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THE 23 QUALITY ISSUES

IN SITE PLANNING & LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

PLANNING 1
1. AUDIBILITY /ACOUSTIC QUALITY OF
AN ENVIRONMENT
ELEMENTS

• Component or Constituent of a whole structure.

Even the tiniest element of a structure can affect the whole. Always
see to it that every element goes along with other elements.
2. CIRCULATION
Estimating traffic flow
• An estimate necessary to design local roads, internal circulation, and interfaces
with local collectors. ~ Russ
• The larger the project, the more important the estimate of trip generation and
vehicle speeds. ~ Russ
• Refers to the quality of flow in a certain structure or site. Good circulation
promotes a traffic free movement and brings efficiency to all its users. While on
the other hand, a structure that has a poor circulation brings hard time to all the
users.
“Traffic flow is affected by a number of factors, some of which are fairly intuitive. For
example, the nature of the development under consideration is important. A regional
shopping center, a retirement community, a neighborhood geared to young families,
and an entertainment complex will all have different traffic characteristics. In most
residential cases, peak flows maybe expected to occur during the rush hours between
6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M., and 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. Estimating peak time traffic flows
from a single family home, for example, is based on 0.8 trips per day per single-family
dwelling unit during peak hours. For townhouses or multifamily units, a trip generation
of 0.6 trips per day per unit is used. A single-family unit is expected to generate at least
5 round-trips (leaving and returning) each day, but the trips are not evenly loaded
throughout the day. In general, there is more traffic in morning peak hours than in
afternoon peak hours.” ~ Thomas Russ
CIRCULATION
“A good roadway provides comfort, interest, and pleasure to the traveler. A
good roadway is also a good neighbor.” ~ J.O. Simonds

“Wherever appropriate, the layout of walks should anticipate the “rounding”


tendency of pedestrians and provide for natural and comfortable changes
of direction rather than always using intersections at right angles.” ~ T. Russ

Reference:
SITE PLANNING HANDBOOK by Thomas
Russ
3. COMFORT

• “Physical comfort is a powerful factor, too.” J.O. Simonds


SITE LAYOUT
With proper site layout, comfort can be achieved.

“The familiar grid layout is an efficient way to subdivide property, but it


can be monotonous, especially for residential areas. Grid layouts are
familiar forms of development to most people and provide a certain
level of comfort for many people.”
LANDSCAPE
“Maximize the landscape values. In every case a well-designed
roadway will be aligned through the landscape in such a way and be
so constructed as to preserve and display the best features and views
while attaining a harmonious fit.” ~ J.O. Simonds

“The choice and arrangement of plants can be used to frame views, to


accent or to hide other site features, to direct pedestrian traffic, to
create outdoor spaces, to invite, to repel, to provide comfort, to
encourage motion or pause, or to modify scale or the environment.” ~
T. Russ
THINGS TO CONSIDER

SITE GRADING
“The final grades incorporate concerns for safety, comfort, and access
as well as drainage and local concerns such as ice.” ~ T. Russ
“A poorly conceived grading plan of a site’s final form will have a great
impact on the success of the site, physically and emotionally. Final
elements that are out of scale or uninteresting may be rejected by
people in favor of spaces that are inviting, comfortable, and
interesting.” ~ T. Russ
4. CONVENIENCE

Every designer or user desires a convenient building and site.


Convenience is the act of making things easier to do or
perform. For example going up a building by elevator instead
of stairs. A site accessible to places like school, church, mall, or
supermarket.
5. DURABILITY
• Upon building a structure, durability should be always considered. A long
lasting building can also be said to be a sustainable structure. On the very
first step of the design, the structure’s building technology must be well
planned.
“As a matter of practice, materials should be selected in part because of their
durability. The process of manufacturing materials is energy and material
intensive, and durable materials usually require less maintenance over a
longer service life.” ~ T. Russ
6. ECONOMY
(MAXIMUM
BENEFIT FOR
MINIMUM
MEANS)
• Elegant means
• Phasing
• Quality
7. ENERGY EFFICIENCY
“Reducing the impact of development may be possible by reducing the
footprint of a building either by modifying the footprint to the most efficient
shape or by building multiple stories. Reducing the surface area of a structure
will reduce energy requirements as well.” ~ T. Russ
“Materials that are heavily processed or manufactured have a higher
embodied energy—that is, there are greater energy inputs required to
manufacture the product. Locally produced products require less
transportation energy and produce less pollution.” ~ T. Russ

