi- e. Relative permanence of the neiah-- tions outside the property. Involves borhood'population. Neighborhood trends in termsof all various positions where the views the factors mentioned above.

Climate tive or negative, the angles within a. Temperature variation over the which the views can be found, and months of the year including the the likelihood of the view targets as maximum hiahs and lows and the well as the view paths remaining maximum a d average day-night open over the long term.

Humidity variation over the noise on or around the site. This months of the year including analysis should include likelihood maximums, minimums, and aver- ofcontinuanceover the long term. Rainfall variation over the months odors, smoke or other airborne of the year in inches. Should in- pollution on or around our site. Snowfall variation over the months man and Cultural of the year in inches.

Should in- Documentation of neighborhood clude the maximum snowfall that cultural, psychological, behavioral can be expected in any one day. Potential e. Prevailing wind directions for the information includes population months of the year including veloc- density, age, family size, ethnic pat- ity in feet per minute or miles per terns, employment patterns, in- hour and variations that can be ex- come,, recreational preferences pected over the course of the day and informal activities or events and night.

Should also include the such as festivals, parades or fairs. Sun path at the summer and winter nal activities. I t is not as important how the have gotten"to the bottom" of them.

We site facts are classified as that they are must follow what may at first seem tangent concerns until we establish that they are days or BTU's of sunlight falling on adequately covered somewhere in our irrelevant or that they do indeed contain our site. We must not h. Potential natural catastrophes such allow the implied segregation of data on as earthquakes, hurricanes and There is always a danger inherent in any checklist.

Checklists make it easy the checklist to inhibit an understanding of tornados. May includedocumenta- the linkages between our site conditions. It tion of earthquake zone that our for us to mentally disengage from the i s of value, for example, to juxtapose all the site lies within and history of natu- task at hand and sometimes give us a issues dealing with time or schedule on the ral catastrophes in the area.

We feel that if time frame of a typical day and for different Depending on our particular project, some we simply "put something" under each times of the year. This allows us to see the of these issues will be more important than heading we will have fulfilled our re- ' ebb and flow of the site forces in concert others.

Some analysis categories may drop sponsibility to analyze the site. We rather than in isolation. It also permits us to out completely and new ones may be re- cannot allow our site analysis to be- feel the composite of the forces on the site quired.

In some cases this information must come from others, while in other cases we may gather it directly ourselves. Sources of information may vary from city to city and from site to site. It is importantto keep in mind that for some types of data a single source w i l l suffice.

This i s true primarily for quantitative or technical in- formation. Other types of data, principally the qualitative type, may require several sources for purposes of verification. An outlineof potential information sourcesfol- lows. Location State maps may be miniaturized with only major highways and cities shown. City maps of a reasonable size can be found in most telephone books.

We only need to relate our site to major streets or landmarks. It may be helpful to purchase an aerial photograph of our site and neighborhood from an aerial survey company. These can be pro- duced at different scales and allow us to trace the neighborhood streets and facilities from the photo. We may trace the neighborhood context from a zon- ing map which can be found in the municipal planning department or ob- tained from local blueprinting com- panies.

Documentation of the dis- tances and travel times must be done by actually driving them or, in the case of pedestrian circulation, by walking them.

Neighborhood Context ning department should have informa- formation including classification, set- Zoning for our site and neighborhood tion on existing and projected traffic backs, height restrictions, allowable can be learned at the municipal plan- around the site. Particular routes of site coverage, allowable uses and park- ning department or at local printing specific vehicular types trash, busses, ing requirements involve first finding companies that have the zoning maps fire trucks must be collected from each out what the present zoning classifica- on file.

Learning about zoning trends company or agency. Major drainage tion is. This may bedone by obtaininga may involve conversations with real patterns can be interpolated from U. These can pany or city planning department. The municipal planners. We must directly usually be purchased at local printing specific information about what our observe the existing building and ex- companies, from the Geological Sur- site zone classification allows can be terior space uses while talking to area vey district office or the city engineer.

Size and Zoning ordinance, a book which documents agents and municipal planners about Much of the information under Size this information for each zone classifi- projected uses.

