With a firm comprehension of the size needed for required spaces and elements, the designer is now ready to start actually drawing a functional diagram. The designer should first place a clean sheet of tracing paper on top of the site analysis. This should be done so that the observations and recommendations of the site analysis can be con­tinually referred to during the first tries at placing the various spaces and elements on the site. With the site analysis serving as a base, it is more likely the designer will keep the site factors in mind while organizing the functional diagram.

The site location of each of the required spaces and elements should be based on functional relationships, available space, and existing site conditions.

Functional Relationships Each space and element should be located on the site so that it is compatible with the functions of adjacent spaces and elements. For example, the designer might ask: Where should the living/entertaining space be placed? Should it be located near the play area? Or should it be located near the outdoor eating space? If the outdoor living/entertaining space is placed here, what might go on the west side of it? Questions should also be asked about the relationship between indoors and out­doors. For instance, where should the outside eating space be placed in relation to the kitchen?

1. Person standing alone: 5 sq ft

2. People standing in conversation: 8 sq ft/person

3. Sitting

a. Single aluminum lawn chair: 2′ X 2′

b. Single wood deck chair with cushions: 2′-6" X 2′-6"

c. Groups of chairs:

Two chairs

Four chairs

Two chairs and couch

d. Bench: seat depth: 18"

seat length: 2′-6" linear feet/person

e. Bench arrangement for conversation



g. Groups of lounge chairs Two lounge chairs

Three lounge chairs and coffee table

4. Eating

a. Two people

Chair by itself: 2′ X 2′

Table by itself: 2′ X 2′

Minimum area needed: 2′-6" X 5 Preferred area:

b. Four people

Chair by itself: 2′ X 2′

Table by itself: 2′-6" X 2′-6" Minimum area needed: 6′ X 6′ Preferred area:

c. Six people (picnic table)

Bench by itself: 1′ X 5′

Table by itself: 2′-6" X 5′ Minimum area needed: 5′ X 6′ Preferred area:

d. Eight people (picnic area)

Bench by itself: 1′ X 5′

Table by itself: 2′-6" X 5′

Minimum area needed: 5′ X 7′-6"

Preferred area:

Cooking and food preparation

a. Grill by itself: 2′ X 2′

b. Counter top: 2′ X 4′

c. Overall area needed: 20 sq ft

6. Recreation

a. Badminton (doubles): 17′ X 39′ (playing surface)

20′ X 44′ (overall area)

b. Croquet: 38′ X 85′ (playing surface)

50′ X 95′ (overall area)

c. Frisbee, baseball, football throwing: 15′ X 40′

d. Horseshoes: stakes 40′ apart

10′ X 50′ (overall area)

e. Tennis (doubles): 36′ X 78′ (playing surface)

60′ X 120′ (overall area)

f. Volleyball: 30′ X 60′ (playing surface)

45′ X 80′ (overall area)

g. Backyard basketball: 25′ X 25′ minimum

h. Half-court basketball: 42′ X 40′

i. Swimming

Average-sized pool: 18′ X 36′ (without deck)

need between 24 and 36 sq ft/swimmer

Lap pool: 10′ X 60′

Spa/Jacuzzi: 5′ X 5′

j. Sandbox: 4′ X 4′

k. Swing set: 10′ X 15′

7. Storage

a. Garbage can: 2′ diameter

b. Two garbage cans: 2′ X 6′

c. Cord of wood: 4′ X 4′ X 8′

8. Parking

a. Single car: 9′ X 18′

Of course, functions that work together or depend on each other should be placed next to or near each other, whereas functions that are incompatible should be separated. Some decisions about the functional relationship between spaces and ele­ments will be obvious while others need to be studied before decisions are made. The designer should try alternative relationships among the spaces (Figure 8—3). Quite fre­quently, new functional relationships are discovered through trial and error. The de­signer should not be afraid to make mistakes in this early phase of the design process. In most design professions, it is common to put ideas on paper that are not perfect or completely worked out during this conceptual phase. This is a better approach than trying to work everything out in one’s head before drawing it.

Available Space The decision as to where to place the various spaces and elements is also dependent on the availability of space. Each space and element must fit its se­lected location. Problems arise when a space is too large for a particular area of the site. This situation may require a reorganization of the functional diagram, a reduc­tion of the size of the space or element, or the elimination of the space or element from the design.

Existing Site Conditions Each space and element should be situated on the site so that it relates properly to the existing site conditions and the site analysis. For exam­ple, an outdoor living and entertaining space ideally should be located in a place that has partial shade, views of attractive site features, and direct access to the inside of the house. The vegetable garden should be placed on well-drained and fertile soil, in mostly full sunlight, and near a water source. And there are different ideal site condi­tions for other spaces. To identify and understand these conditions more clearly, the designer may want to make a list of the ideal site conditions for each space and ele­ment that is to be located on the site.

After identifying the ideal site conditions required for each space or element, the designer can proceed to locate the spaces and elements on the site where these ideal conditions exist. This sounds simple in theory and often is in practice. However, there are times when some or all of the ideal conditions desired for a required space or ele­ment do not exist on the site. For example, there may not be a place on the site with partial shade, attractive views, and direct access for the outdoor living and entertain­ing space. In this situation, the designer should attempt to place the space or element where as many of the ideal conditions as possible are located without jeopardizing the

site or the ability of the space to function properly. Or, the designer may propose to carefully modify the existing site so it will serve as a proper setting for the space or el­ement. For example, shade trees or attractive features could be added to the site if these conditions do not exist for the outdoor living and entertaining space.

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 1:13 pm