“The best choice for materials may be recycled materials. Using recycled
materials reduces solid waste, reduces the energy needed for manufacturing,
and reduces the impact on natural resources.” ~ T. Russ
8. ENVIRONMENT IMPACT CONTROL
• Environment impact control has also something to do with the promotion of
“Green Architecture.” Everytime you will design the whole site or structure,
always think of the environmental effect of it.
• When such environmental considerations are defined and explored early,
they become not only a useful test but also a sound basis for the evolving
studies and resulting planned solution. The negative impacts of the project
can thus be reduced and the attributes significantly increased during the
planning process. The many benefits of such a systematic approach cannot
be overemphasized.
An official Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as is required on
most federally aided projects, is governed by a pro forma set of instructions.
Essentially the statement is to describe:

• All significant negative impacts to be expected from the proposed


development, and the means by which the planners have ameliorated
them as far as feasible.
• All positive values created by the project, and the means by which
they have been enhanced in the planning process.
• The rationale for proceeding with construction. Only with rare
exceptions is approval justified unless the long-term negative factors
are outweighed by the benefits.
9. FLEXIBILITY

• This issue gets the concept of being a resilient structure. Upon designing
a structure, don’t be one sided all the way. Think of another purpose or
use without compromising your structure’s character.

• “An axis may be developed asymmetrically. Such a treatment


preserves the positive features of the axis while allowing greater plan
flexibility.” ~ J.O. Simonds
THE USE OF ASYMMETRY

“Asymmetry is well suited to large-scale urban planning. The most pleasant


squares of Europe are asymmetrical. What a sad day it would be for San
Marco in Venice if the piazza were to be reconstructed in rigid symmetry. The
wonder and charm of such towns as Siena, Verona, and Florence would be
lost to a symmetrical handling of their streets and buildings and spaces.”

“The most magnificent garden of history, the Yuan Ming Yuan, or Garden of
Perfect Brightness, which today lies in ruin to the west of Beijing, was
scrupulously asymmetric in plan, as attested to by Jean Denis Attiret, a French
priest who many years ago found his way to the court of Emperor Ch’ien-lung.
In 1743, he wrote to a friend in France describing its wonders (as quoted by
Hope Danby in The Garden of Perfect Brightness)” ~ J.O. Simonds
10. HEALTH
• Always think of the living creatures that will live and be part of the structure.
Think of its users and environment. If it will cause harm, better not to do it.
• Refers to both human and environment.
• “SUSTAINABILITY- as defined by World Commission on Environment and
Development: “The ability to meet the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The
president’s council outlined ten goals for the nation to meet to become
sustainable, but these goals could be summarized aptly in the first three,
which concerned HEALTH and the environment, economic prosperity, and
equity.” ~ T. Russ
11. IMAGE
Consider your structure’s Architectural character as always. It gives your building the impression of
what it is and gives identity. If it is for residential use, then let it be designed as a home.

• Structures = Verticals = Articulators

• C.A.V.E. (Character, Articulator, Verticals-point of reference, Elements)

Reference:
Landscape Architecture: A Manual of Environmental Planning and Design by John Ormsbee Simonds
(Verticals: Articulators and point of reference)
ARTICULATOR
• An audible structure is an articulator itself.

“Verticals reinforce and explain the traffic and use patterns of the
base plane. Just as the gate piers of a driveway say “Enter,” the
sweeping curbline says “Follow me,” and the entrance platform says
“Come to rest and alight here,” so must the verticals of any space
elucidate the plan. They must attract, deflect, direct, detain, receive,
and accommodate the planned use as the area demands. The plan
pattern of the base plane most often sets the theme of a space, and
the verticals most often modulate this theme and produce those
variations that develop the rich harmonies.” ~ Ormsbee Simonds
A structure has to be audible inside and out. Let your structure
articulate to humans.
VERTICALS-POINT OF REFERENCE
• Consider all verticals in a given site

• Verticals are elements in a site that has “HEIGHT.” Make sure that all verticals
present in your site reflects the building character.
• If you are to build something, don’t put verticals that can create confusion.
For example, a school that has a cross. Remember, schools should have flags
instead of cross. Every vertical sets a point of reference.
ELEMENTS

• Component or Constituent of a whole structure.

Even the tiniest element of a structure can affect the whole. Always
see to it that every element goes along with other elements.
12. INTERACTION

• Refers to the direct effect of the structure to another thing or human being.
Be careful of what you are going to build. Think ahead of time. Before
designing and constructing it, think of the possible effect of the structure to
other things whether biotic or abiotic.
13. LEGIBILITY
• Make sure that whatever structure you are going to build, it has the
capability of being discerned or distinguished. A structure for commercial
use should look like one. Because if not, people won’t buy anything to it.
14. MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT
• After the construction, take good care of your structure. Proper
maintenance will save a lot of money. Don’t wait for your structure to be
ruined badly before saving it.
• “To be effective maintenance must be a consideration from the earliest planning stages.
This presupposes that all maintenance operations have been programmed. It also
assumes that storage for the required materials and equipment is provided, that access
points and ways are strategically located, that convenient hydrants and electrical
outlets are installed, and that maintenance needs are reduced insofar as practical. It
also means that the number of construction materials and components and thus the
replacement inventory of items that must be kept stocked are reduced to a workable
minimum. This requires standardization of light globes, bench slats, anchor bolts, sign
blanks, curb templates, paint colors, and everything else. Usually, a reduction in the
quantity of items stocked can result in improved quality at significant savings. This is
possible only if the maintenance operation is planned from the start as an efficient
system or is converted to one.” ~ J.O. Simonds
15. MOOD/AMBIENCE
(CHARACTER & ATMOSPHERE
OF A PLACE)
• Every site volume promotes and gives different mood or ambience. It is very important in
creating a space. A bedroom should have to bring a feel of comfort and rest. A living
room should have an ambience of welcome.
• Refers to Architectural Character of the structure.

