Essential siting

I genuinely enjoy the seasons. After a long, cold midwest winter the time spent outdoors seems more savory, more appreciated. As spring rolls in and green begins to replace brown and white, we start to break ground on new projects. But long before the excavators arrive on site, we spend a lot of time carefully siting our designs. We do this through an in depth process of exploration and understanding of the external and internal influences of each site. External influences include access, topography, vegetation, solar orientation, and prevailing winds. Equally important are the project’s internal goals: spaces, adjacencies, sequences, as well as desired views and vistas. Once gathered and diagrammed, We overlay these influences, and the patterns that are revealed speak to us and guide our design decisions. Too often the site is taken for granted. For us, it is such an important part of this process, and critical to the successful outcome of every project.

Tabula rasa

When asked what was the most frightening thing he had ever encountered, novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “A blank sheet of paper.” We can relate to that response. As designers, many of our projects begin in much the same way – a blank page in our sketchbook. Although each project has a unique program and specific site conditions to inform our work, we still begin each concept with a blank page. In fact, you will often hear us say we don’t have all the answers. But with each line we draw, we learn more about the project.

We think of our studio as a design laboratory. And while we are seeking artistic results, our process to get there is often more rooted in science. From a well stated problem, we can begin to perform in-depth studies, create diagrams, and generate options that lead us to the right design solutions.

As you contemplate your goals and wonder how to get there, first know that you are not alone. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and get us involved. With some analysis and study we can help take you from the blank page to a well defined road map.