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ISSUES AND

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OVERVIEW
C ontex tu al analysis is a predesign research a c tiv ity w h ic h focuses on the existing, im m in en t and potential conditions on and aroun d a project site. It is, in a sense, an in v e n to ry of all the pressures, forces and s itu a tio n s and their in teractions at the p ro p erty w h e re our project w ill be built. T h e m a jo r ro le o f c o n te x tu a l a n a ly s is .in d e s ig n is,.thafc.of-informing us a b o u t o u r s it e p r io r to b eg in n in g o u r d e s ig n c o n ce p ts about s o .t h a t o u r e a r ly t h in k in g o u r b u ild in g can in c o r p o r a t e ;

m e a n in g f u l responses to e x t e r n a l c o n d it io n s .

'T yp ic a l site issues addressed in a contextual an alysis are^ite location, size, sh ap e, c o n tours, d rainag e pattems, o~ning__and_s etbacks, ujjJTtTes, significant on jjiteJea.tupes (buildings,._tree.s, e tc ), surrounding J caffLc, n e ig h b o rh o o d ,patterns, views to and from the site andjziim ate. As designers w e need to k n o w something about these issues in o rd e r to design a suc.cess.rui b u ild in g that n o t orr.terree.ts its jn_tein-a.L res pons ibilities (fu n c tio p i) but that also relates w e ll to its external environm ent. Since our b uildin g "w ill exist.for severiTyears, our contextual an alysis should attempt to deal w ith p o te n tial future conditions as well as the ones w e can o b se rve on the site today. S o m e of the typ ica l issues in this regard are ch a n g in g z o n in g patterns around oursite, shifts in the d esig n atio n of major and m inor streets, ch a n g in g cultural patterns in the su rro u n d ing neigh bo rh ood and the con stru ction of s ig n ific a n t projects nearby that im p a c t on our site.

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just as a single w o rd or phrase is best understood w h e n w e k n o w som ething about its surrounding verb al context so also should w e be a w a re of the contextual situa tion w h ere our building w ill be sited. C o n te x t is d e fin e d in th e d ic t io n a r y as the w h o le s it u a t io n , b a c k g ro u n d o r e n v ir o n m e n t r e le v a n t to s o m e e v e n t o r p r o d u c t . " T h e d e r iv a t io n o f th e w o rd m e a n s to " w e a v e t o g e t h e r ." . The spirit of this m eaning tel is us something. ..^designers regarding the need to "w e a v e " ou'designs i.-uO the existing fa&ric o: s'te conditions, pressures, problem s and opportunities. W e must strive for a sense of fit between the n e w c o m e r to the site tour building) and the site itself. The notion of "fit" does not necessarily im ply subordina tion of our building to site conditions. W e may choose to be in sym path y with some site conditions w h ere w e attempt to save, reinforce, am plify and im prove bn w h at w e find on the site. W e m ay also identify certain site conditions w h ic h w e want to de% 1 /

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liierately alter, elim in ate, r guise or reform. "W e a v in g " as a concept applied to the p lacem ent of buildings on sites w ill alw ays in clu d e som e alteration of ... the existing conditions. W h a t is important is that w e m ake these decisions deliber--ately and thoughtfully so that the effects of - our building on the site are not accidental. W h e th e r attempting to go "w ith " the site or to "contrast" the site, our early thinking is pivotal in terms of producing a successful project.

SITES AS ACTIVE NETWORKS


Sometimes as designers we may be tempt ed to think of our project site as an inert, passive situation. W e may consider :t as sirnsiy a p iece or ground w here our bu:idr g will. s.:.

W e should always remember that a Site is n.exer inert but is an ongoing set of v e ry a c tiv e n e tw o rk s that are in tertwined in complex relationships.
Shad ow patterns m ove across our site in a particular way. C hildren may use our site as ashortcut to school. O u r site may be usco as an informal playground by neighbor hood children. There is a traffic pulse that ebbs and flows through and around tne silo over the course of a day. People may look across our site from their hom eTto view s beyond. The contours m ay carefully route w a te r to a site edge w h ere it does no d am age to neighbors. The;corner may be used for a bus stop. These' are. a few of the. situa.tiwg,fcthat,,make any Site active. This . * kinetic v ie w o.f site-should-sensitize u.s to -the importance- of .the .task of siting our 'building. W e are about-to place our build ing: w ith in this active network. It seems reasonable to assume that if w e are to integrate-our design, gracefully, into -this . network w ithout d e stro y in f .itslposittye.as-. pects, then w e must first m ake o y x ^ Jy e s . "aw are of the nature, of the network th.rougn '-.'contextual analysis.:

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CONSEQUENCE TRSANGLE
T h e "c o n s e q u e n c e triangle" is a c o n v e nient m o del for understanding the netw ork of con textu al causes and effects and ho w th ey relate to other aspects and issues of our project.

T h e c o n s e q u e n c e t r ia n g le fo c u s e s on th e s im u la tio n o f t h e c o m p le t e d and o c c u p ie d b u ild in g a n d is b a s e d o n the h y p o th e s is th a t it is n o t th e d esig n or th e b u ild in g its e lf w h ic h is o u r u ltim a te r e s p o n s ib ility as d e s ig n e rs b u t th e p r e d ic t io n a n d d e liv e r y of a se t o f c o n s e q uences or e ffe c ts th a t have b een d e e m e d p o s itiv e a n d p o s sib le .

T h e re are three "a c to rs " in the c o n s e q u en ce triangle: the building, the users and the context. The building in clu d es all the interior and exterior p hysical m anifesta tions of our design such as the w a lls , floors, ceilings, structure, m e ch an ical, furniture, lighting, color, landscaping, p avin g , doors, w in d o w s, hardware and accessories. The users include all those p eop le w h o o w n the

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building, w o rk in the b uildin g , maintain the building, are clie n ts, patrons or cus tomers irfthe building, s e rv ic e the building, live near the building or sim ply pass by he building. T h e context in clu d es all the con ditions' situations, forces and pressures hat constituted the-.existing ske prior to he construction of "the builcfing; If w e set these three protagonists at :he corners of a triangle a n d d ra w lines rep reto a 1 1:he them to them

selves, w e h a ve d iag ram m ed the essemia! messages of the co n se q u e n c e triangle, "he elements of the b u ild in g affect not only each other but also ele m en ts in the context and users. In terms of b u ild in g im pact on itself, the air c o n d itio n in g system caises ^ changes in m aterial a n d furniture because of temperature and h u m id ity d ifferen ial. Fenestration causes ch an g es in mate.ial, lighting and furniture b e ca u se of the admit tance of sunlight. Furniture location causes changes in the flo o rin g m aterial due to placem ent in the space. T h e consequencescaused by the b u ild in g on the users n a y i n v o l v e . environm ent'al_effects on attiti.de, productivity, efficiency, sense of worth and well-being, staff turnover, level of learn ng, sales vo lu m e and o th er aspects of human . behavior. T h e b uildin g also creates conse quences w ith in the context. These may include alteration of w in d patterns, con tours and drainage p au^ iiis, ta.ee c us o rp tio n o f r a in f a ll, e x is tin g fo liag e, shadow patterns, sunligh t, reflection off w ind ow s and sound reflections off b uiI<ing surfaces.

