Reading two Summary

This reading emphasizes on what an urban site is and its definition, it shaped the urbanism of a site by showing how it doesn’t affect its concept. The urban relation is based on concepts, terminologies and graphic conventions; it helps in showing the urban situation. Any land, is considered as an urban site based on graphic milieu and physical size. The site’s operation is the change it does in the city rather than what it is in the city. From Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch & the Palmanouva Plan, we can illustrate how designers defined site limits & scale moreover we can figure out the importance of site how it is linked to its outside instead of creating divisions of simple enclosing. The crossing of spatial networks and set of dynamic functions create interaction between extensive processes.“Urban sites are dynamic rather than static, porous rather than contained, messy like da Vinci’s Milan sketch rather than neat like the ideal plan of Palmanuova.” Site representation construct site knowledge, it is a mode of conceptual operation and a process of knowledge formation. It is the analysis generated from the designers’ constructing forms.

There are five concepts for urban site thinking. First the Mobile Ground that focuses on framing urban relations and involving its constructive forms. It describes a space of progression, slippage and continual revolution. According to this concept, site boundaries and site images shift, bend, and flex. Second, the Site Reach measures the extent, range and level of interactions between a localized place and its urban surroundings. It is the reaches of a site that depends on the operational & spatial extension of these associations & connectivities that links it to other places. Third is the site construction, it is the predesign activity that embraces design agendas and asserts and recognizes heterogeneous urban orders and logistics. It scatters the illusion of the city as either containable or controllable. Fourth is the unbound sites, which view site limits as open configuration according to various forms and forces of determination. It detaches the definitions of site boundary from concepts of ownership and property. Last but not least, urban constellation involves integrating knowledge of larger-scale spacial logics. It shows that designers situate their urban sites in multiple contextual frames which a particular place may be viewed. Constellations are variables that reinforce understandings of a site. These concepts are present to outline urban design as relational constructs. These concepts are present to show the difference between urban design sites and architectural ones.
The dynamic role of the site in a building is a base for building materials and energy for construction (first characterization), and it is the repository for building materials and energy imported far afield (Second characterization). The site is considered as an interdependent system combining intrinsic and extrinsic resources. Versions of site have risen in 3 different eras: 1st in the prehistory and continuing today, 2nd in the beginning of industrialization and modernism, 3rd in the beginning of present time characterized in developed economies as postindustrial. At that time transportation was difficult and expensive prior to industrialization and the materials were available in nature such as stone, clay, wood, glass, masonry, and concrete … Construction materials came from locations on or near the building lot. The energy for building and fuel for construction were limited. The cost of materials was a greater component of economic value that the direct labor costs of building. This mode of production divided the economical pattern into two traditional societies: Circular consumption (interlocking wholes) and vernacular buildings (connections between places and human artifacture. Now, the site as depository of materials and energy for building was an explosion in the 19th century by the new technologies and materials that began to transform architecture and construction. The new technologies changed the urbanization, transportation, mechanization and the factory system, whereas the new materials lead to a change in reinforced concrete and steel. These new materials developed to new expanded categories such as reinforced plastics, new adhesives and alloys, moreover the invention in machinery for heating, cooling and ventilating buildings. On the other hand, Le Corbusier’s concept of “Machines a habiter” examined in details the mechanical and environmental dimensions. With all these new technological systems, buildings became more technological from the use of mechanical systems instead of fabric structure.
Building with site; high performance design, favored the “appropriate technology” over the sophisticated “state-of-the-art” equipment. In this sense the building is conceived not as an object but as a set of interacting processes within and across the site. The objective of this approach included the maximizing of operational energy savings providing healthy interiors and the limitation of environmental impacts. This high performance design was the state of art equipment where the use of energy and materials decreased and the limitation of the impact on the environment increased. This high performance outcome demands an approach from architects, engineers and other designers of a building project to show that a high performance model is at the scale of ecology and multiple generations, and at the scale of building’s property, system and components.

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