Every structure has its own Architectural Character. Hospitals should


have the character of a hospital. Schools should really look like school.
Restaurants be restaurants.
A structure can only be heard if its exterior appearance vividly shows
what character does the structure have. Of course, Buildings can’t talk. They
can’t say, “Hey! I am a hospital. If you have any illness just enter here. “
The only way for structures to be audible is merely their appearance.
FACTORS OF MOOD/AMBIENCE
• Spatial Impact

1. Tension 6. Dynamic action


2. Relaxation 7. Sensuous love
3. Fright 8. Sensuous love
4. Gaiety 9. Displeasure
5. Contemplation 10. Pleasure
FACTORS OF MOOD/AMBIENCE
Reference:
• Spatial Qualities
Landscape Architecture: A
Manual of Environmental
• Spatial Size Planning and Design by John
Ormsbee Simonds (SITE
• Spatial Form VOLUMES-SPACES)

• Spatial Color

• Abstract Spatial Expression


16. OLFACTORY

• It has something to do with our sense of smell. A restaurant for example is


planned to be erected near a dump site, would it be okay? Of course not.
Architecture is not just about the design and beauty. It also concerns noise,
light, environment, and smell. It does not concern the sense of sight alone,
but all senses.
• Olfactory contributes a lot in creating a good mood and ambience.
17. PERSONALIZATION

• Peculiarity of the structure must be paid by our attention as well. You should
design with a mind that is out of the box. Create something new. Be
distinctive.
18. PRIVACY
• It is said to be one of the basic needs of us humans. By means of enclosures,
you can provide a wholesome privacy to your client. But take note that
overuse of enclosure does not give a quality privacy.

• Enclosure for Privacy


“Neither enclosure nor openness is of value in itself. The degree and quality
of enclosure has meaning only in relation to the function of a given space.
Enclosure is desirable when privacy is desired. The orientals have a faculty
for creating their own privacy by mentally blocking out those things they
find to be distracting or disturbing.” ~ J.O. Simonds
19. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Resource management is a key element to activity resource estimating and
project human resource management. Both are essential components of a
comprehensive project management plan to execute and monitor a project
successfully.
“Materials should be selected on the basis of durability and low environmental
impact.” ~ T. Russ

“Recycled materials are low impact and efficient. Better than recycling
materials is reusing entire buildings.” ~ T. Russ
VISUAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

“Visual resource management is a relatively new, broad term describing


planning and management practices directed toward preserving or
enhancing the aesthetic quality of an area often referred to as a viewshed.
The term is being applied by several public agencies to the technique of
preserving and enhancing the nation’s scenery. Innovative approaches are
outlined in a number of well-prepared manuals that demonstrate a promising
new concern.” J.O. Simonds
20. SAFETY
• One thing that the designer should think about is the safety of its users by
designing a safe building. It also includes the safety of the construction. To
both environment and workers.
• CIRCULATION
Build in the safety features. Reduced gradients, wider curves, controlled
access, and elimination of on-grade crossings are all conducive to safety.
Other protective features include guardrails, reflectors, and clear
directional signage. At special nodes such as major off-ramps or
interchanges, roadway illumination by nonglaring light sources can be
helpful.
21. SECURITY
• The feeling of being secured can give comfort and peace of mind to the
user as well. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, security is included. (survival,
security &safety,stability,success,significance)

• URBAN DESIGN
The best way to promote security in a downtown area is to ensure that the
streets are alive with responsible urban residents who come out to enjoy the
evening sites and activities. In such an atmosphere, restaurants and theaters
thrive, shops stay open, and people can linger or stroll about in relative safety.
22. TERRITORY

• Territoriality, provides a total territorial quality, condition, or status. Every


owner desires this especially in a private owned site or project.
23. VISIBILITY

• The building’s visibility depends upon the owner’s request. If the owner
desires to have a commercial building, you need to do your best to provide
him a highly visible structure by choosing the best visible site or by providing
a good design that could catch the attention of others. If it is a residential or
a rest house, then of course, you have to choose him a site that is isolated.