ARC 326 Site Planning
A course introducing students to the study of context in which architecture is to be developed. This course complements ARC 227, Architectural Programming, as the second of the pre-design studies essential to the understanding of architecture.
1. Understand the role of site analysis and planning in the design process.
2. Understand various theoretical approaches to site analysis and planning.
3. Understand the role of consultants in the site analysis and planning process.
4. Understand the information that is required for a comprehensive site analysis and how to locate it, e.g. public databases, web-based resources, references, map sources, GIS.
5. Understand the regulatory requirements and designer's responsibility for public health, safety and welfare.
6. Ability to utilize tools to analyze and document the immediate site e.g. transit, compass, clinometer, camera, shade mask solar analysis, triangulation/rotational mapping of vegetation.
7. Ability to apply a methodology of graphic and digital media to clearly analyze and communicate varied site information.
8. Ability to develop a heightened sensibility and awareness of the uniqueness and fragility of the Sonoran Desert context to encourage a sustainability-based land ethic and architecture.
9. Ability to utilize a team approach to efficiently gather and professionally communicate the site analysis and planning information.
Course Structure & Topics
Lectures and demonstrations will provide the theoretical and technical background required for students to perform a comprehensive site analysis and planning methodology. The course will combine classroom lectures with site fieldwork organized by student teams. The initial site analysis and planning project will prepare students for individual synthesis and design of a desert dwelling in ARC 301: Design Studio III; Land Ethic beginning about 7 weeks into the semester. The experience of analyzing an actual site will complement the design process enabling the students to see the inter-relationships between the courses and their pedagogical activities. It is intended that this will lead to more informed, thorough, responsible and ethical desert dwellings. The second half of the course will focus upon fieldwork for urban site analysis, and planning exercises for a variety of architectural projects. A team approach will be employed for these projects, as well.
Student work will consist of in-class discussions and site analysis projects. Two projects will be conducted in teams directed by students. The four teams for Project 1 will match the ARC 301 studio sections. Project 1 requires the analysis of a rural-suburban site owned by the College which provides the location for the ARC 301 studio dwelling design exercise to be given mid-semester. Each studio section will produce site analysis and planning documents. Project 2 requires each student to synthesize his or her Project 1 site analysis work to determine two desirable alternative dwelling locations by evaluating each for its respective advantages and disadvantages. Project 3 requires the analysis of various pre-selected urban sites, each one with its own specific challenging conditions. Small teams will analyze each of these sites and then identify their respective development potential. These case studies will be presented to the entire class so that all the students learn about the particular site conditions that influenced the analysis, planning and proposed development.