Design Guidelines

Clare Cooper Marcus (1986) has written about design guidelines as a link between research and practice. The most general such urban design guidelines are contained in the directives established by Christopher Alexander and his colleagues in their pattern language (Alexander et al., 1977). Such guidelines are generic statements that specify the goals, the design pattern for achieving them and the evidence supporting the linkage between goal and pattern. In all-of-a-piece urban design the concern is with writing directives that ensure that the intent of the conceptual design is met. The focus here is thus on project-specific guidelines, or what have been called 'design directives' for completing the components of an all-of-a-piece urban design.

The fundamental nature of design guidelines has changed little over the centuries. Façade guidelines prescribing the nature of fenestration to be incorporated on new buildings can, for instance, be traced back at least to fourteenth century Italy. What has changed and will no doubt change in the future are the perceptions of the mechanisms that achieve the design goals and the types of guidelines that are used to ensure those mechanisms are incorporated in a design.

There are three types of design guidelines used to implement urban design objectives: prescriptive, performance and advisory. They may be specifications for open spaces - that is streets and squares - and/or for the buildings that frame them. Prescriptive guidelines describe the pattern that a building complex, building, or building component must take (e.g. all buildings must have purple stringcourses of brickwork at every 5 metres of height). Performance guidelines specify how a building should work (e.g. no shadows can be cast on a particular open space during the hours 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. at the winter solstice). Property developers overwhelmingly prefer the first because they state the design forms required without any ambiguity. It is easier to create enforceable guidelines when a public authority has a legal stake in the development (e.g. is a land holder or is contributing to the project's financing), or by creating covenants or other requirements in giving property developers permission to build. Advisory guidelines are suggestive in nature whereas prescriptive and performance are mandatory if they are adopted into law for specific constitutionally acceptable purposes. There is no legal requirement to comply with advisory guidelines.

The three types of guidelines are often used together. The case of the Dallas Arts District is outlined in Figure 8.1. The conceptual diagram is illustrated in Figure 8.1a. The guidelines in Figure 8.1b are of three types: prescriptive (the

Building Envelope Guidelines

Building Envelope Guidelines

Figure 8.1 The Dallas Arts District. (a) The conceptual design, (b) the building design guidelines and (c) the district in 1993.

Figure 8.1 The Dallas Arts District. (a) The conceptual design, (b) the building design guidelines and (c) the district in 1993.

building envelope), performance (setback for two rows of trees) and advisory ('suggested two levels of retail'). The solar access diagram shown in Figure 8.2 may specify a performance but it is highly prescriptive. The façade guidelines in Figure 8.3 are clearly advisory but had considerable clout in the way they were administered.

Guidelines that can be defended in court contain three parts: the objective, the pattern required to achieve it and the argument for the pattern based on empirical evidence (Stamps, 1994). If they do not, they are easy to challenge and to be dismissed in the courts and administrative tribunals of democratic societies.

All all-of-a-piece urban designs involve the specification for individual buildings to some extent. The most global requirement is for building uses but many other factors can be stipulated for building and open-space design (see Figure 8.4a). One application of a number of guidelines is shown in Figure 8.4b. The degree to which building designs should be controlled is open to debate. The urban

Figure 8.3 Guidelines for new buildings in context, San Francisco.

roof type and material

- overall building height

- material/colour

- window to wall ratio

- ground floor use and fenestration specification for nature and frequency of v^door and barrier free requirement roof type and material

- overall building height

- material/colour

- window to wall ratio

- ground floor use and fenestration specification for nature and frequency of v^door and barrier free requirement arcade dimension level of ground floor in relationship to the relationship to property line arcade dimension level of ground floor in relationship to the relationship to property line

Figure 8.4 Building design guidelines. (a) Possible variables for building design guidelines and (b) an example: Nassau-Fulton, New York.

design objective has been to define the character of the public realm - streets, squares and other open spaces - and to obtain a sense of unity and/or diversity.

Major references

Barnett, Jonathan (1982). Designing cities without designing buildings. In An Introduction to Urban Design. New York: Harper and Row, 76-152.

Cooper Marcus, Clare (1986). Design guidelines: a bridge between research and decisionmaking. In William H. Ittelson, Masaaki Asai and Mary Ker, eds., Cross Cultural Research in Environment and Behavior. Tucson: University of Arizona, 56-83.

Cowan, Robert (2003). Urban Design Guidance: Urban Design Frameworks, Development Briefs and Master Plans. London: Thomas Telford Ltd.

Punter, John (1999). Design Guidelines in American Cities: A Review of Design Policies and Guidance in Five West Coast Cities. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Shirvani, Hamid (1985). The Urban Design Process. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Watson, Ilene (2001). An introduction to Design Guidelines. http://www.plannersweb.com/ wfiles/w157.html accessed on 9 January 2004.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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