General news and announcements

apple for the teacher?
Another Level 3 exam question commentary
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 8 June 2020, 12:39 PM

This one is from Garden Planning , Unit 3111 June ‘19

Q4 Describe FIVE ways in which the architecture of a house can influence design choices in the garden.          [10 marks]

This question relates to the following part of the syllabus:

Outcome 2. Understand how to conduct a site appraisal.

2.3 Explain the influence of features and characteristics on choice of design. 

Access from road, access around site. 

Architecture of house and style of existing hard landscaping, (e.g. form, materials, colours, textures). 

Trees and vegetation: Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), Conservation area, roots. 

Service benefits (water and electricity supply) and limitations (e.g. manhole covers, telegraph pole).

 Influence of site characteristics from 2.1 on plant choice and positioning of proposed features (e.g. seating areas, summer houses, steps, terracing, water features, statues, glass houses, vegetable and fruit plots, utility areas). 

Explain how the design process may be used to enhance the attributes and offset the limitations imposed by the site.

Most questions are split into different parts, but this is an example of a longer one. You have to be particularly clear that you are answering along the right tracks with 10 marks for one question. It is however, asking for five ways, so that does split it up for you.

As it asks you to ‘describe’ a good amount of detail is required – each way you suggest needs to worth 2 marks.

The examiners’ comments suggest the following ways:

·        The period style of the house being echoed in the garden.

·        A key vantage point from the house, linked to a key focal point within the garden.

·        Materials used in construction of the house being duplicated in the garden.

·        Living room within the house extended into an outdoor living space.

·        Grid derived from spacing of windows in house extended over garden to define layout.

They then continue to explain that more detail than the initial idea was needed for full marks. The suggestions for this include:

For the period style, an example would be ‘a simplistic functional design associated with a modernist building’.

For linking of vantage point, ‘a prominent specimen tree in the garden being aligned with the main window in a living room’.

It was pointed out that some answers only focussed on the two points of matching materials and matching design styles. These weren’t given full marks when the ideas were repeated. Although this question doesn’t ask you for ‘distinct’ ways, always make sure your answers are distinct or different whenever possible. However, if you are stuck and can’t think of anything particularly distinct, it is always worth putting down an appropriate idea!