Architectural Design as a Place-Making Process


Post-Design stage


Hard models have always been nightmare of students once the project is finished. It is materially costly and time consuming. In CAAD and GIS The use of 3D visualization of project on the earth surface would be an efficient way for displaying the end-product and assessing the impact of proposals on the given context (Figure 6).

Presenting the final project in its wider context using 3D model and virtual reality with the surrounding will show to what extend the projects fits in its context. A feedback could be easily set and a reviewing of the results could be made if a negative impact is felt.

Opposite to the powerful tools of CAAD in 3D presentations, GIS shows a certain weakness due to its reliance on simple extrusion of height. However, the shift towards 3D and environmental visualization of cities is becoming more and more refined due to the increasing availability of data on environment and the progress pace of IT.

Presenting the project in its geographic and environmental context should therefore be used as a means of assessment for the degree ofresponsiveness to the context and the success in conducting the project as a place-making target.




Figure 6 A 3D model of an area as a context for an architectural project (Height of buildings are hypothetical). Old Manama, Bahrain) (Using ARC-MAP 9.2).






Architecture is increasingly relying on the design in a cyberspace due to the continuous progress in IT. This reliance, if not corrected,  seems to be leading to a domination of virtual reality over real space. 
The PPRW is presented in this paper as a method that bridges the gap between virtual reality and the real context. Architectural design could be saved from the pro-modern, “de-contextual-ised” architecture through a hybrid approach that interactively joins CAAD and GIS.
The role of GIS is a support domain that insures permanent presence of the real world. Geo-coordinating the selected site, displaying the context through GIS, satellite imagery and 3D presentation of the project’s context during the 3 stages of design would significantly contribute in turning the CAAD into a process of place-making and thus reduces the effect of flying projects.


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[i] See for instance projects of Zaha Hadid

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