Chapter 11

A major misconception in city proportions is to suppose that they are based on what is vertical and horizontal. The urban site does not define its environments by locating horizontal and vertical settings; it must obtain its edges and borders from the relationship with its surrounding environment. This also applies in any other architectural environment such as mountains & villas. The difference between an urban site & a villa is that it signifies a shared conformity on citizens. A structure intended in a metropolitan area is prearranged according to what it represents. When the designer figures out what is his program is going to be, he must work on the purpose of his building. Boundaries of urban sites should take into consideration any previous ones. The city is built and functions for all the citizens. It is also unbounded, it might be open, but the plot it is built on is boundless. One way or another combination of “fixed” and “open” operates in a mode of ambiguity. We say it is fixed but open.

Urban site through history is defined in two eras. In the 16th century Leonardo Da Vinci in his Milan sketch talked about an incomplete figure and active interrelations. He took into consideration the social, political, physical, historical and economical dimensions in his study & worked in several scales from local zooming out to global. Another example is the ideal renaissance plan of Palmanuova. The city is a fixed object in an open field & is bounded. There are strong delimitations between the inner & outer spaces.
It is represented through several components such as maps, models and drawings: these categories illustrate how designers think, present each reality separately and project a heterogeneous urban condition. Conceptual tools are used to understand the multivalence of urban sites & mean of thinking through multiple realities to construct forms of knowledge.
To stage the ground of site thinking negotiations between different parties of the project & the site changes beyond the designer’s control such as space of progression, slippage & continual revaluation constitute the mobile ground. The site reach measures the extent, range & level of interactions between localized place & its surrounding, depends on the special and operational extension of the connectivity that tie the site to other places & reinforces the fact that an urban design intervention participates in a project of city-building writ large. The site construction posits that site boundaries shift in relation to the position of their beholder, accounts for multiple fields of interest & effect with distinct special limits & yields a designed understanding of the site through consciously selective viewing. Unbound sites uncouple the definition of site boundary from notions ownership & property & let the designers think of how many sites are linked to the places and times beyond their present & pushes them to recognize border porosities & to treat scale as a measure of boundary permeability. Finally the urban constellation blurs the lines between context & site, involves integrating knowledge of local based urban characteristics & requires that designers situate their urban site in multiple contextual or scalar frames.

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