NOTE: This is an example assignment for prospective students. Since assignments vary from year to year, please visit the course link at elms.umd.edu or contact your TA for the most current version.
Objective: To apply the knowledge and skills you learned in this course to: a) analyzing a site, b) designing a simple outdoor space, and c) analyzing your design.
Make a visual analysis of the of the "pad"
area located to the West of the Architecture
Building. The sketch shows the approximate
boundaries of the area. On a white sheet of
paper, approximately 18" x 24", draw to scale
the plan of the site using the same methods
you learned in previous assignments. On the
plan, indicate the location of the existing
trees and lampposts, note the type of
materials (for the building and the paved
areas) and which parts of the site are already
landscaped. Note the slope of the area
between the concrete pad and Mowatt Lane
and estimate its rise with respect to the level
of the pad. Also note which parts are in
sunlight and which are in the shade during
the middle part of the day. Mark the
boundaries between sunlight and shade on the
plan. Make a note of the overall character of
the site (the "genius loci" we discussed in the
lecture). This can be done by drawing a
couple of sketches, or by photography, or
with a written description.
PART 2: First Draft
On a different sheet of white paper, copy the outlines of the plan you prepared in PART 1. Using the
elements listed below, design a small plaza in the area now occupied by the concrete-paved "pad". The
plaza is to serve as a pleasant and comfortable environment where students and faculty may take a break
or have lunch. It should be a restful spot, but it should also have some visual interest. Most important, it
should have a sense of individuality; it should be a place, in the sense this word was used in the lectures.
Because the existing concrete conflicts with these requirements, you should plan on removing it. In its
place, you may use brick or stone pavers of your choice, as well as grassy or otherwise landscaped areas,
as described below. Paving elements may be used to create patterns, for instance by alternating
contrasting materials or by using pavers of different sizes. However, what you design must not be placed
outside the current edges of the concrete pad shown in the sketch above.
As a point of departure here is a list of elements at your disposal. You may modify the number and size of
the elements in order to improve and clarify your design.
2 benches: 1'-10" x 6' long
24 wooden seats 1'-10" wide and 2' long. Fixed in place.
3 wooden tables, to be indicated in plan by squares 3'-0" x 3'-0", also to be fixed. These can be
arranged together to form one long rectangular table or set up individually.
Any number of brick or stone pavers.
Any number of brick, stone, or timber edging pieces, to be indicated in plan by parallel lines 6" wide. These pieces may be straight or curved.
Up to four landscaped areas. These may be just grass, or they may include planted areas, bushes
and or trees. Consider how these elements can be used to define space.
From a sheet of construction paper, cut out shapes that represent these elements to scale. Use these pieces to try out different layouts. When you are satisfied that you have created the best possible place, past them on the plan.
Prepare a new sheet of white paper of the same size as your previous two. At the bottom of the sheet, in 3/16" letters, all upper case and all in one line, carefully and neatly print the following information:
YOUR NAME - ASSIGNMENT 4 - ARCH 170 - SEMESTER - SECTION NUMBER
Then draw the plan and a section of your design in final form. The section plane must be perpendicular to
the Architecture building wall (roughly parallel to Campus Drive) unless your design warrants a different
section. The section must be drawn on the same sheet as the plan, must be located below the plan, and
must be drawn at the same scale as the plan. Use different line weights to indicate the relative importance
of the various design elements. As you did in assignment 2, lightly draw a pattern showing the texture
characteristic of each object, including the landscaping. Show a graphic scale and the north arrow. Include
at least one scale figure in your section.
On a separate sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" type a brief description of the organizing principles and parti that your
design utilizes. Make sure that your name is printed on this sheet, too. Use diagrams on an accompanying
8 1/2 x 11" sheet to illustrate the principles and parti that you describe in your text.
You will be graded on accuracy of scale, imagination, attractiveness and appropriateness of the design,
neatness, and correctness of the description of your spatial organization.
NOTE: Your drafts must accompany the final presentation. Have Fun.