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Landscape Architecture

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE is both the art and profession of landscape design, in which topographical, horticultural, and other elements are arranged to suit human use. While humans have shaped landscapes since antiquity, landscape architecture developed as a profession only in the mid-1800s, and the term was first used in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who were then designing and constructing New York's Central Park.

Olmsted and Vaux may have coined the term, but they did not originate the art. Americans had long intentionally shaped landscapes to suit various needs, particularly in streetscapes, garden designs, and park construction. Colonial Americans borrowed heavily from European landscape design, particularly in creating classical, rectilinear gardens, with straight paths and square beds of formal plantings. Although regional differences developed early, as the southern climate and plantation culture encouraged the development of larger gardens, formal design remained a constant. George Washington's Mount Vernon gardens represent the grand gardens of the late 1700s—the long bowling green provided a striking vista, and the symmetrical garden plots provided both beauty and produce. The University of Virginia and the grounds of Monticello remind us of the importance of landscape design to Thomas Jefferson, who built them with an eye to both attractiveness and efficiency.

Andrew Jackson Downing's A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America (1841) was the first major work on gardening by an American. Downing attempted to describe a growing uniqueness of American landscape design. While the work marked the movement away from the classical style and toward a picturesque aesthetic, Downing's book also revealed the continuing debt American landscape design owed to Europeans. Deeply influenced by Romanticism, itself of European origins, the picturesque style emphasized more natural landscapes, with variety, irregularity, and informality. The picturesque style played to America's growing appreciation of its distinctive wilderness. In essence, picturesque gardens could capture a bit of the wildness and preserve it in accessible spaces. Since gaining popularity in the 1850s, the picturesque style has continued to dominate landscape design, with formal gardens playing a smaller role in American landscape architecture.

The profession of landscape architecture developed with the growing urban demand for parks after 1850. After Olmsted and Vaux set the standard with their designs for Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park, most American cities sought their own landscaped parks. Olmsted became the premiere landscape architect and, as that new term implied, he intended to design the landscape as fully as architects design buildings. Natural elements, such as trees, shrubs, and water, would be among his tools, but his creations would be primarily cultural. Mixing open spaces, formal walks, rustic architecture, and naturalistic woodlands, these picturesque landscapes offered variety to increasingly regularized lives.

Even as landscaped parks provided relief from monotonous city life, some visionaries sought to provide more pervasive relief by designing picturesque neighborhoods and communities. In the mid-1850s Alexander Jackson Davis, a protégé of Downing, designed the first picturesque suburb, Llewellyn Park in New Jersey. With its curvilinear streets and planned open "ramble," Llewellyn Park became a model for future suburban developments, including Olmsted's Chicago suburban design, Riverside, built in the following decade. In addition to the movement to create new, planned, landscaped communities, late in the 1800s, the City Beautiful Movement encouraged a greater level of planning throughout cities. While not strictly concerned with landscape design, the City Beautiful Movement did emphasize urban beauty as created by streetscapes, vistas, and architectural design. Inspired in part by the great success of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, reformers demanded more beauty in their cities, particularly in the form of Beaux Arts architecture, open civic plazas, and striking street vistas. These ideals made their way into the 1902 plan for Washington, D.C., with its long, formal mall, neoclassical architecture, and formally placed monuments. Many other cities initiated redevelopment on a smaller scale, including Denver's civic center, created by 1921. By that date most large American cities had transformed some significant public space to fit the City Beautiful vision.

The World's Columbian Exposition and the City Beautiful Movement marked the return of formal landscape design, as suited the renewed interest in neoclassical architecture. Private development also witnessed a turn toward classical design, particularly in the gardens of America's new castles, built for the growing number of superrich robber barons. These massive estates often included a range of landscape designs, but by the early 1900s the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, and other refuges for the extremely wealthy, were surrounded by well-trimmed hedges, straight paths, and formal fountains.