Several other issues re- cation. A copy of the ordinance may be and Zoning, Legal, Natural Physical quire direct observation. These include Features and Man-made Features purchased from municipal planning or architectural patterns, solid-void rela- borrowed from the library. Conflicts would be collected and documented tionships, significant buildings, fragile between what our site zone allows and by a survey engineer if we were to have situations, street lighting, and the con- a topographic survey done for our site.

The municipal must be determined by comparison. If These surveys can be tailored to in- planning department should be con- there is a conflict, theclient musteither clude more or less of our site data list sulted about the existence and re- apply for a variance to the municipal depending upon how much of the re- quirements of any special neighbor- board of adjustment or apply for a dif- search we are able to do ourselves and hood classifications such as "historic ferent zoning classification that does how much our client i s able to pay for district.

Typically, clients are re- ferent times of the year involve doc- He may also purchase additional prop- sponsible for providing the site survey umentation of the building and land- erty or purchase a different piece of information to the architect.

For our scaping areas and heights and the purposes, we will assume that we must property. Another option is to simply shadow patterns at typical times of the amend the planned uses to fit those that collect all the data. The number of square feet mer and winter solstice and perhaps at Site boundary dimensions must be of buildable area is calculated by tak- the equinoxes. Building heights and measured directly to be verified but ing the area inside the site boundary areas must be estimated by direct ob- can be obtained in recorded form from lines and subtracting the area of any servation with perhaps the aid of pho- title insurance companies or the setbacks oreasements.

Normally, park- tography. Sun azimuth horizontal county tax assessor's office. Present ing and on site roads may occupy the angle and altitude vertical angle can and future street rights of way can usu- unbuildable area inside setbacks.

Legal Graphic Standards, other standard ref- transportation department while Most of the legal information about the erences or the local weather bureau.

The owner or the level. Once weestablish theoverall fall value of natural site features may be title insurance company should have of the site then we can estimate the rate recorded in the form of notes around this information.

The county tax asses- of fall contour intervals between the the map where the features are re- sor's office may have someor all of it as high points and low points. These also involve looking well. Jurisdiction is normally a matter If we require a more accurate record of ahead to the project in deciding about of finding out whether the site i s inside the site contours, we must conduct a the appropriateness and value of the or outside of the city limits.

Sometimes formal topographic survey. Projected changes in this infor- sloped and flat areas involve direct ob- and bearing capacity. Sometimes the mation require conversations with our servation and recording the informa- soils test is not done until after sche- client, the appropriate jurisdictional tion on the contour map. This is especially true for large observation. Drainage patterns will sites where only a small percentage of are responsible for the covenants and always be perpendicular to the site restrictions.

Soils tests contour lines. In addition, we should are normally paid for by the client and 5. Natural Physical Features look for major and minor drainage col- are conducted by a soils engineer or a The majority of the information in this lectors in the valleys of the site. These testing laboratory. Man-made Features topographic survey showing site con- On site features are normally included Permanent bodies of standing or mov- tours.

These would include Topographic contours are included in contour map. The edge of this water such items as buildings, walls, retain- the property survey done by the survey will obviously be one of the contour ing walls, ramadas, fences, playfields engineer. Depending on how con- lines and one of the low edges of the and courts, patios, plazas, drives, toured our site is, the intervals may site.

O n very Existing natural features on the site in- poles, hydrants and bus stop shelters. Where we are in- and recording over the contour map. Where exact location terested only in a general feeling about Where precise location of these is im- is not crucial, their size and location the slope of the site we may do so by portant we should measure their posi- may be estimated from an aerial pho- standing at the four corners of the tion in relation to some site reference tograph ofthe site.

We are interested in who circu- the city and the major street system. If these are not available we where their traffic originates and where rival and departure and probable gen- may need to actually measure the it terminates. These concepts should be documented on separate diagrams to and egress from our site can be site can be done by sketching or pho- projected by considering all the circu- tography together with 'notes that rec- using the existing patterns as an initial graphic framework.

This begins to enter the ord our observations and judgments. It realm of design decision but? We must walk the site and and details. There may also be reports ning or transportation street load pat- record the time it takes to cross it.

We already done about historic areas terns, etc. The municipal planning depart- Adjacent and nearby parking requires travel times. Where the situation i s particularly complicated we may 8. Utilities Circulation start our analysis with an aerial photo- Documentation of all utility informa- Documentation of all streets, roads, al- graph.

