Points to Ponder

Mariela Santelices
Submitted For
Module 3 - Points to Ponder
Please share your comments on 3 of the following Points to Ponder questions. (Choose 3 of the questions below.)

Why is it important to accurately model the land features of your project site with a toposurface?

It is very important to have an accurate model of your site so that you can figure out what is needed to fit your building into the landscape. You have to know where there might be obstacles that are going to affect your design and what parts of the landscape need to be altered to be able to accommodate your building. I think that the landscape could also provide an opportunity for a creative building that is made just for the terrain in which it is meant to be built. Materials and wall placement are also aspects of the design that need to be considered which could be affected by the topography. For example, if there are parts of the building that are underground, it is probably necessary to have a concrete retaining wall.

When designing a project...

  • Should the building adapt to the terrain?
  • Or, should you adapt the terrain to the building?

I think that this would depend on the cost and whether or not the client liked the terrain and landscape. If they wanted to be more connected with the outdoors, adapting to the terrain is probably the better route. It is also likely more expensive to alter the terrain a lot to build. If there is some particularly difficult terrain that might cause problems, then it's probably better to change the terrain, but personally, I would probably lean towards having the minimal effect on the landscape.

Describe a case when it would be worthwhile to create a new custom component in Revit… How do you decide when to customize versus using readily available components?

I had to create some components for this design which was actually very helpful, but also kind of tricky to get the hang of. There is a cylinder that sort of sticks out of the building where I put the spiral stairs and I wanted to add windows. I couldn't change the existing windows to fit the curved surface and I couldn't find any windows that would fit the walls online, so I modeled my windows in place and they turned out exactly how I wanted them.