A ,! of the effects or c c n s e c u e n c e issues m entionec here cr.ly coal w 'tn im pacts caused by our ouilding c n itself, users and context. Tc c o x p le te tne m odel w e must perform the same operation for users and context. W e can see :ne:*f that ea ch of the th re e acto rs bu: d ng, u sers and context- are acted o r by tre otn.er tw o and act on the ether two. Each of the three causes changes .- ti'e ether tw o and is changed o v the othe' two. The netwe-k is In corvslun; friot c m for t h e ' life oi :. h o ld in g . W h e n w e view ourdesigo_situation in this wav, it becomes cleaj; that our design re sponsibility should be focused on the lines of force in the diagram and not o n ly on the building, users and context them selves. It b e h o o ve s us to n o t o n ly k n o w s o m e th in g a b o u t th e c o m p o s itio n a l c h a r a c ters of b u ild in g s, p e o p le a n d c o n te x ts b ut also a b o u t h o w th e y a f f e c t th e m selve s and e a c h other. Every building project In v o lv e s som e de gree of remodel ing-because of the inevita ble m odification of-the con text at and around our building. It is im possible to p lace our b u ild in g on its site w ith o u t changing the existing conditions.. W e must determ ine what to retain, reinforce, accent, reduce, modify or elim inate. The im p la n tin g o f o u r b u ild in g r e s u lt in on

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m o d e lin g of th e site . O u r g o a l s h o u ld a lw a y s be to le a v e o u r s ite b e t t e r th a n w e fo u n d it.

It is easy to c o n v in c e o u rs e lv e s th a t w e

analysis there is always the nagging feeling that there are some important design imp lo cations that lie one m ore step beyond w h ere w e have ended our s t u d y . _W e can never know 100 much about o u r site. lime, and budget restrictions e v e n tu a lly "force us to c a l l t h e study "com p lete." It is important to develop the ability to do our analyses efficiently so that w e can do as thorough a job as possible w ithin our tim e and Tiscal constraints. Asidp from the professional com peten ce issue ihbrougr.iy addressing a!, site ccn-

b e in g t h o r o u g h
A s in a ll predesign research, thoroughness

h a v e d o n e o u r jo b in r e s e a r c h in g the c o n te x t if w e h a v e so m e d a ta in c o m p le t e ) a b o u t th e s .te We p ro

in id e n tify in g , collecting and presenting th e 'in fo rm a tio n is vital to designing a proj ect th at is responsive to its contextual situa- lio n . W e can n o t respond to site conaitions that w e are not aw are of and w e must not. a llo w t h e relationships between our b u ild in g an d its context to be accidental due to in a d e q u a te or faulty information. A h a lf d o n e contextual analysis is probably m ore dangerous than not doing one at all.

c e e d w it h d e sig n t h in k in g t h a t . if w e d e a l w ith w h a t w e k n o w a b o u t th e site, e v e n th o u g h it is a n in c o m p le t e p ic

t u r e , w e w ill h a v e m e t o u r re s p o n
s ib ilitie s as d e sig n e rs . This situation is sim ilar to a doctor P res'~r'j) . * g a rem edy based on a n m c o m g diagnosis of the p atien t. In con tex tu al

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clitiors in design, there are other reasons tor complete contextual analyses. W e can. be m oreefficient as designers if w e can avoid in ten u p tin g conceptualization-w-Lth re-, searci. it is better to get it all the first time to avoic haying to continually go., back-to repeat our efforts in site research. By having all the data at one time w e can see the interielationships of the data and use this as a catalyst in con cept getting. D atz s y n th e s is , c o m p a ris o n an d man io u a t io n a r e o b v io u s iy m u c h ric n e i if m a r e a b le to p e rfo rm these o p e r a tion; w it h a ll of th e d a ta at h a n d . T n e v ie w o f p re d e s ig n re s e a rc h as a trig g e r ing c e v ic e to e v o k e a p p ro p ria te fo rm a l v o c a b u la r ie s fo r re s p o n d in g to the

d a ta w a r r a n t s the a c c u m u la t io n o f as m a n y " d a t a trig g e r s " as p o s s ib le . W e a ll c a r r y a v o c a b u la r y of s ite re sp o n s e c o n c e p ts , a. set. o f..w a y s - fo r h a n d lin g d iffe re n t s ite co n d itio n s a n d r e q u ir e m e n ts. In d iv id u a l site c h a r a c t e r is t ic s trig g e r c e r ta in c o n c e p tu a l 's e t s fro m o u r v o c a b u la r y of p o ssib le re sp o n s e s . If d a ta is m issin g fro m the s ite a n a ly s is , c e r ta in s ite design c o n ce p ts m a y n o t b e e vo k e d .. This w o u ld d eny our final sch em e a richer and m ore com plete set of site con cepts and risk a c c id e n t a l and in a p p r o p ria te re sponses to particular site conditions out of negligence.

