Know your site
Before commencing any design it is important to first gain an appreciation of the site. Site Analysis is best understood through observation, over numerous site visits, or even better – by habitation on the site for an extended period. Few designers have the chance to visit a site more than a handful of times before finalising a design. In that respect I was lucky to own the site and enjoy it on many occasions before even putting pen to paper.
Along with developing a brief and establishing any planning restrictions (we’ll get to these later), Site Analysis should be one of the first things any designer undertakes before commencing a design. I believe that good design responds to all aspects of the site including the surrounding area, the immediate environment, site conditions, and the local climate – in short, everything which makes the place what it is.
Basic site analysis can include the obvious things you can see and observe – trees, fences, views, etc. Other important aspects can include where the prevailing winds come from, when the afternoon breeze picks up, where the sun rises in the morning during winter or where it sets late in the evening during summer. Traffic noise may also be considered and the proximity to neighbours. Other things may be less obvious and require research: service locations, easements and rights of way.
To explain my understanding of the site to other people I prepared the following site analysis diagram.
Disclaimer: Any advice contained within this blog is of a general nature only and cannot be relied upon. Details provided are in good faith and relate specifically to this project. Any author will not be held responsible for advice or information presented.