Studying architecture with a focus on site contexts means exploring the site beyond its physical conditions. Through my degrees, I found the ways that architecture intersects with diverse disciplines extremely relevant and crucial for understanding place.
Here, I’d like to introduce you to some of the cross-disciplinary resources that might provide a different perspective on what ‘site contexts’ can be about.
Heritage Contexts – Burra Charter
Have you ever wondered what ‘heritage’ means? If so, Burra Charter will give you a framework for identifying and analysing the heritage significance of a place. It explores different types of heritage significance beyond the physical fabric of buildings.
Ecological Contexts – Bioregions and Ecological Vegetation Class Benchmark
Are you looking for information regarding the native landscape? Bioregions and EVC Benchmarks may be a good starting point to learn about the types of vegetation and geological and geographical conditions of your site. Although the information may not directly influence your design outcomes, the understanding of landscape may assist you with identifying how the landscape behaves (e.g. swamplands associated with flooring risks).
Ecological Contexts – Indigenous Seasons
If you’re interested in the connection between the landscape, seasonality and Indigenous knowledge, check out the Indigenous Weather Knowledge on the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO websites. While directly appropriating may not be the best way to go, learning about the Indigenous culture and its relationship to the built environment can broaden your view of the landscape – architecture is not just for people but also for other animals.
Urban Design Contexts – Project for Public Spaces & Gehl
Is your project engaging with public spaces? If so, have a look at PPS and Gehl articles and publications to consider how your design can accommodate the public life of people. Observing and analysing the public spaces may offer different ideas for your design response.