Despite the return of classical design, the picturesque continued to dominate city planning, particularly as cities spread out along railroad lines and increasingly important roadways. The curvilinear roads, ample tree plantings, and open spaces of the early planned suburbs continued into the twentieth century. John Nolen's 1923 Mariemont, Ohio, design, for example, relied on European ideas of the garden city, as is evident in the Tudor architecture of the town center, the large central commons, and abundant open and wooded spaces. Mariemont residents, just fifteen minutes from downtown Cincinnati, could think themselves living in the English countryside. The picturesque suburban ideal persisted, influencing the United States Resettlement Administration's design of several "greenbelt" cities in the 1930s, including Greenbelt, Maryland, in 1936. The lush landscapes of these communities, and other less planned suburbs around the nation, contrasted markedly with dense urban cores. They also hid the numerous and necessary connections between suburban and urban landscapes.

After World War II, American landscape architecture revealed a greater diversity of influences, including Asian gardens and massive modern art. Particularly on corporate campuses, where the picturesque could be inappropriate or impossible, modern landscape designs turned again to straight lines, but often at a tilt or on multiple levels, and natural components often found themselves extremely confined, as waterfalls clung to rectangular walls and trees sat upon pavement in large pots. Modern landscape designs created deceptively complex visual spaces, more accepting of artificiality than the picturesque designs of previous decades.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Major, Judith. To Live in the New World: A. J. Downing and American Landscape Gardening. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997.

Newton, Norman T. Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Rybczynski, Witold. A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Scribners, 1999.

DavidStradling

See alsoCentral Park ; City Planning ; Suburbanization .

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"Landscape Architecture." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Landscape Architecture." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/landscape-architecture

landscape architecture

landscape architecture. The design of gardens, parks, 1campuses, cemeteries, etc., to provide places that can be enjoyed, both to walk within and to view from a distance. Gardens for perambulation, spiritual succour, pleasure, and recreation have been known since ancient times, and some gardens had re-ligious significance. Often water, in channels, rivulets, or fountains helped to enhance gardens. Certain gardens, e.g. those of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli (1565–72—by Ligorio), were designed to link the present to the past, and contained complex programmes to trigger historical, philosophical, and religious musings. Rigid geometrical planning of gardens was known in Islamic architecture, but in France, the formal Baroque garden, with features such as parterres, was created on a grand scale by designers such as Le Nôtre. There was a reaction against such formality, notably in England, where the landscape garden, laid out in a more ‘natural’ manner to form compositions in the Picturesque fashion, often with fabriques: became influential. Loudon referred to landscape architecture in relation to Repton's creations, and Olmsted and Vaux employed the term ‘landscape architect’ when designing Central Park, NYC. Professional bodies for, and training of, land-scape-architects were pioneered in the USA at the end of C19 and beginning of C20. Many C20 landscape-architects became concerned with ecological and conservation problems, notably in the design of industrial sites, motorways, etc. (e.g. Colvin and Jellicoe).

Bibliography

Bull (2002);
Cleveland (2002);
G. Cooper & and G. Taylor (2000);
Holden (1996, 2003);
Jellicoe (1988);
Jellicoe & and Jellicoe (1995);
Jellicoe et al. (1996);
Lazzaro (1990);
Lyall (1991);
Pennypacker et al. (1990);
Simonds (2000);
Steenbergen et al. (1996);
Thacker (1979);
W& S (1994);
Weilacher (1996);
Z& Z (1995)

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"landscape architecture." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"landscape architecture." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/landscape-architecture

Landscape Architect

Landscape Architect


According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, a landscape architect plans and designs the use, allocation, and arrangement of land and water resources through the creative application of biological, physical, mathematical, and social processes. While architects design buildings and structures, landscape architects are "architects of the land," designing parks, housing developments, zoos, waterfronts, and so on, as well as stormwater drainage systems, wetlands, and species habitats. Some of the specializations they pursue include regional landscape planning, urban planning, ecological planning and design, and historic preservation and reclamation. Forty-six states require landscape architects to be licensed by completing a bachelor's degree in the field and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

Among other skills, landscape architects must be sound mathematicians and be able to integrate mathematical models and planning methods into a technical design. To do this, it is necessary to take accurate measurements and compute areas, volumes, and the quantity of materials needed for each component of the job, all while staying within a budget. It is important for landscape architects to be competent with CAD (computer-aided design) software to help plan projects. Additionally, they need to understand the underlying mathematics principles in construction processes and support systems, as well as in methods of construction. For example, problems of drainage would require the landscape architect to manipulate contours and spot elevations, to calculate slopes, grades, and volumes of material, and to understand hydraulics.

see also Architect.

