PROGRAMMING ANALYSIS GRAPHICS Basics Of architecture, part 2

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BLOCKING DIAGRAMS


 Bubble diagrams are part of a continuous process of refinement. One diagram may have useful components that can be combined with elements of another. As this process of refinement continues, designers often proceed to

BLOCKING DIAGRAMS.

 Before moving to blocking diagrams, design students benefit from the creation of space studies, also known as area prototype sketches. Each area or function is sketched in
scale with furniture and equipment included, and these sketches can be used for purposes of approximation in the blocking diagram. Space study sketches are also helpful in the design of systems furniture, allowing students to explore possibilities and gain insight into the use of these products. See Figures 2-8a, b, c for examples of space studies. Blocking diagrams can be generated on tracing paper taped over a scaled, drafted floor plan of the existing or proposed building. In rare cases projects do not involve the use of existing architectural parameters because the interior space will dictate the final building form. In these cases, bubble diagrams and blocking plans are sometimes the genesis for the eventual building plan. It is increasingly common for designers to begin the blocking plan process on CADD and take the project through the rest of the design process using CADD. Some designers find that space planning on CADD is frustrating and therefore plot out a CADD drawing and work over it with tracing paper. As stated, blocking diagrams are generally drawn to scale and relate directly to the architectural parameters or the existing building plan. Blocking plans are generally drawn with each area or function represented by a block of the appropriate square footage; circulation areas are often blocked in as rectilinear corridors. Fig
ures 2-9a, b, c are blocking diagrams. Some experienced designers move quickly to blocking diagrams, forgoing the use of bubble diagrams, whereas others dislike the blocky, confining nature of blocking diagrams. Many designers develop a personal system of schematic diagrams that is a combination of bubble and blocking diagrams. The approach and graphic quality of schematic diagrams used by individual designers vary greatly, yet the underlying purpose is consistent. Designers use these diagrams to move from verbal and simplified graphic notation toward true scale and the eventual realization of architectural form.

FIT PLANS AND STACKING PLANS A FIT PLAN




 can be considered a further refinement of the blocking diagram. Basically the fit plan is a test determining whether the requirements and needs clarified in programming fit into a given space. In some cases, fit plans are drawn up when a client reviews a piece of real estate or a potential site. In other cases, fit plans are drawn up to indicate the way a proposed office tower may eventually be laid out. These types of fit plan are generated for both real estate professionals and end users. In still other situations the fit plan is part of the final stage of the space-planning process. For this reason, fit plans often contain furniture and equipment accurately drawn to scale as a means of testing the space plan for fit and for client review. A STACKING PLAN is used when a project occupies more than one floor of a building. Often the interrelationships of departments or workgroup locations are examined in a stacking diagram. Generally stacking diagrams are created early in the design process as a means of evaluating the use of each floor before refined space planning is done.


CONCEPTUAL DESIGN 

The schematic design phase is often a time when designers explore symbolic representation for the conceptual foundation of a project. Although relationship, bubble, and blocking diagrams represent functional and spatial requirements, they sometimes do little to illuminate the conceptual nature of a project. It is often useful to employ an abstract diagram or graphic device to represent the conceptual qualities of a project. One means of illustrating conceptual project themes is the use of a design PARTI. Frank Ching, in A Visual Dictionary of Architecture (1995), defines a parti as “the basic scheme or concept for an architectural design represented by a diagram.” A design parti can take a wide range of forms, from a highly simplified graphic symbol to a more complex plan dia
gram. Some designers use a conceptual diagram such as a parti as an aid in bringing together the functional and conceptual components of a design. The parti, or another conceptual diagram, can be used throughout the design process as a conceptual anchor for the project. Designers sometimes employ the parti extensively,
 and it may be the foundation for the design and appear as a logo or project icon on all presentation graphics. A formal design parti is not sought for all design projects. Most projects do, however, include a considerable number of thematic issues. Views, geography, climate, building context and site, functional requirements, and cultural issues may contribute to the project on a conceptual level. Often the existing building form provides project constraints in the design of interior environments. Most designers find it useful to articulate and explore conceptual and thematic issues early in the schematic phase of a project. Some designers find it useful to create threedimensional conceptual studies in the form of models (see Chapter 6)

 In professional practice the methods of presentation of conceptual components of a project are varied and highly personal, and involve both verbal and graphic notations. For purposes of organization, space planning and conceptual development are discussed separately here. However, in design practice these elements are brought together in the early stages of project design. Bubble diagrams often incorporate conceptual elements, and a design parti can serve as an organizational anchor in the space-planning process. It is important to see the schematic/conceptual design phases as a continuous process of refinement whereby all elements are brought together. Figures 2-10a, b, c are conceptual sketches that might be generated during the drawing of blocking diagrams. As the project evolves and blocking diagrams make way for a schematic space plan, it is often helpful to consider the totality of the design through the use of preliminary elevations. Preliminary elevations, much like early perspective studies, allow for more complete understanding of the total volume of a space. Preliminary elevations can be used as a means of ideation or idea generation, and therefore it is useful to attempt more than one approach as the elevations are undertaken. Two such preliminary elevations of varying approaches for the design shown in the blocking diagram in Figure 2-10c can be found in Figure 2-11.

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