T h e re are also legal im p licatio ns related to the thoroughness of contextual ana.vsis an d site design. W e must be especially carefu l to attend to the im pacts of our site co n ce p ts' on a d ja c e n t and surroun oin g p ro p e rty. In a d v e rte n t d esig n d e c is io n s b ased on in co m p le te site data m ay resu,t in neg ative con seq u en ces for the neighbors or o u r p roject both during construction and after our p roject is com plete and in use. B lo c k a g e of neighborhood w ater drainage patterns as they enter our site m ay c-ause flooding. Rerouting drainage patterns so w a fe r leaves our site in a dm erent n la ce m ay result in w ater carnage. C u r b u ild in g placem ent-m ay b lo ck v ie w s from ad jace n t structures. T h e v e h icu la r trarric generated b v our facility m ay increase tne congestion and noise level in the ne.gnborhood'. E x c a v a tio n of our site co u ld cau se fooling dam age to nearby Q u ilu n ^ . Sun reflection off our b u ild in g m ay result in in creased c o o lin g loads in neighboring buildings or cre ate traffic hazards tor d riv e r s - near o u r site d u e to glare.-Shadows casi bv our structure cou ld dam age landscaping of n^i-phbors or d en y them access to.the sun for solar co llecto rs. All these situations and others are potential negative consequences of our designs on ad jacent property tnsu h a ve legal im p licatio n s for both our clients and ourselves. Thorough site analysis and attention to derail during .site, use c o n ce p tualization are vital if w e are to avoio the negative situations and ach ieve the posi tive ones. If w e h o p e to do a thorough contextual a n a ly s is , th e re are s e v e ra l th in g s w e should re m em b er about the data w e are

collecting. It is im p o rta n t n o t to d o th e a n a ly s is " a t long r a n g e " b u t to a c t u a lly g o to th e site a n d fe e l it. See the view s, listen to the sounds, look at the activity. W a lk or drive the site to get a sensp of the time-distance factor betw een boundaries and to feel h o w t h e contours change. It is im portant to judge Tirs hand the value of on site am enities such as trees. T h e issue o f tim e m u st b e -a p p lieo to all o u r site in fo rm a tio n . W e must have certain event oeaks, w h e n changes o ve r w eek or day. It is also helprul if w e can project future conditions on and around the site such as zoning trends, w id en in g of streets, .uiure traffic plans or the likelihooo of certain b uildin g types lo ca tin g on a d ja c e n t or ' nearby property. For each fact w e co l ec w e should ask ourselves about the future with respect to that particular category, ur building w ill occup y the site fo r a ..long time. W e w a n t it to effectively respond to all surrounding co n d itio n s o v e r .its lite span. It -is d e s ira b le to lo o k at th e n e x t c o n te x tu a l la y e r of issu es b e y o n d th e ones w e a re a d d re s s in g . Contextual analyses are th eo re tica lly open ended in that there are no inherent logical stopping points. W e cou ld co n tin u e to some idea about h o w long a or pressure lasts w n e n i it starts ana ends., h o w it the course of a y e a r month,

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beyond issues that are architecturally rele v a n t O n the other hand there is sometimes a temptation to arbitrarily terminate our analysis before w e should. The important point here is to think a b o u t t h e appropriate extension of the analysis for each p iece or inform ation. H o w far do w e go w ith our data collection for each information type? Exam p les in c lu d e d ecid ing h o w m a n y blocks beyond our site to incorporate in the analysis, w hether to analyze what created ; -existing traffic patterns., whether to infer certain things about the neighborhood dv w h at w e see and w hether to conduct house ttrh o u s e interviews'. I hese judgments ai.in vo lve decisions on our part about the im portance and relevancy of the inform a tion to either the verification or data or to design. In contextual analysis w e are co n s ta n tly m a k in g jud gm ents ab o u t h o w deeoly or accu rately w e must research a particular site topic. This issue is oemg raised not to p rovide an excuse tor a s.oppy job but to recognize that the_"absolutelv co m o lete" contextual analysis does rnx exist and that under the pressure or time w e must b e som ew hat selective about w n a i w e address in'o'G r site study, ih e goal is a contextual analysis researched through a I its contexts of contexts. The reanty is al-. w a'ys.som ething short of that. O u r c o n te x tu a l an alysis sh o u ld r e c o r d w hat i n f o r m a t io n is " h a r d " (n o n n e g o tia b S e ) an d w h a t is "s o rt. - Soft data is that w h ich deals with site cond i tions that-can be changed or that d o .n o ab so lu tely have to be addressed -

sponded to-in-design. Hard data involves


tilin g s like site boundary, legal description, site area a n d utility locations. Som e things that w e m ight classify as hard data .are a c tu a lly ch a n g eab le such as contours, zon ing, setbacks- and trees. It is helpful to c la s s if y th e in fo rm a tio n a c c o r d in g -to "firm n e s s" because it provides a sense of the requ ired sequ ence of attention to data w h e n w e begin design. W e g enerally must c o p e w ith the hard d ata first in oui e a rly site d ecisio n s. T h e r e s h o u ld re c o rd . he a se n s e of p r io r it y This is norm ally a result of the intensity of the site conditions and w h e th e r the-y are judged positive or negative. It is useful w h en w e begin design to h a ve a sense of w hether som ething is of great^ valu e and should be saved, enh anced an a reinforced or w hether som ething is ve ry negative and should be elim inated, a vo id e d or screened. All of these concerns p oin t to the need for a m ethodical, careful ap p ro ach to the re search of our site. 1 here are several reasons for conducting oui contextual analysis on a . systematic level*. -1. A more form alized routine is less apt to Qverj.ook.-an im portant fact "'or detail. 2: A system atic ap p roach m o re ..e a sily permits us to cope w ith inform ation

a b o u t t h e in f o r m a t io n w e c o lle c t an d

overload in com plex situations. 3 . ' A fine-grained approach to an alysis fosters a fine-grained approach to d e sign synthesis w here contextual oppor tunities and problems have less ot a chance to "si ip through the cracks" and thus be left, b eh in d d u rin g d e sig n synthesis. 4.' The more individual contextual factors - w e 'u n c o v e r and docum ent in analysis of the site, the more cues w e p rovide for ourselves in triggering site response concepts.

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KINDS OF INFORMATION
The kinds of inform ation collected for our contextual an alysis b asicalh in v o lv e an inventory of existing an d p o jected site conditions. W e are not corcern ed w ith design responses to the site at:his stage but rather w ith finding out a ll w e :an ab ou t the site. W e are interested in fats. The facts about our site w ill a lw a y s n clu d e both hard and soft data. The hare data usually relate to p h ysica l site facto r1 and in vo lve no judgm ents about their existence or na ture. Typical hard data w o u ic be site iocation, dim ensions, contours, on site features and clim ate. Soft data m a y n v o lv e som e value judgm ents on our part n co n d u ctin g

the contextual analysis'. These deal prim a rily with the sensory and hum an aspects of the site that are not Guantitative-and-which require an opinion about the existence and positive or negative characteristics of cer tain site qualities. Typical exam ples include good and bad vie w s from the site, best approach directions to the site in terms.of. view, existence of odors arid extent to w hich they are annoying, presence of exist ing on site hum an activities and their value (informal playground, gathering spot for unem ployed workers, neighborhood fairs and festivals) and types of noises and the extent to w h ich th e y 'a re disruptive. This --'soft data", although it in itia lly involves judgments, tends to becom e "hard data" once it .is documented- in the contextual analysi-s.lt is im portant to keep in mind that

