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Research Analyses of Site Contexts and Political Patronage of Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
Directions:
Three pages total:
Page 1: Your written analyses of the site contexts and political patronage. Remember to
cite your sources in your writing whenever you use them, whether you quote
them or not.
Pages 2: Images. Research and include relevant empire maps, portraits of
leaders/patrons, depictions of events, site maps, illustrations of the building in its
context, figure-ground diagrams, etc.
Page 3: Works Cited. A list of the sources used for this assignment in MLA style. This
means the sources accessed for both your writing and images. Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to explore site relationships and the political, social, and
cultural context of the building chosen for the Research Project.
How does your building reflect the politics and culture of its time and place?
Historical Context: During which historical period was the building/site built?
What political or social events, movements, or conditions characterized this period?
How did the historical context shape architecture at the time?
Cultural Ideas: What were the cultural ideas that were circulating at the time?
How did cultural or philosophical ideas affect the design?
Did the design reflect a particular national or local cultural condition?
Political Power: What individuals or institutions possessed power in the society?
(for example, the church, lords, kings, merchant families, elected leaders, etc.).
How did the requirements of powerful individuals or institutions shape the design?
How did the building represent political figures or events? (visual depictions of leaders.)
Patronage: Who paid for the building, and who used the building?
How did the social position of the patron shape the site?
How did the building represent the identity of patron? (class, nation, religion, etc.)
How does the building relate to its site?
Location: Is your site in a city, a small village settlement, or isolated in a rural area?
Is the building at the center of the settlement, near an entrance, or on the edge?
Is it on a main axis or pathway? Is it distinguished by walls, plazas, etc.?
Hierarchy: Does your building appear more monumental than others?
Is it distinguished by placement, scale (height or width), shape, material, details?
How does the building relate to its surrounding? Does its size, material, detail blend in?
Does it have a grand façade marking the entrance? Is it hidden away?
Orientation: Is the building oriented horizontally or laterally along streets or landscape?
How does it align with cardinal directions, landscape features, other monuments?
Are the entrances aligned with streets, or indirect in their access?
Environment: Does the building utilize sun paths, water, or other natural features?
How does the building rest in the topography? Is it placed on a hill, or down in a valley?
Is the architecture constructed or revealed (additive or subtractive)?
How does the building fit into the landscape? Do the materials blend in or contrast?

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