What is Master planning?
The Master plan presents the overview, the vision for the whole site/area design, which, by establishing functional relationships between all of the parts of the site/area, then guides the detail design and interaction of the elements which make up the whole.
In terms of the design process, Site assessment is followed by sketch designs, which are fluid, changeable options, produced to explore designs and to aid discussion. These are then refined into Master plans to provide the overview statement for the design.
Why create a Master plan?
Master plans provide an early statement of design intention. They help to communicate the benefits of the proposal to planners, senior managers or the public.
If your development project includes buildings, a Master plan will optimise placement, aspect and circulation of vehicles and pedestrians. This process makes the most of your site development and benefits from an overview of the site issues - a particular skill of landscape architects.
We often recommend the creation of a master plan to clients, to provide the vision and overview that any project needs to be successful.
For example, SuDS cannot be bolted on as an afterthought to a fixed building layout - the topography and functions of the site must be planned from the outset to maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs. As landscape architects, this is precisely the holistic view we bring to the site design process.