The idea with this fortress was to create a large pit, and then build the whole fortress around it. One reason for the design was easier defense - the main, and only, staircase for the fortress is located in the middle of the pit, and is unreachable if the bridges are retracted. The design also lets light in to lower levels, and while DF considers the balconies around the pit to be underground, the bottom of the pit is considered to be outside.
Since I am lazy, parts of the fortress are rather haphazardly build, and there's stone everywhere. I generally tried to expand the fortess downward, around the central core, instead of spreading it out horizontally. As a result, most rooms are clustered around the pit balconies. One exception is the habitation level, which stretches further out in order to accommodate more dwarves.
The highest structure in the fortress compound, the tower is meant to be a high vantage point from which crossbow-equipped dwarves can shoot at pesky goblins, and other such undesirables. Unfortunately, the top floor wasn't exported... - CSFF
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