Michael J. O'Neal

Bibliography

Dines, Nicholas T. Landscape Architect's Portable Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2001.

lnternet Resources

American Society of Landscape Architects. <http://www.asla.org>.

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Landscape Architect

Landscape Architect

A landscape architect is an environmental design professional who applies the art and science of land planning and design on many scales, ranging from entire regions to cities, towns, neighborhoods, and residences. The profession is quite diverse, and students may attend more than sixty undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States and Canada, many of which offer comprehensive and/or individualized training in the following areas:

  • Landscape Design: Outdoor space designing for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and public spaces
  • Site Planning: Designing and arranging built and natural elements on the land
  • Urban/Town Planning: Designing and planning layout and organization of urban areas, including urban design, and the development of public spaces such as plazas and streetscapes
  • Regional Landscape Planning: Merging landscape architecture with environmental planning, including land and water resource management and environmental impact analysis
  • Park and Recreational Planning: Creating or redesigning parks and recreational areas in cities, suburban and rural areas, and larger natural areas as part of national park, forest, and wildlife refuge systems
  • Land Development Planning: Working with real estate development projects, balancing the capability of the land to accommodate quality environments
  • Ecological Planning and Design: Studying the interaction between people and the natural environment, focusing on flexibility for development, including highway design and planning
  • Historic Preservation and Reclamation: Preserving, conserving, or restoring existing sites for ongoing and new use
  • Social and Behavioral Aspects of Landscape Design: Designing for the special needs of the elderly or physically challenged

The study of plant sciences is often an integral part of the above specialties. Increased focus on ecological planning and natural systems design includes the study of native plant materials and ecosystems . The development of public and private gardens and recreation destinations places specific focus on ornamental horticulture using cultivated plant materials.

Opportunities abound for landscape architects working for residential and commercial real estate developers, federal and state agencies, city planning commissions, and individual property owners. Salaries vary widely depending on experience and whether one works for a private or public organization, but it equals or exceeds those of architects and civil engineers.

Future opportunities for landscape architects are extremely promising. The increasing complexity of projects requires interdisciplinary communication and commitment to improving the quality of life through the best design and management of places for people and other flora and fauna.

see also Arborist; Horticulturist; Ornamental Plants.

Thomas Wirth

Bibliography

American Association of Landscape Architects. [Online] Available at http://www.asla.org.

Simonds, John O. Landscape Architecture, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

Wirth, Thomas. The Victory Garden Landscape Guide. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1984.

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landscape architecture

landscape architecture A branch of architectural studies which is particularly concerned with design in relation to the scenic environment, e.g. the use of appropriate tree species to blend with buildings or landscape morphology, the harmonious design of way-marking, shelters, etc. The subject also embraces the engineered modification of landscapes to provide appropriate settings or screening for buildings. The term is often used to include the design of gardens (i.e. synonymously with landscape gardening).

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"landscape architecture." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/landscape-architecture

landscape architecture

landscape architecture A branch of architectural studies that is particularly concerned with design in relation to the scenic environment, e.g. the use of appropriate tree species to blend with buildings or landscape morphology, the harmonious design of way-marking, shelters, etc. The term is often used to include the design of gardens, i.e. synonymously with landscape gardening.

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landscape evaluation

landscape evaluation The assessment of landscape as a scenic resource. It is controversial, since such concepts as ‘scenic beauty’ are neither generally agreed nor readily quantifiable. Nevertheless, evaluations are vital for the conservation of high-quality and/or traditional landscapes, especially in densely populated, developed regions.

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landscape evaluation

landscape evaluation The assessment of landscape as a scenic resource. It is controversial, since such concepts as ‘scenic beauty’ are neither generally agreed nor readily quantifiable. Nevertheless evaluations are vital for the conservation of high-quality and/or traditional landscapes, especially in densely populated, developed regions.

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