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c o m m u n ic a te a g re a t d eal to us w h e n w e b eg in to re sp o n d to th e c o n te x tu a l an a ly sis in d esign. The data outline presented next has no particular m eaning behind its sequ ence other than the fact that it separates site data from clim ate data and proceeds from g en era! o verview issues to more detailed ones.

those issues that in vo lve opinions are al w a y s op en to interpretation in design and are u su a lly the most negotiable w h e n d e signing for the site in schem atics. In a t t e m p t in g to o r g a n iz e th e ty p e s of in f o r m a t io n th a t w e c o lle c t a b o u t a s ite , t h e r e a r e s e v e ra l h e a d in g s th a t

s e e m u s e fu l in c la s s ify in g th e d a fji. W e s h o u ld n e v e r e x p e c t t h e a m o u n t an d im p o r t a n c e o f site d a t a to b e e q u a l u n d e r e a c h of th ese h e a d in g s . E a c h site is d iffe re n t an d th e im b a la n c e in h o w th e in fo rm a tio n is .d is tr ib u te d a m o n g th e h e a d in g s an d th e d if f e r e n t p a tte rn s of e m p h a sis g iv e n to th e in fo r m a t io n

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L O C A T IO N M a y include state map and city m ap show ing location of site in rela tion to city as a w h o le . City map m ay also show distances and travel times to related functions in other parts of the city. M E IG H B O R M O O O C O N T E X T Pre sents the :mmec:iate surroundings or the ;.":e fo' per ha os tnree to four blocks beyond ;r.e site sound a ry. This 'nay be ex-endeci further to :nc u c e ar, important factor or because o*' the scale d the project, v.ap m ay show existing and projected uses;buildings, zoning and any other conditions that ray * a v e an m p a c t on our .oroject. S IZ 1 ; AND Z O N IN G Docum ents ail

the d im ensional aspects of the site in clu d ing boundaries, location and dim ension c easem ents and present zoning classifica tion w ith all its dim ensional im plications (setbacks, height restrictions, parking for mulas, allo w e d uses, etc.) and b uildable area (land a v a ilab le for the project after ail setbacks and easements have been sub tracted). Analysis should a lso ,docum ent the present and projected zoning trends,plans by the city transportation-department to w id e n roads (change rights of w ay) and an y other trend that might affecfour project in the future. LEG A L This category presents the legal

description of the property, covenants and restrictions, present ow nership, present governm ental jurisdiction-(city- or count/) and an y future projections that m ay influ-, ence the project (such as the fact that the site is in a future city urban renewal area or within- the boundaries of eventual univer sity expansion).

N A T U R A L P H Y S IC A L F E A T U R E S

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cludes contours, d ra in a g e patterns, soil type and bearing cap acity, trees, rocks, ridges/peaks, valleys, pools 2 nd p r j s. D o cu m en ts- on site conditions such as buildings, walls, drives, curb cuts, hydrants, p o w er poies and paving patterns. O ff site features may include characteristics of surrounding de v e lo p m e n t- s u c h as s c a le , ro o f form s,

c-estratior patterns, setbacks, materials, qp!crs. open spaces, visual axes, saving patterns, landscaping materia is and pat- tern?., porosity anc assertiveness of wcti: forms and accessories 3no details..
C IR C U L A T IO N Presents all v e h icu la r
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and pedestrian m o vem ent patterns on and around the site. Data in clud es duration and peak loads tor surrounding ve h icu la r traffic and pedestrian m o vem ent, bus stops, site access edges, traffic generators, service tru c k a c c e s s and in te r m itt e n t tra ffic (parades, fire tru ck routes, c o n c e rts at nearby auditorium ). Traffic analysis should include future projections" insofar as they can be made. ,-< v. * > I o , V ! L (' j ! v

U T IL I T I E S This categ ory deals w ith the type, cap acity and lo cation of all utilities on, adjacent to and near the site..Typical utility types, include electricity, gas, sewer, w ater and telephone. W h e re utilities a're some distance from the site, those d im en sions should be given. It is useful to d o c u ment the depths of utilities w h e n th ey'are underground as w ell as the pipe material and diameter.

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SEN SO RY D ocum ents the visual, a u d i ble, tactile and olfactory aspects of the site. Typical issues are view s to and from the site and noise generated around the site. It is of valu e to record the type, duration, intensity and q u a lity (positive or negative) of the sensory issues. As discussed earlier, this often in v o lv e s m aking some judgm ents about the relative desirability of the-differ ent sensory conditions on and around the site.

H U / V ttN A N D C U L T U R A L Includes an analysis of the surrounding neighbor hood n terms of cultural, psychological, b e h a vo ral and sociological aspects. This category is different from "N eighborhood C o n te:t" listed earlier in that the latter ad dressee the physical w h ile this category dealsvvith the activities, human relation ships ind patterns of hum an characteris tics. Issues here might in vo lve population age., e h n ic patterns, density, em ploym ent '^patten:s," values, incom e' and fam ily struc ture. /Jso of im portance a re a n y scheduled or infcrmal activities in.the neighborhood such" is festivals, parades or crafts fairs. Vanda ism and crim e patterns, although not peasant, are of valu e to designers w h e n c o n ce p tu a liz in g site zoning and b u iio i'g design.

C L iM A T E Presents all the pertinent c li mate conditions such as rainfall, snowfall, hu m id ity and temperature variations over the months of the year. Also included are p revailin g w in d directions, sun-path and vertical sun angles as they change over the year and potential natural catastrophes such as tornados, hurricanes and earth quakes. It is helpful to know not only how clim ate conditions vary over a typical year but also w h at the critical conditions might ,oe (m axim um d aiiv rairifa!1 , peak, w in d velocity}.

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IMPLICATIONS FOR-DESIGN-.. - ~
C o n t e x t u a l a n a ly s is is a p r e lu d e to d e s ig n in g f o r c o n te x t. It in v o lv e s '- k n o w in g w h a t w e h a v e to w o r k w it h in term s o f s ite b e f o r e w e b e g in to w o r k w ith it in s ite z o n in g . L ik e f u n c t io n , im a g e or b u ild in g e n v e lo p e , it is a n o t h e r w a y of e n t e r in g t h e p r o b le m , o f m a k in g o u r first c o n c e p t u a l d e c is io n s w h ic h fo rm t h e d e s ig n e r - m a d e c o n t e x t f o r s u b s e q u e n t d e c is io n s .

