Meaning of Landscape Architecture

by Richard Wood

in Landscape Design

Old bridge at central park with blue sky and tall buildings in foreground

 

“Landscape”, a large word: Webster’s Dictionary defines it as; A view or vista of scenery on land, or a painting or photograph, hopefully both combined. Combined in the sense that we architects develop the imprint on the land and then take a photograph of the finished product.

[pullquote]The practice of landscape architecture on one hand is more related to the intention of man to imprint his will over nature in hopefully aesthetically pleasing forms.[/pullquote]The practice of landscape architecture on one hand is more related to the intention of man to imprint his will over nature in hopefully aesthetically pleasing forms. On the other hand, maybe man chooses to depict pleasing elements from nature and impose those elements into a natural looking design such as Central Park (pictured above) or Golden Gate Park or to bring into someone’s property a natural looking arrangement of plant and other materials.

Modern landscape themes seem to be endless and introduce modern materials, forms, colors, in patterns and shapes that compliment the clients need to possibly impose his will over the project or maybe the design is to compliment the architecture, or maybe there is a need to playful or natural or formal or artsy or spiritual. What ever the outcome, we as designers must be mindful of how we are shaping the environment.

As an architect, I must resist the temptation to be conventional and design a conforming and acceptable solution however being creative requires more thought with greater attention to detail. Landscape by definition most likely includes a fair amount of plant materials. These friendly elements are constantly in a state of change and the end result is likewise changing with a willingness for designers to predict such change. A deciduous landscape may be less than stellar during the winter unless it is kissed with frost or snow.

Portrait of landscape architect Ken Wood“I would like to make note of the passing of my cousin Ken Wood, a highly awarded Landscape Architect who accomplished large urban parks and developments such as the Casa Pacifica (western Whitehouse); Santa Ana College; Main Beach Park, Laguna Beach’ and Dana Point Harbor. He fully in braced all the elements of good design and landscape architecture in order to fulfill the varied client requirement with exceptional results.”

 

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