Often these companies can under previous site data categories. This should also in- tion. We need to verify with each utility clude direct observation for the that these drawings are current and Data concerning the pedestrian net- specific locations of stops and shelters accurate. Sensory this is relatively inefficient and may not All information about views on and produce a real consensus of the neigh- around our site requires direct observa- borhood value system.

We may use photographs and sketches to assist in this regard. Human and cultural considerations can extend beyond the immediate site Noise data can be collected by direct to political processes, city wide issues experience on the site with the use of regarding the project and similar fac- sensing equipment and by studying tors.

The inclusion or exclusion of noise related data in other information these issues in our contextual analysis categories traffic, surrounding uses, depends on our view of the meaning of etc. It is important to document noise "project context.

Climate All climate data is usually available Odors, smoke and other pollutants re- from the local weather service.

Site Analysis by Edward T. White (Paperback) - Lulu

There quire direct observation and experi- are also weather profiles for different ence on the site. Where pollution is locations which are published by the large in scale, aerial photographs may armed services and by universities. It is help in studying source and direction. These individuals may work at night, etc, i s also important. Human and Cultural or armed service base. A considerable amount of data can be The analysis of all eleven data classifica- obtained from census statistics on the tions should include future projections to neighborhood.

This information is the extent that they can be made. It may be useful to discuss the human and cul- tural neighborhood factors with repre- sentatives of the neighborhood associ- ations or with social service and recrea- tional agencies, retail, religious andlor educational services that operate in or for the neighborhood population. As previously discussed, there are at least two ways of approaching the dia- gramming of contextual information.

One involves an integration of thediagrams into one composite graphic form. The other separates each contextual fact onto a sepa- rate diagram. The composite or integrated approach attempts to state all the site data on one drawing to emphasize the total situation and to sensitize us to the rela- G..

This drawing is normally relatively large in scale to avoid graphic clutter. The poten- tial difficulty with the drawing is that it may become too complex and confusing.

Site Analysis Edward t White

This i s particularly true for a complex site. When we approach our contextual analysis i n this way we should be sure to maintain a sense of clarity and hierarchy in our graphics to ensure that the major site issues are given the major graphic em- phasis in the diagrams.

The referent drawing is re- peated as many times as we have data to present. This more "itemized" approach helps us to avoid overlooking a site factor. Further, it allows each piece of contextual data a clear uncluttered expression.

Because each diagram has its own referent drawing L.. A we have the flexibility of shifting the re- ferent from plan to perspectivetosection or elevation depending on the type of infor- mation being diagrammed. It permits us to think in terms of optimum site concept responses to each site factor when we begin schematic design.

The potential dif- ficulty with this technique is that a piece- meal approach to the graphic recording of data may foster a piecemeal approach to design. In deciding whether to diagram in the integrated or segregated mode we should think about how we design and which of these approaches fits most com- fortably with the way wetend to concep- tualize our project. Because it more clearly illustrates the dif- ferent ways to diagram site data we will use the segregated approach to discuss some techniques of contextual diagramming.

Even if we eventually integrate these dia- grams into one drawing, we may want to the site data during collection sepa- rately because this allows us to use smaller, more convenient referent drawings during the on site analysis.

Referent drawings may be plans, sec- Depending on how far reaching geograph- As we will see, "purity" in the use of the tions, perspectives, isometrics or ele- ically a particular site factor is, our referent integrated or the segregated approach is vations.

Edward T. White

The choice of which of these drawing will extend a greater or lesser dis- not an issue. We may separate data dia- to use relates to the typeof data we are 'awe beyond our actual site.

If we are grammatically in the integrated approach recording and how best to view it as a discussing the re- and integrate certain data on a single re- site force top view, perspective view, ferent drawing may extend several blocks. The sizes of the The referent drawings over which we dia- referent drawings depend on the complex- gram the site issues may occur in several ity of the diagrams we will be making forms and at several scales.

They will also and the extent to which we may want to contain differentamountsofdetaildepend- miniaturize the diagrams for convenience ing on the contextual information being in data collection or for presentation. A large percentage of site data seems to be -I L planpriented. Normally, a typical referent 5hd drawing i n plan w i l l include the, site boundaries and street pattern immediately adjacent to the site.

