Sense of Place: Understanding Architectural and Landscape Design through a Layering of Visual representations

Kate Baker


The context-free ‘object building’, the sculptural form, reigned in schools of architecture for decades. As we are finally moving on from 20th century modernism, there is an urgency to re-place buildings within their contexts. All too often, students with a background in the discipline of architecture, struggle to design buildings that truly inhabit their surroundings and engage in any meaningful way within their physical context. Software libraries of plant species and hard-landscape details are available. But the problem lies deeper than overlaying some tasteful silver birches onto an image of a building. In this article we will discuss some of the methodologies we use to give landscape equal importance to the building itself.  We also challenge the sole use of CAD as the primary means of representation and put forward an argument for making use of a range of visual techniques. The relationship between landscape and architecture is a dialogue between interior and exterior space. It demands a means of representation that allows a reading of the continuity of spatial experience that gives us a ‘sense of place’.


Architectural education, Cross-disciplinary approach: Landscape, Film, Representation.

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