Site Model

Here is a summary of what we discussed for the site model, as I understand it.


Site model will be 1/32″=1′-0″, and measure approximately 36″(N-S) x 48″ (E-W). The western edge of the model will cut through the centerline of Minnesota St; the southern edge will cut through the centerline of 20th St; the northern edge will cut mid-block between 18th and Mariposa; the eastern edge will include a chunk of the Bay. True north is rotated a few degrees from the street grid; the model extents can be adjusted to “correct” for this so you aren’t cutting through streets and buildings at a weird angle, but the direction of true north should be indicated somewhere on the model (laser etched into the water?).



We’re going for a monochromatic look. The preference was white-on-white: CNC milled and painted Ultralite for the ground, and laser cut Bristol or similar board for buildings. Buildings may need a light coat of paint, depending on how visible burn marks are. Laser cut acrylic was discussed for the water of the bay.


Coordinating a job with 18 people is difficult, and if 1-2 people don’t pull their weight or communicate clearly, it can really bring everyone down. Please don’t do that. We did our best to anticipate jobs and divide responsibilities evenly, but if you feel like you slipped through the cracks, invent a new job for yourself! Ask people what they need help with.

  • Ground (Grant, John): Get topographical data and basic block outlines. is a good source for this. Model ground, water, and sidewalks; You will probably need to exaggerate the height of sidewalks to make them legible. Model a clean socket for each block, so the “owner” of that block can easily plug in. You’ll need to provide the depth of that socket to the owner of that block. Don’t worry about modeling alleys, yards, and other “ground” within the blocks–just provide a clean socket for the Building team to work within. This includes Crane Cove Park–I would let that team model the slipway and other ground elements there out of Bristol. For the water, I recommend leaving the floor of the Bay as a flat ledge that a layer of acrylic can rest on, rather than giving it a slope–this will be easier to fabricate and will look cleaner. Please make sure the socket for our site block measures precisely 200′ east to west, and check on the street slope up against our site–we want something that will be easy to work with in the future.
  • Buildings (Erin, Erin, Billy, Kevin, Daniel, Fern, Ishita, Troy): Digitally model the massing of all buildings on your block. Coordinate with the ground team on the depth of your ground socket, so you can extend the bottom of the buildings down. You will also need to model the “ground” within your block (alleys, yards, etc.) out of lasercut board. You do NOT need to represent detailed facade information (such as windows) or minor massing details such as elevator penthouses, but DO represent gabled roofs vs. flat roofs, and build a parapet for flat roofs. You will be responsible for laying 0ut your own cut sheet for the laser cutter, and assembling your block.
  • Crane Cove Park area (Elena, Linnea, Kat, Mackenzie): Responsibilities are similar to the Buildings group above, but you will need to interpret the schematic design for Crane Cove Park to figure out both the ground and the buildings. I’m assuming you’ll build both ground (including the slipway) and buildings out of lasercut board–the Ground team should just give you a socket bounded by Illinois St and 19th St (which will now extend through the park). Mackenzie is in charge of digitally and physically modeling the cranes (which are identical). These should probably be 3D printed in the dFab Lab.
  • Materials and Fabrication (Bryan and Logan): Get materials (Ultralite, acrylic, board for buildings, sandpaper, glue, etc.). Track your expenses so you can be reimbursed by the studio. Make sure we have plenty of material–it will be cheap when split 18 ways. Laminate the Ultralite for milling. You are not expected to make cut files or toolpaths for either the ground or the buildings, but you will likely be the ones manning the CNC mill and laser cutter.
  • Site Drawings (Celia and Monica): Prepare drawings in Rhino (full scale) and Illustrator (1/32″ site plan, 1/16″ site section) that the studio can adapt for their own project drawings in the future. Site plan should extend past adjacent buildings, and include a decent chunk of Crane Cove Park. Include topo lines at 1′ intervals–remember that topo lines “jog” at sidewalks. Include a north arrow, street names, poche’ buildings, etc.–make the Illustrator drawing graphically pleasing. The site sections (one north-south, one east-west) should extend across the street to show adjacent buildings, and give them a little bit of detail (articulate parapets, overhangs, subtly notch in window openings, etc.). Sections should differentiate between road and sidewalk. Section looking north should cut through a Muni car on 3rd St, and a crane. Section looking east should lightly show a crane in elevation. Section looking east should also include summer and winter sun angles.

The map below shows who is responsible for what block of buildings. This map was automatically generated by software and is NOT accurate–you should go off Google Earth or other more reliable maps. If you are unsure whether a particular building is your responsibility, talk to your “neighbor”.


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