For the major projects of this course, all students will be designing a structure on the same site. Your site is shown above. It is located along the Lake Shore Trail just north of the Field Museum. Currently, there is a structure on the site. The structure was built for the previous Chicago Biennial. You will be replacing the existing structure on the existing concrete pad.
To save time an effort everyone will be contributing to the analysis portion of the project. The information that you gather will be uploaded and organized in a shared Google Drive folder. Students will also be required to help construct a site model for the project.
One of the first steps is to create a plan or find a plan of the site.
The next step is to physically visit the site. Items to bring when you visit a site:
There are many things to consider when analyzing a site. Below is a list of some of the considerations. Your site may not meet all of them, and your project might not require that you consider all of them:
Having a accurate site plan is one of the first steps. A measured survey is most accurate, but there are other methods that allow you to produce a reasonably accurate map. Google Maps is a good resource for generating site plans. Input an address, intersection or public place. Include the city name.
Click on Earth at the lower corner to produce an aerial view.
Click on the plus and minus symbol to zoom in and out. The scale is indicated along the bottom. To make a screen shot, press the Print Screen button at the upper right on your keyboard. In Photoshop paste the image into the software. Crop and edit as necessary.
It is recommended that you generate line drawings of your site using AutoCAD, and that you set up sheets at different scales.
2. Measuring the Site
Use a tape measure to measure what you can. For larger distances you can 'pace' the site to determine the accuracy of your plan and to determine the placement of objects.
Everyone's pace is a little different. To determine how long your pace is, measure 100 feet, walk that distance counting your pace and divide 100 by the number of your paces (we can do this on campus).
To measure using your pace, walk at a comfortable pace, and count your steps. Multiply the number of steps by the length of your pace.
3. Capturing Views
Map your standing position and your target direction on the map. Key each image by number or other designation to the map.
Take photographs of your site you have chosen. Include photographs from the site itself, but also photographs approaching your site. The images can be used later as a background to images of models that you build. How many photographs you take depends on the site. Taking 25 is not unreasonable. You might not use them all, but it is better to take more photographs, than have to return for more later. Your project will replace the structure that is there. .
4. Noting Circulation and Access
Use the site map to note access points for pedestrians and vehicles. Verify the locations of paths. Note proximity and direction of all forms of transportation adjacent to the site.
5. Sun Patterns and Positions
Show the pattern of the sun at the winter and summer solstices. Visit this page for information on sun patterns and positions.
6. Terrain/Contours/Elevation changes
Try to determine height changes
7. Water Features and Drainage
Identify major water elements like lakes and minor ones like man-made ditches which route water away from circulation and other site elements. Note high areas on the site that may be good locations for a structure.
8. Landscaping and plant life
Locate major elements like trees. Determine the height, trunk circumference and canopy circumference. Identify species using app that allow you to photograph a leaf. Take photographs of the various trees and lamps.
9. Wind Direction
10. History of the site
11. Other recordings.
Take notes and make sketches about the site. Visual Notes for Architects and Designers by Norman Crowe and Paul Laseau is a good resource for this. Your sketches can be details or plans. Your notes could include observations about the site that seem interesting or significant.