Chapter 16

Site Analysis: Building Context

The built environment surrounding your site can influence design, provide interesting reactions, or be totally insignificant and better off ignored. Regardless of how you view the surrounding environment, you should always consider building context when you are making a site analysis. With a geo-located model, you can find and generate the buildings surrounding a site in several ways, regardless of how little or how much information you have to start.

The Project Site

Imagine for a moment that you have been asked to design a structure on a lot near the very visible Golden Triangle Museum District in Denver. As a responsible designer, you want to address the context, but how do you address the critically famous and complex context at this site, which includes Michael Grave’s Geometric Central Library; the brand-new, sleek, minimalist Clyfford Still Museum; and Daniel Libeskind’s abstract extension to the art museum? How in the world would you even build something like the art museum extension in SketchUp? In this chapter, you will collect and build the context near the Golden Triangle Museum District in Denver (Figure 16-1).

Figure 16-1: The proposed context zone and building site


To define the site, follow these steps:

1. Start a new model by opening SketchUp, or click on the File drop-down menu and select New.
2. Click the Add Location ...

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