A Research Checklist for a
Make sure you ask yourself the right questions: (And do not answer them with a quick yes or no, but find fully documented and reasoned answers).
This checklist is not arranged in the order you will want to order your monograph or essay, nor is it complete, and it is too large for any single monograph, but it will start you off asking yourself the right kind of questions.
What is special about the building? Why are you using it as an example? Why is it important? Architecturally, historically, culturally, economically etc.
Place: Region & Site
Where is the building? Why is it there? What is the topography of the site like? How did that affect the building? What are the reasons for the building to have been needed there?
How does the building relate to its place? What about climate, soil, natural features affecting the site, water, etc.?
What is its orientation? How is the building positioned with regard to its immediate surroundings? How does its placing relate to the purpose for which the building was made? Is it part of a larger complex? If so: How does it relate to the larger complex. What position does it have within that complex?
Where do the materials come from which went into making the building?
What does the building look like? (See the section on description) What is the building's present condition? How was the building made? What was it intended to look like?
What was the building for? How is that purpose expressed in its siting, façade, form, plan and structure? How do the individual parts of the building relate to the whole?
How did the building as a whole, perform in terms of structure, climate, function, image? What were its weaknesses and what its strengths with regard to the purpose for which it was built?
Who designed the building and when? What does that say about the building? When was it built? Who built it?
Who Commissioned it? Who Paid for it? What does that say about the building? How much did the building cost? Who used it? For whom was it intended?
When and how or how many times was the building destroyed, rebuilt, restored, added to etc.? Did it ever change function? How did that affect the building?
Has the building been discussed by others? When and by whom? In what publication? In what context? For what reason? If not, why not? How do the above facts reflect on the building?