Although the facts w e c o lle c t about our site may be influenced by the building images ..thatiraevitably com e-to .mind as w e do the contextual analysis, w e should attempt to keep con ceptualization separate from the 'c o n t e x t u a l' a n a ly s is . T h e c o n te x tu a l analysis should be an inventory of existing^ and projected con ditions assum ing no new building on the site so that w h en w e begin to design for the site vve do not confuse w h at is actually there n o w w ith w h at w e wish was there or h o p e to put there.

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It is u s e fu l in d iscu ssin g th e in f lu e n c e of c o n te x tu a l a n a ly s is on d esign t o d if f e r e n t ia t e b e t w e e n fu n c tio n a n d c o n te x t as fo r c e s w h ic h lo c a te b u ild in g s p a c e s a n d a c tiv itie s on th e site. F u n c tio n te n d s to lo c a te b u ild in g s p a c e s in an in t r o v e r t e d w a y in th a t th e y a r e p r im a r ily lo o k in g in w a rd to e a c h o t h e r fo r th e r a t io n a le b e h in d th e ir p o s itio n s in th e s c h e m e . Context,.-on th e o t h e r h a n d , w a n t s tFie"spaces-to m ig ra te to d if f e r e n t p o s itio n s on the site in refr v k f / a y c o t fm f i t o fe p a t e t e v tr m / f P

sponse to c o n d itio n s o u tsid e th e b u ild in g ' i n f u n c t io n , th e a t t r a c t io n is b e t w e e n s p a c e s . Sn co n te x t, the a t t r a c tio n is b e t w e e n sate c o n d it io n s . spaces and e x t e r n a l U s u a lly in a d e s ig n O p^rations neediig access to deIvery and p ick up vehicles. B u i ding em ry !c& tec :o relate > .o jr ir r a r v . an-_ : rcach ci: rac-

p r o b le m th e s e t w o (an d all th e o t h e r ) p r o je c t issues p u li and push th e s p a c e s to d e t e r m in e t h e ir fin al p la c e m e n t in th e s c h e m e . T h e y a re in a v e r y re a l se n s e c o m p e t in g w ith ea ch o t h e r to " d e t e r m in e the b u ild in g fo r m . -Sorne .examples; of-situations that m ignt^ cau se a space or activity to be placed in the schem e d u e to external linkages to context are presented beiow. ^ ^

O p e ra tio n s n e e d ing shelter from h ig h a c t iv it y zones. A c tiv itie s needing, d irect access for vehicles.Integration of form w ith surrounding . c o n te x tu a l im ages. ' R e la t io n s h ip of ' spaces to exist' Jin g s e a le and g e o m e t r ic p a t terns. Spaces n e e d in g th e ir o w n c o n tro lle d e x te rio r environm ent.

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Activities ;e cu im g or d e sirin g a
view. A c t iv it ie s th a t should be zoned a w a y iron i noise. A c t iv it ie s th at s h o u ld strong ly relate to on site pedestrian circu lation patterns.

Activities n ee d in g direct sunlight.

O u r first efforts at optim um p lacem en t of fu n c tio n s or spaces on the site in response to con textu al pressures m ay in vo lv e a n y of three approaches. 1.. W h e r e function is considered a moie. critical form-giving determ inant than context, w e m a y place the b u b b le d ia gram on the site and a llo w the spaces to m igrate and shift w ithin the b u b b le so that their orientations and placem ents relate to the appropriate site c o n d i tions. H e re the connecting lines-.be tw e e n the spaces in the b u b b le are m a d e elastic w h ile still rem aining con nected to the space bubbles so that the fu n ctio n a l ties are alw ays m aintained w h ile w e are searching for a con textu a lly responsive placem ent of spaces.

2.

W h e re relation to context is judged to be more im portant than internal func tional efficiency, w e m ay iaKc escu function or space and place it in its optim um zone on the site indepen d e n t l y o f the other spaces. W h e n all the

T h e third ap p ro ach is a p p ro p ria te w here the project is p articu larly large with several siic Cuimpcr.cr.ts. . may need to deal with the p lacem en t of our building or buildings as w holes before w e can address the lo c a t io n ^ their spaces. In this a p p ro ach the piincipies and intentions are no different than those in the first tw o approaches. The scale of the com po nents w e-are m a n ip u latin g on the site-is s im p ly larger. O n c e our buildings are p laced in zones on the site, then w e m ay use either of .the first tw o approaches, to z o n e the building spaces in response to their context, -

spaces have been p laced (including exterior spaces) then w e m ay begin to condense our sp a ces and knit them to g e th e rV ith a circu latio n system. ^ -------------- ----- -

Reasons for locating a building in a particu lar area of the site m ay in vo lve soi! bearing conditions, contours that m inim ize earth work during construction, ridges to take advantage of vie w s or breezes, streets or corners that ensure high- visib ility to the building, alleys that a llo w easy service a c cess, site scars that h a ve "a lre ad y caused disruption (c o lle c t existing scars with the scars c a u s e d b y c o n s tru c tio n ) or the avoidance of som e p articularly valuable asset that should be preserved (trees) or some p articu larly negative condition (poor v ie w or noise)it is im p o r t a n t to r e m e m b e r th a t site design a n d b u ild in g an d s p a c e placem enl can in v o lv e s e c tio n a i issues as w e ll as p la n issu es. Relation of floors to contours, heights of spaces in relation to view s, stepping ot spaces d o w n h ills id e s and stacking of spaces in relation to contours and neigh borhood scale are a few of the potential reasons to study the zoning of our facility on the site in section as w ell as in plan. A thorough contextual analysis gives us confidence that w e have the site conditions all recorded. T hat co n fid e n ce facilitates the conceptualization of site responses in de sign and contributes to the heuristic proc ess of idea form ulation. In doing the con textual analysis and engaging the:Site issues through d iag ram m ing , w e trigger design response im ages for dealing w ith the site. T h e c o n te x tu a l a n a ly s is a c ts as a s w itc h to re c a ll th e p a rts o f o u r d e sig n v o c a b u la rie s th a t a p p ly to the site p ro b le m s and o p p o r t u n it ie s . I he ro le o f contex-

tu a l an alysis as a s tim u la n t f o r c o n c e p tu a liz a tio n is v ita ! to re s p o n s ib le d e sign. It helps to e n s u re th a t th e re is an a p p ro p ria te n e s s to th o s e d e sig n ideas th a t s u rfa c e in o u r m in d s in th a t th e y w e r e trig g ered by th e r e le v a n t p ro je c t issues, c o n d itio n s a n d n e e d s and not a r b it r a r ily fa b ric a te d a n d im p o s e d on th e p ro je ct. The c o n te x tu a l a n a ly s is it s e lf w ill

