Part 2: Designing to the Scale of the Site and the Province


Ecological, cultural, and economic contexts occur

at various scales. In terms of context for our

built environment, we consider national, province,

and site scales.


On the national scale, the Forest Service should

be identified with quality facilities that reflect the

agency’s stewardship mission through integration

with the setting, use of the Forest Service shield,

and consistent application of the family of signs.

Additionally, certain planning and design

principles and elements are common to the built

environment throughout the Nation. These

common principles are described in the first

section of chapter 4.


A Nation as large as the United States contains

great variety within its ecological and cultural

contexts, which has a direct effect on

architectural character. Within this guide, the

province is the main determinant of architectural

character. A province combines common elements

from the ecological and cultural contexts over

large geographical areas. This begins to suggest

sustainable strategies that work within a

province. The remainder of this chapter includes

extensive descriptions of the provinces and their

architectural character.


Finally, the site scale will determine suitable

architectural character types and sustainable

strategies. For each project, tailor design

elements such as colors and building materials to

the specific site and to fit the local context,

including the economic context. Other site

considerations include ecology, vegetation,

climate, and topography; the ROS setting; and

the patterns of use by visitors, concessionaires,

and employees.


In some cases, a special area or development

complex may develop a specific architectural

theme to ensure consistency throughout an area.

The process of adapting individual projects to

their context and developing architectural themes

is described in chapter 5.




Chapter 4 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide