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The Site Plan

Establishing the Context

Design 9: Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2008 & Design 10: Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2008


The Aim of the Site Plan

The intention of the Site Plan is to show the building or project with its immediate context. This can be drawn at 1:500 but can vary according to what to how much immediate context needs to be shown. The Site Plan attempts to address the following questions and issues:

How does the building relate to the site and context? What are the landscaping and/or urban design decisions being made? How is the building connected to the wider fabric of the context, its environment, sun and wind? How have the features of the site and immediate context been addressed, in terms of, axes, views, main roads, driveways, carparks, trees, lakes and streams, and other landmarks?


The Location Plan

The Location Plan is done at a different scale to the Site Plan and attempts to show the project’s location with a wider context, in its relationship to a nearby city, or within a country or territory. The Location Plan can be done at 1:1000, 1:5000, or even 1:15000, depending on the scope and necessity of showing certain site features, such as roads, bridges, significant buildings or landmarks, or lakes, streams, and/or other artificial or natural elements.

The Contents of the Site Plan

A typical site plan should include:

  • North-Point
  • Scale
  • Street & Road Names
  • Roof Plan of the building/s, ie, the Top View, to be made distinct from the rest of the drawing, eg. through colour. Should be positioned more or less in the centre of the composition.
  • Labels of existing natural and/or artificial site features, such as parks, significant buildings, etc.
  • Labels, whether directly on the drawing as referred to by a numbered key, of the various aspects of the project, eg. carpark, the different wings or complexes, especially in the case of masterplans
  • Carparks should be drawn with the parking lines indicated to convey decisions relating to the total amount of cars to be accommodated and the circulation-traffic of the carpark
  • Cars, buses, and other vehicles as scale indicators at 1:500
  • Aerial Photograph to convey the surrounding built typology and grain as well as trees, parks and other natural/artificial features picked up by the aerial photograph
  • Topography, ie, Contour Lines, to show the relief of the land, sloping up or down, labeled with indicative contour heights, every 5m or 10m, etc.
  • Landscaping, new roads, access/drive-ways, pedestrian footpaths/paving


The Site-Masterplan

Design 7: Master Plan over Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2007

The Masterplan overlaid or juxtaposed/composited with the Site Plan attempts to show the scheme and its scope in relationship to its immediate context. The key to communicating this clearly is to distinguish what is existing with what is new, through colour or other graphic device.

The Masterplan figure should attempt to clearly show the various aspects pertaining to the entire scheme, the circulation, the entries, the carparks, the various built typologies, public spaces, courtyards, green spaces, and other landscaping features, trees, streams, lakes, gardens, etc. Existing buildings and other existing features should be included. Labels on/to significant features of the scheme.

Analytical devices can be included such as: circulation, access, pedestrian/vehicular movement, sun and wind, etc. But should not confuse the reading of the site-masterplan itself.




Redirect to Design 7 – Passive Housing Scheme, http://studioalterity.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/44/


Redirect to Design 9 – Investigations into the Interstitial: Drawings, http://studioalterity.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/design-9-investigations-into-the-interstitial-drawings/


Redirect to Design 10 – Metaphysics of Light: Drawings, http://studioalterity.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/design-10-metaphysics-of-light-drawings/



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