Project 1 Exercise 1.3: Site Analysis: Personal Response

I visited my location on a nice and sunny day, around midday. The view from the hill was stunning as usual. I was lucky with the weather, my drawings, experiences and observations would have been very different if the weather was horrible.

Mapping:

Fig. 1 Mapping

I referenced the layout of the space against google maps images on my phone. The top of the hill is easily accessed from the direction of Tattenham Corner station. The west and south-west facing hill edge is quite steep, not easily accessible from that side. Top of the hill is quite flat, ‘furnished’ with scattered trees and benches. All the benches are facing west or south-west – towards the view. There are quite tall shrubs on the north-west edge of the hill, providing the barrier between the calm, natural space and the car park. The road between the hill and the racecourse is fairly busy but because of the difference in elevation the traffic noise isn’t overpowering. Royal Drive is on similar level to the hill and cars moving there are creating more perceived noise than on the busy road below (despite traffic on royal drive being quite slow)

Occupying Space:

Fig. 2 My Route

I entered from the car park side, chose an empty bench, and sat there for a while. The view from benches reminds me of views usually seen from infinity pools –I could not see the road below, the hill edge merged with the Racecourse fields. The edge of the hill is quite steep so not too nice to be there. Also, the road below is visible from the edge and ruins the view. I walked back as the arrows indicate, between the trees. I marked shades cast by trees, I think these areas are very important especially on a hot day.

Observing Behaviour:

Fig. 3 Observing behaviour

The space was quite busy, some people came and went as I spent my time there, others were there when I arrived and stayed after I left. All the users seemed to be visiting this space for the beautiful views and tranquil atmosphere. People there are relaxed, happy, friendly. Of course, we must not forget the people walking in the racecourse. If I locate my pavilion on this hill, it will be visible from the racecourse.

Soundscapes:

Fig. 4 Soundscapes

I closed my eyes and listened. Unwelcome sounds were the loudspeaker voice (pink) and breaking glass (purple). The other sounds were ok, not quite music but not unpleasant either. The ladies chatting nearby had infectious giggle. As I started describing my drawing in fig. 4 I realised I should have placed the sounds on a map. So I quickly drew a map and placed my sounds on it.

Fig. 4a Soundscapes mapped

Touch, Smell & Emotions

Fig. 5 Touch, smell & emotions

I closed my eyes to contemplate the space this way. I felt warmth of sun on my skin with an occasional, cooling blow of light wind. I realise that had I visited the space on a less glorious day that drawing would be very different. I touched the soft grass under my feet, it was cool and springy. I felt a smooth, metal surface of the bench under my skin. I tried to draw these experiences as I concentrated on them.

Form & Light

Fig. 6 Form & Light

It was a bright, sunny day so the contrast between light and shade was stark. I tried to capture the contrast of it on a black metal bench. The sun was shining from the left front side ,making some slats black and some shiny and light. The trees were casting lovely big shades, the shape of the trees complex and simple at the same time. Another interesting form was the large group of overgrown shrubs between the hill and car park. I tried to depict the general shape and patterns within it.

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