We must be sure to make the referent drawing as simple as possible keeping in mind that the data to be recorded over it must be graphically bolder and more important than the referent in- formation. II II""-' If we are using line for the referent drawing the line weight should be very light. The YPfrenf referent must alwavs be in the background graphically in our contextual analysis.

We are then ready to diagram the site issues. Our diagrammatic forms must be able to record and express both the visible and the invisible forcest Pressures, prob- Some example diagrammatic forms are tions and alternatives. The examples will show possibilities as well as opportunities to We are also interested in diagramming fu- Some typical ways of diagrammatically create combinationsand synthesesof these ture or potential contextual issues.

If the diagrams are to be viewed by others we may spend some time fine tuning our graphics. When first learning to diagram it is a good idea to refine and simplify all of our work until we develop an ability to diagram with effective, simplified forms in making our initial fact collection sketches. Refinement involves making the dia- grammatic forms as communicative as possible while simplification i s con- cerned with the process of subtracting any extraneous graphic information from the diagrams.

Diagrammatic refinement should thoroughly evaluate each visual charac- teristic of each graphic element in the dia- gram todetermine if it can be improved. Improvement i s essentially toward strengthening the meaning transfer be- tween what the diaeram i s savine, " visu- ally and what t h e i i t e fact i s saying contextually.

Refinement can also involve the streamlin- ing of the graphics simply for the sake of better graphics. In this case we attempt to elevate the qual- Typical aspects of diagrams that may be ity of the graphic images to upgrade the targets for refinement are presented Qnthe visual competence of the presentation.

These Our goal in simplification is to reduce the just listed and is an integral component of extraneous graphicsdo not contribute diagram to the minimum graphic informa- refinement. When simplifying a diagram we are and often convey inadvertent mes- This reduction helps to ensure that we have interested i n subtracting any elements, sages that are misleading.

They cloud a diagram that is more likely to communi- over the essence of the message by cate thedesired information and less likely shapes, wrinkles or relationships that to be misinterpreted. Some examples of muddle the meaning transfer between producing visual noise.

Simply put, graphic emphasis involves making sure that the essence of what we are communicating with the dia- gram receives the strongest expression In contextual analysis, this means that we want the referent drawing to recede into the background graphically and whatever we have diagrammed over the referent the site issue to be the boldest visual aspect in this is accom- I-.

JL The referent drawing is usually made with a thin line and no tonework. The site fact: Once we realize that the essence of a site - - -"p- - nm2. If we have chosen to use color, we should use the same color to code the essence of all our escalate the boldness of our diagrams as much as we want as long as the relative strength of the essence of the diagrams diagrams. That color should remain the dominates the graphics. If we have begun to use a particular color to code the key points of our diagrams we should not create confusion by shifting the use of the color around from meaning to meaning.

The essence of pattern i s consistency and once we have educated the eye t o look for a color or tone to signal the essence of the diagram's meaning, i t becomes extremely confusing and an- noying t o have that pattern change arbitrarily. It is of value to graphically code the site factors which we feel are of particular im- portance or which may have significant form giving implications in design. This may be done with dots, frames around important diagrams or other graphic means.

We do, however, need to write sufficient notes on the diagrams to ensure that the site factors are communi- cated clearly. This is more critical when the diagrams are not only for ourselves but for someone else as well another designer, client, etc. Even when the diagrams are only for ourselves i t is valuable t o compose our thoughts about particular site condi- tions succinctly and clearly. Notes on the diagrams should be related to the graphics as systematically as possible.

The diagrams need to be titled and labeled. JUUCfEf atk t k trle tdk of diagrams and to the entire analysis. Usu- ally the order of importance from greatest to 1east runsfrom titles to labels to notes. The next step is to put the diagrams into some meaningful order. This i s a valuable operation for us as designers because it will give us the opportunity to establish a sense of hierarchy and depen- dency among the issues we have collected and recorded.

It is not only valuable but mandatory that we organize our diagrams if we are to communicate them to someone else. As in any organizational task our first effort must be to define the ways in which the organization may occur.