n e v e r c r e a t e th e d e sig n re sp o n s e s . Too o fte n w e m is ta k e n ly b e lie v e th a t if o n ly w e a n a ly z e lo n g e n o u g h / w e w iII b e led to t h e s o lu tio n , This w ill n e v e r h a p p e n . T h e bridging of the an alysis- syn th esis "gap" has to be a two-way affair. W e must analyze the context to trigger design re sponses, but the design responses or vo- j cabularies must be there to be triggered. As 'K Y ffje tf designers- w e must co n tin u a lly w ork to expand and deepen our vo c a b u la ry of architectura! forms and co n ce p ts so that / there, is som ething there-to d ra w upon , w hen W e "flip thgsw itch" through analysis. ' W e should know m any w a ys of taking advantage of a good view, num erous ways to bufferour spaces against outside noise and several ways to ascend to our-building from a parking lot. These con ceptual solution types constitute the design v o ca b u la ry that w e accum ulate fiom reading, travel-, past projects w e have designed and visiting buildings. Analysis w ill give us the condi tions but not the responses. It w ill tell us that w e have a great v ie w but not w h at to do about it. W e must d ra w from our vo cabulary of design responses fo r the appro priate concepts.

OVERVIEW
D ia g ra m m in g the in form ation learn ed through contextual analysis m ay utilize a n y o f the c o n v e n t io n a l d ra w in g frameworks to record the data. W e may graph ically express our site information in plan , s e c tio n , e le v a tio n , p e rs p e c tiv e , isometric or any of the other types of d ra w ings a v a ilab le to us. The types of drawings w e use should be sym pathetic to the type of inform ation w e are recording-- Som e data is. . better expressed in plan, some in section, some in perspective, etc. N o rm a lly there are tw o com ponents to any site information diagram. First, w e must have a relerent d raw ing of the' site to provide a context tor the particular site information w e w ant to record. Second, w e must diagrarii.the site fact itself. The referent drawing m ay be a simple plan of the site boundaries w ith bordering streets or a section through the site show ing o n ly the ground plane. W e use these sim ple site drawings as frameworks for diagram m ing the particular site issuer that w e wish to express. There, are two rather different postures vve may assume regarding the recording of the site inform a tion o ver these referent drawings. ! he first w e m a y call the com posite or integrated approach w h ere w e attempt to diagram as m any different site issues as we can over one referent draw ing. Here, different typej of site data are superimposed o ver each other so that w e can more easily see the relationships between the information. In this approach w e must m ake sure that J i e d raw ing does not becom e muddied and confusing and that the most important site

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I: form at'on h ? s b e e r expressoo w:tr. tn .strongest diagram s. The second ap p roach segregates each p iece o' site inform ation to a separate referent d raw in g ..T h is method v a lu e s the expression of each issue sepa rate iy so that if can be easily im oerstooa. B y d e a lin g w ith each fact in d iv id u a lly we m a y .be ..less likely to ignore something. K e ep in g these tw o approaches pure and un ad u lterated is not important. W h e r e it is a p p ro p ria te to our situation it is perfectly p erm issib le to use both methods w ith in the sam e contextual analysis. T h e d ia g ra m m a tic forms that w e m ay use to a c tu a lly record our site inform ation over .the-referent drawings are m a n y and varied. ' -.There are no rules for the forms these must fake and no un iversally agreed upon v o c a b u la ry for them.

W e should b e g in to d e v e lo p o u r o w n v o c a b u la r y o f d ia g r a m m a t ic fo r m s , s o ... t h a t th e y m a y b e c o m e s e c o n d n a tu re fo r us and m a y be u sed as a n e f f e c t iv e g ra p h ic s h o r th a n d f o r d o c u m e n t in g a n y s ite ' site c o n d itio n s . T h e r e a r e e s s e n tia lly f o u r steps to d ia g r a m m in g fa c t. W e m u st d e s ig n th e in it ia l d ia g ra m m a tic fo r m , r e f in e a n d s im p lif y it, em phasize- a n d th ro u g h g r a p h ic c la r ify th e m e a n in g and em h ie ra rc h y Contextual analysis may be applied to situ ations of an y scale and is relevant to both exterior and interior project issues. W e m ay analyze a region, a city, a neighborhood, a parcel of land, the interior of an existing building or the interior of a single existing interior space. The discussion that follow s w ill deai p rin cip ally w ith the analysis ofsingle parcels of land. Som e attention w ill also be' given to the contextual analysis of interior space under "O th e r C ontextual A nalysis Forms."

phasis and f in a lly in t r o d u c e w h a t e v e r no tes and la b e lin g a r e n e c e s s a ry .

PROCESS
ISSUE IDENTIFICATION
The first step in conducting a contextual analysis is to identify those issues w e w ish to an a ly z e and to diagram m aticaiiy d o c u m ent. As discussed previously, our goal should be to analyze all relevant issues about the site because thoroughness'is vital to p roject success. If 'is ' useful -in 'choosing from am.o.ng j h e a v a ila b le site issue categories to let ou.r ch o ices be influenced :by at least-two im portant inputs:

W e s h o u ld th in k afooui the n a tu re of th e p r o je c t , its needs, re q u ire m ents a n d c r i t ic a l issues. W h a t is the essence of the project? W h a t is the building's reason for being? W h a t are its m a jo r goals and objec tives? W h a t roles can the building play in enhancing the site and its surround ings? A ll of these concerns should help 'u s to anticipate the kind ofsite data that will be needed,during the design phase o fThe project.

2.

