The site plan is dead: Long live the site plan Book Chapter

Rovira, R. (2015). The site plan is dead: Long live the site plan . 98-105. 10.4324/9781315731858-17

cited authors

  • Rovira, R



  • As inadequate as a traditional site plan may be in conveying dynamic processes, it nevertheless fulfills a necessary role in filtering the open-ended aspects of site and in differentiating between the signal and the noise of a landscape and its idea. Robert Smithson’s characterizations of Olmsted’s parks as existing “before they are finished” and parks in general as “ongoing relationships existing in a physical region”1 resonate with the Heisenberg-like uncertainty of a site plan that can never give us the fidelity of representation, the more that it tries to depict ever-changing circumstances. Like the idea of a photograph that to Smithson “indicates a break in continuity that serves to reinforce a sense of transformation, rather than any isolated formation, " 2 a site plan gives us a momentary aspirational view of a site’s potential in that endless stream of transformation that exists before it is finished. The rendered site plan is here to stay as long as we have ideas to impose upon our surrounding environment, even if we have yet to tap its full potential.

publication date

  • February 27, 2015

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 98

end page

  • 105