Site planning around Topography- Steph M

13 11 2008

One of the biggest problems when designing is planning around topography. In Manitoba it is not as much of a problem as it is in places with steeper slopes such as BC. Often the topography itself will determine the design. The landscape influences the flow of water, the patterns of erosion, vegetation growth and soil formation. This must all be taken into consideration when designing. When the designer is choosing the site they must also take into consideration the aspect of the slope. By positioning the building specifically on the slope, you can utilize the sun exposure. By finding a place with optimal winter sun exposure and shade in the summer, the building owner can save quite a bit of money on heating and cooling. Optimal views can also be obtained through careful selection of the design site.

One way of building on a slope is to cut into the ground so that it appears as a large staircase. As mentioned in class, the University of Virginia is designed this way. Each step down allows the buildings to be built on a flat level as the slope continues to descend.  

Map of University of Virginia


Another University like this is Vancouver Island University (Previously Malaspina University) in Nanaimo BC.  This campus is located on the lower slope of MT. Benson and is also designed using steps.  The campus has an exceptional view of Nanaimo, the Strait of Georgia, and the mainland coastal mountains.






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