Architecture and site: a field research center for the studies of environmental science, horticulture, landscape architecture, and forestry

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The relationship of building to site is the most fundamental aspect in the creation of architecture. As man is a product of nature and his environment the way in which he chooses to after that environment in the process of building reveals not only his attitude towards his physical surroundings, but his purpose and justification for dwelling there. Not all attitudes will be the same, just as purpose will vary from person to person and structure to structure.

Mario Botta has said, “The first step in the architectural act is taking possession of the site. It is a conscious act of transforming a unicum, an awareness that grounds the new intervention in the geography, history, and culture of a particular site. The architecture is the constriction of this site. There can be no indifference toward the site. It is the very territory of architecture as well as the primary condition determining the laws by which one must build.”

Within the scope of my project I hoped to define this awareness within myself, this conscious act of defining and creating architecture against a background that demands the site be recognized as a primary generator of architectural form and attitude.

North Carolina Arboretum -- Buildings -- Designs and plans