16 Ways to Determine the Directionality of a Building
April 16, 2009
Many student shave trouble working out the directionality (Sitting and Facing) of a building, often it is not because of their lack of abilities but it is caused by the house location and internal layout not responding appropriately to the context of the site. I have devised a checklist of 16 points for consideration to help them in the process.
From outside looking in – consider how the environment is affecting the building:
1) Consider the direction of the coming dragon, the coming side is the sitting and the going side is the facing.
2) Consider the topography of the land, the higher side is the sitting and the lower side is the facing.
3) Consider the location of the nearest watercourses; closer to the waterside is the facing and further away is the sitting.
4) Consider the nearest roadwork, closer to the road is the facing, further away is the sitting.
5) Consider the nearest open space (mingtang) and view, the more open and the better view is the facing, less open and lack of a view is the sitting.
6) Consider vehicular and pedestrian movements, the more active side is the facing and the more passive side is the sitting.
7) Consider neighbouring buildings, the taller and closer side is the sitting and the lower and further away is the facing.
8) Consider tress and shrubs, the side with higher and denser planting is the sitting and the side with shorter and sparser planting is the facing.
From inside looking out – consider how the building is responding to the environment:
9) Consider the different heights that made up a building, the taller side is the sitting and the shorter side is the facing.
10) Consider the proportion and shape of a building, the longer side is the facing and the shorter side is the sitting.
11) Consider the different levels within a building, the higher level is the sitting and the lower level side is the facing.
12) Consider sunlight and shade, the more sunny side is the facing, shadier side is the sitting.
13) Consider the internal spatial arrangement, the more active side (e.g. Living area) is the facing and the more passive side (e.g. sleeping areas) is the sitting.
14) Consider windows and openings, the side with more is the facing, the side with less is the sitting.
15) Consider the connection from inside to outside, the side with more connection is the facing and the side with less connection is the sitting.
16) Consider the location of the front door, where it is located is the facing and the opposite is the sitting.
By considering these 16 ways of contrasting the yin and the yang, we can better determine the directionality of a building, the general guideline is the more active and less substantial is the facing and the less active and more substantial is the sitting.