Site a n a l y s i s s h o u l d neve/-b& d o n e at "lo n g range." W e should always see the site first hand, walk or drive the con tours and boundaries, see the view s and on site amenities, listen to the sounds and personally assimilate the scale an d pulse of the neighborhood. T h is " h a n d s - o n " d ire c t e n c o u n te r v /ith s ite fro m a p erso n al a n d s e n s o r y p o in t of v ie w gives us a n o th e r ... se t o f c lu e s for ch o o sin g th e types o f s it e in fo rm a tio n th a t sh o u ld be a d d re sse d a n a ly s is . T h e v is it to the site allows us to develop a sense of what is unique, valuable and im po rtan t about the site. in our c o n te x tu a l

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Both of the previous techniques for focus ing on w h at should be an alyzed m ay ben efit from a checklist of potential contextual issues. This checklist w ill help ensure that w e do not forget any im portant site factor and w ill assist us to more efficiently iden tify the site concerns to be included in our analysis. W e should add to our list each time we enco unter a n ew site issue so that over time the list becom es m ore and more com prehensive. A prototypical checklist of potential site issues follows. 1. Location a. Lo cation of the c it y in the state in c lu d in g relationship- to roads, b. c. d. cities, etc. Lo cation of the site neighborhood in the city. Lo catio n of the site in the neigh borhood. D istances and travel times between the site and locations of other re lated functions in the city. 2. N eighborhood Context a. M a p of the neighborhood indicat ing existing and projected property zoning. ' -"" b y " E x is t in g and p ro je cte d b u ild in g uses in the neighborhood. c. A ge or condition of the neighbor d. e. hood buildings. Present and future uses of exterior spaces in the neighborhood. A n y strong.vehicular or pedestrian traffic generating functions in the neighborhood. Existing and projected ve h icu lar m o v e m e n t patterns. M a jo r and

m in o r streets, routes of s e rvic e v e h ic le s such as trash, bus routes g. h. i. and stops. Solid-void space relationships. Street lighting patterns. A rch itectu ral patterns such as roof- form s,, fe n e s tra tio n , m a te ria ls , color, landscaping, formai porosity, relationship to street, car storage s tr a te g ie s , b u ild in g h e ig h t, sculptural vigor, etc. N eig h b o rh o o d classifications that m ight place special restrictions or responsibilities.on our design w ork k. I. su ch as "historic district." N e a r b y b u ild in g s _of p a rtic u la r v a lu e or significance. . F ra g ile images or situations that

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should be preserved. rn. S u n and shade patterns at different n. tim es of the year. M a jo r contour and drainage pat terns. . S iz e and Zoning a. D im ensions of the boundaries of b. our. site. D im en sio n s of the street rights of . .y/ayarcD.rrd. pur-site'.. . c. Lo catio n and dimensions of ease d. e. f. ments. Present site zoning classification. Front, back and side yard setbacks required by zoning classification. Sq u a re feet of buildable area inside s e tb a c k s (sh o u ld also s u b tra ct

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REFIN EM EN T A N D SIM PLIFICA TIO N

If w e are collecting and diagram m ing the site in form ation for o u rselves, w e will orobably spend very little time refining our initial sketches m ade at the site over the r e f e r e n t drawings. If the diagrams are to b e view e d by others w e m a y spend some time fine tuning our graphics. W h e n first learning to diagram it is a good idea-10 refine and sim plify all of our work u n t'rl w e develop an ab ility to diagram with effective, simplified forms in m aking initial fact collection sketches. R e f in e m e n t in v o lv e s m a k in g the d ia g r a m m a t ic fo rm s as c o m m u n ic a t iv e as p o s s ib le w h ile s im p lif ic a t io n is co n c e r n e d w it h th e p ro c e s s o f s u b tra c tin g a n y e x t r a n e o u s g r a p h ic in fo rm a tio n fro m th e d ia g ra m s . D ia g r a m m a t ic re fin e m e n t should thoroughly evaluate each_ visual charac-. tecistic of each g raphic elem ent in the dia- _ gram to determ ine if it can be im proved. Im p r o v e m e n t is e s s e n t ia lly to w a rd
c o j/e c t /o r t fo/'rfK r a im im if

"s t r e n g t h e n in g th e m e a n in g transier be t w e e n w h a t th e d ia g ra m is s a y in g visu a lly a n d w h a t th e site t ac t is saying c o n te x tu a lly . Refinem ent can also in vo lv e the streamlin ing of the graphics sim ply tor the saxe of better graphics. In this ity y of ui v isual case w e attem pt to elevate the qual the images to upgrade-the v . graphic i * * r ^. com petence of the presentation. Tyoical aspects of.diagram s that may be targets for refinement are presented on the follow in g pages.

109

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S im p lific a tio n deals with the same aspects just listed and is an integral com ponent or refinem ent. W hen s im p lif y in g a d ia g ra m w e a r e

th e d ia g r a m a n d th e site fa c t. T h e se e x tra n e o u s g ra p h ic s d o n o t c o n trib u te to th e c o m m u n ic a t io n of th e site fa c t -and o ft e n con vey in a d v e r t e n t m e s sages t h a t a r e m is le a d in g . T h e y c lo u d p v e r th e e s s e n c e of th e m essag e b y p r o d u c in g v is u a l no ise.

in te r e s t e d in s u b tr a c tin g a n y e le m e n ts , s h a p e s , w r in k le s o r re la tio n s h ip s th a t m u d d le t h e m e a n in g tra n s fe r b e t w e e n

O ur goal' in sim plification is to reduce the diagram to the m inim um graphic inform a tion that still com m unicates-the message. This reduction helps to ensure that w e have a diagram that is more likely to com m un i cate the desired information and less likely to be m isinterpreted. Som e examples of diagram sim plification are presented on the next page.

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to tentatively explore the potential of creat ing a catch basin to buffer against the adja cen t property, control drainage, provide an a m en ity for our ow n site functions and establish a beneficial m icroclim ate to conserve energy in our building. This interpre tation does not give us the speCiric solution to that situation but it does give us a situa tional target to strive for in our design deci- . sion m aking, if our interpretation of the d iagram networks can help us establish those beacons tow ard w h ich to w o rk our ""concepts, it w ill h a ve served as a key pui.-u in our progress toward the eventual Design. T h e most com m on level of interpretation in w h ic h w e engage is that of the-individual site fact and diagram sets, w ithin an issue category (Clim ate, Legal, etc.). By distilling m eanin g from and/or assigning m eaning to each site diagram w e are ab le to predict and anticipate certain things about our even tu al design tasks. Som e exam ples or these are presented on the fo llo w in g pages.

I . A n o v e rv ie w of the site inform ation tog eth er w ith our perceptions o f the actu a l site tell us w hether the site is a d e m a n d in g one or not. If there are s e v e ra l site issues that constitute a c h a l len ge in terms of their size, intensity, v a lu e or other quality, w e are alerted to that fact in interpreting them and can a n tic ip a te those design vo cab u laries an d co n ce p tu a l fam ilies that m a y be n ee d ed to cop e w ith those site c o n d i tio n s . There are some sites w h ic h are re la tiv e ly featureless and w h ic h pro v id e little stim ulation for us as design ers. W h e r e w e have one of these w e k n o w that the p rincipal form giving issues w ill have to com e from som e thing in the project situation other than site. O th e r sites m ay provide single or m u ltip le aspects, intensely positive or neg a tive influences, w h ich can g ive us a p la c e to start in our thinking about p la c e m e n t o f functions on the site.