There are usually several techniques avail- able in organizing any set of elements and this is true for site data as well. Typical organizational devices that may be used in ordering contextual information are: Once we have our data, we need to decide whether these labels still represent the most meaningful and appropriate headings for our information. These are the "givens" in the project from the site point of view and are not open to interpretation or conjec- ture.

This method of organization also identifies the soft data that is not quantita- tive and that is available for interpretation by us as designers. The advantage here is that the more detailed level is provided an in- formational context by the general level.

Our knowledge of the site and this simulation of potential influ- Site drainage patterns are governed by or de- pendent upon the site contours as are views from the site when the site has significant high points. This method of arranging our diagrams requires that we first study the dependencies between the various site characteristicsand then arrange them from most governing to most governed. This or- ganizing approach achieves a sense of log- ical site data sequence by always present- ing information within which or out of which other information emerges or finds validity.

The earlier information provides a framework for discussing the later informa- tion. We find in this technique that some site information happens in tandem in a series of related and interdependent dia- grams while other site information has no obvious relationships and may be pre- sented independently.

We might find it beneficial to quickly try each of these organizational approaches to see which seems to fit our project situation best. We may discover significant overlap and similarity in the site fact displays that the various approaches show us. It could prove advantageous to adopt a hybrid of these ordering techniques. Each of the ways of organizing site information provides us with different labeling svstems which in turn influ- ence o;r h e w of the site and contex- tual issues.

We very much predispose ourselves to certain attitudes, expecta- tions and vocabularies of design re- sponses by the way we organize our site information. It may be difficult to sense the influence of fact labels on eventual design solutions but this connection is definitely present in any project. Our interpretation of the diagrams is structured by the way we have organized the information.

As we will see in "Inter- preting the Diagrams," the first level of interpretation happens not in terms of indi- vidual site facts but in terms of patterns and densities of information occurring as a re- sult of our chosen labeling system. The formats for actually packaging and delivering the site diagrams where this must bedone mav ranae from slides. We should study the common methods for packaging the dia- terms of potential design responses, presentation situation in terms of our con- grams are on a single board or sheet or on tent, audience, purpose, location and tim- cards 3x5 or 5x8.

Being able to see all The following page illustratessome sample ing to determine the most appropriate de- the diagrams together provides us with layout approaches for board or sheet,pres- livery form for the information.

The most some interpretive clues when we are ready entations. The first i s the overall pattern and density of the diagrams as we perceive them as a total on the sheet. The second is the potential meaning ofsetsofdiagrams that deal with a particular issue category Sensory, Neigh- borhood or that comprise a network of issues that transcend issue categories tree patterns in relation to the framing of views into the site.

The third is the interpretation ern dnd d e w 9 on the dia mrrl 4et4 ov of each individual diagram or site fact. We are trying t o convert data into information. As we were gathering the data and dia- gramming it, we probably thought of pos- sible design concepts for dealing with the various site conditions.

This anticipa- tion i s very much a design act since i t results i n a set of attitudes or postures about dealing with the siteand helps us to formulate our strategy for coping with the site conditions in design. We can interpret several things from the patterns of the diagrams on our sheet.

At this level of interpretation each diagram acts as a vote.

In a sense, the density of the diagrams provides a prelimi- nary indication of "where the action is" on the site. Copyright Office website, http: To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide us with the items specified below.

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Lulu Staff has been notified of a possible violation of the terms of our Membership Agreement. Our agents will determine if the content reported is inappropriate or not based on the guidelines provided and will then take action where needed. Thank you for notifying us. The page you are attempting to access contains content that is not intended for underage readers. Site Analysis By Edward T. Paperback, Pages. This item has not been rated yet. Contextual analysis is a predesign research activity which focuses on the existing, imminent, and potential conditions on and around a project site.

It is, in a sense, an inventory of all the pressures, forces, and situations and their interactions at the property where a project will be built. This book describes the process and techniques of visualizing site information for architectural design in the dual sense of converting the information into graphic images and seeing or understanding the information better.

The central thesis is that our ability to draw needs, requirements, and early design concepts is just as important as our ability to draw final building design solutions and that, in fact, our diagramming skills profoundly influence the quality of our building designs.

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