Site and Context | Architecture and Landscape

Site & Context | Architecture & Landscape

Architecture is the sensitive response to its context. A site often dictates the direction in which the design will go. Sometimes even more so than the inhabitants requirements.When done incorrectly, architecture can be a harsh intruder on the landscape. As such, the task of site analysis needs to be completed at the start of each project. If your architect or design doesn’t do this, than be warned. To help you understand the importance of landscape to architecture and vice versa, we want to break down the key elements below:

Natural Contours

This would be one of the, if not the most important factor when talking about context in architecture. A site could be flat or it could be sitting on the cliff face of a mountain top. There could be many falls and risers in land, or could be made up of completely different levels. The positioning of your building will be 1000% controlled by what the land allows you. You of course can create very unique shapes and levels, which is always fun to play with. But for more traditional structures, you can find it difficult to navigate. We suggest you get a survey done of the land to understand the exact levels prior to stepping into the concept design.

Orientation and Sun

People love sunshine. Even if they pretend they don’t, we need it to maintain a healthy balance within mind and body. As we come to realise the benefits of natural sunlight, we see a shift in the need for more access for sunlight within homes and public spaces. Now when speaking of a commercial space, it may be difficult to really play around too much with orientation due to a number of governing body requirements. But when speaking about residential (or something a little more free like a winery for instance), you get to work with the natural path of the sun when determining your orientation. Place your core zones towards that northern sunlight. Place your core zones next to the back yard. This will allow for the optimal interior/ exterior living, and will help you gain the most out of your day to day lives.

Complete an analysis of the property to understand the pathway of the sun. Speak with your architect with regards to the spaces you want to capture particular rays of sun over the day. They will be able to help you design your living spaces around this.

Tress, Ponds, Natural Flora

There will be instances where trees, ponds etc will be dotted around a piece of land. Incase you weren’t aware, you cant go around chopping everything down. This means that you will have to keep some natural landscape items that interfere with your desired design. But all is not lost! There often comes great inspiration and opportunity out of this. And its a great opportunity for creating a beautiful interaction between nature and made made structure. For example, create a courtyard within the main shell of your building. Or face the property out towards that lake and cluster of trees to create a lovely vista.

Navigating the interaction of landscape and architecture can be tricky. But thats why we are here to help! Make sure you give us a call or send us an enquiry. We would love to discuss your project with you.

Site: Foxground Farmhouse