2. Site size in relation to the functional spaces to be p laced on the property tells us w h e th e r w e are w o rk in g w ith a tight or loose building to site situation. Tight situations im p ly stacking of func tions (multi-story building and parking) and the need to orchestrate the residual site sp a c e to m axim u m ad van ta g e. There can be little wasted site space in this instance and our design routines for handling "tight situations" w ill be p articularly appropriate.

3. There m ay be a strong m andate from the building forms that surround our property for a particular range of stylis tic architectural responses in our p ro j ect. W h e re there is a coherent a m b i ence to respect (scale,, materials, la n d scaping, land use density, use of open space, fenestration, roof forms, porch forms, details, accessories, etc.), w e must decide our posture w ith regard to that am bience (contrast or contorma nee) and. focus upon those c o n c e p tual approaches ihat m ay prove s u c cessful in that situation.

4. Site contours m ay be very pronounced prom pting the anticipation of a stiit b u ild in g or a significant degree of earth .. sculp ting to integrate-the building and-:: exterior functions with the land.- Som e--' tim es contours and other surface tea-.. - tures (trees, rocks, other buildings, etc.):...... d ictate w h ere certain-func.tiori's.mus.tbe^---...' p lace d on the site (pl'ayfieid on-largest, - flattest area; parking on- lo w end^ tof avo id drainage problems w ith butld' ing; building on high land to avoia - - d ra ifitg e probiems andaHovv siopefe^^*q uired to connect building w ith sew er" ' u tility ), '

A d jace n t street and vehicular traffic patterns usually dictate where w e can best bring vehicles onto our property. Typical responses here include avoid ing access-egress to and from major streets, using m inor streets for a sater, d e c e le ra te d access and egress a n a " p lacem ent of the entrv-exit as far from street intersections as possible. W e may utilize a lley w ays as vehicular distribu tion edges w h en possible. To avoid ex tensive on s i t e paving of distribution road's, the v e h ic u la r"e h trf'- e fit'p tjm r n o rm ally dictates the general location of parking.

6. A d jacen t roads or neighboring func tions m ay be such negative influences on our project that w e m ay w a n t to use parking and other non-people areas as buffer zones between the negative in fluences and our project. _J u-

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130

7. T h e y early w e a th e r conditions m a y be such that th ey prom pt som e form giv in g c o n c e p ts . G o o d w e a t h e r m ay . suggest an op en , v u ln e ra b le, porous b u ild in g an d m in im a l m e c h a n ic a l m e d ia tio n b e tw e e n h u m an com fort and clim ate. Seve re heat or cold might suggest a m ore defensive posture such as burying the building, aim ing its most v u ln e ra b le faca d e at the least prob lem atic orientation, berm ing, placing the building on the side of the slope that provides the most protection, or using a roof form that can shed great am ounts of w a te r in a short tim e. Large am ounts of rainfall suggest the design' of a total w a te r hand ling netw ork to system atically get ih e w a te r off the roof and stored or off the site w ith m inim al p o te n tia l d a m a g e to o u r site and neighboring property. _

8. Because the area can not be used for our building, large setback dimensions m ay often be used for outdoor activity areas and parking.

10. In the interest of econom y, w e m ay w ant to place our building near the edge of the site w h e re u tilitie s are available to avoid costly on site utility runs.

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9. Build ing height lim itations and other restrictions resulting from codes and d eed s-w ill establish overall massing constraints and oftentim es image vo. cabularies fo r'o u r building.

W e c a n se e fro m th e s e e x a m p le s t h a t in te r p r e t in g th e d ia g ra m s in o u r s ite a n a ly s is is e s s e n tia lly a p ro c e s s o f u s in g th e site in fo r m a t io n to s tim u la t e d e s ig n th in k in g a n d to p e r m it th e t e n t a t iv e e x p lo r a tio n o f c o n c e p t u a l re s p o n s e s to

U sing the partial analysis of a site and the task of designing a new nursery school, the next fe w pages illustrate h o w site d e sign vignettes can be stimulated in re sponse to in dividu al site factors and c o n d i tions. These site design vignettes can then serve to evo k e concepts for arranging all the client's activities and spaces on- the property.

Both the in dividu al site design vignettes and com prshensive-site .arrangement con-... cepts are draw n from our past experience as designers and our vocab ulary of site design ideas that w e carry with us from y Q r fb u k project to project. Ihese ideas are "called uo" or triggered from m em ory by analyz' ing the various site conditions through diagram m ing. The more extensive the vo cab u lary of candidate design ideas w e have to d raw upon for appropriately re sponding to site conditions, the^ more likely w e are to produce a successful site plan and building design.

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140

WHEN TO USE COM! EXTUAL ANALYSIS


Becau se ali buildings have sites, contextual analysis should be part of the programm alic research of a n y project. The am ount of time w e d evote to the analysis is, or course, d ep end ent upon the time a v a ilab le as determ ined b y office budget and due dates. U i* d e r th e p re s s u re o f tim e w e s h o u ld a lw a y s r if ic e d . It is more im portant,.to give ourselves a com plete understanding of the site situa tion than to p rod uce finished diagram s of high g raph ic quality. I he relative form ality of our diagram s and'., presentations is determ ined by the users of the inform ation, if w e are doing the con tex tual analysis for ourselves it can be very inform al and unpolished. O u r diagrams can be q u ick and need not be refined be yond the.first efforts w h ic h initially record the inform ation. If the site is to be a p articu larly com plex, p o litical, difficult or p ublic issu e w e m a y w a n t to d o c u m e n t our an alysis in a m ore form al, organized and finished m anner because of the relatively d em a n d in g co m m u n icatio n situation. it is p articu larly useful to an alyze our site just prio r to em barking on the generation of site z o n in g concepts. Then w e are ab le to take im m ed iate advantage of the catalytic ro le of the analysis process in triggering design ideas. A n intense engagem ent of site choose th o ro u g h n e s s over
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concerns through contextual analysis can stimulate ideas about the optim um p la c e ment of m ajorsite elements (building, park ing, etc.) as w e ll as concepts for migrating

individual building spaces to their most advantageous positions on the site (receiv in g off s e rv ic e alley, lo b b y off m a jo r sidew alk, etc.).

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