Landscape architecture is a field that relates architecture and greens on common grounds. Landscape Architecture is a set platform to ensure that humans don’t lose the context and connect with nature to develop comfortably and sustainably. Nature, humans, and the built environment reflect on each other in an existing situation and come into play when we aspire for a beautiful amalgamation of built spaces and the already existing landscape features of the site. A building enhancing the natural landscape of a site adds a lot more to the existing situation without competing with the natural elements but by creating a seamless experience of built and unbuilt spaces for humans. “The good building does not hurt the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built” – Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Landscape Architecture_©greg nunes

To design buildings, as erected out of natural landscapes we have Landscape Architects. In the history of landscaping, we have numerous architects to remember, out of which a few pioneers in the field have been listed below.

1. André Le Nôtre (1613-1700)

André Le Nôtre was a French landscape architect, born in a family of gardeners in Paris. With a strong relation with Gardens, Nostre was nourished with the roots of gardening and acquired both practical and theoretical knowledge in his early life. He initiated his journey as a Landscape architect, first by getting appointed for the principal gardener job for the king’s brother Gaston. After that, in 1637, he was shifted to Tuileries as a head gardener taking over his father’s position, which further promoted him to the post of draftsman of plants and terraces in Austria. He created The Garden of Versailles and Gardens of Palais des Tuileries.

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Garden of Versailles _©www.artlark.org
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Gardens of Palais des Tuileries by Andre Le Nostre_©commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plan_du_Jardin_des_Tuileries_par_Israel_Silvestre_1671_-_Gallica_2011_(adjusted).jpg

2. Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903)

Frederick Law Olmsted, born on April 26, 1822, in Hartford, U.S, was an American landscape architect, journalist, social critic, artist, and public administrator. Known as the father of Landscape architecture, Olmsted designed numerous urban and public parks. While all of his projects were different, they embodied the set of 7 S’s design principles: scenery, suitability, style, subordinate, separation, sanitation, service. His notable presence in co-designing the Central Park in New York with Calvert Vaux and a few of his other recorded projects- Niagara Reservation, Niagara Falls, and Mount royal park in Montreal also embrace his working style.

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Central Park, New York designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux _©www.lancasteronline.com
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Mount royal park in Montreal embodies Olmsted’s design principles_©www.researchgate.net/figure/The-park-as-drawn-by-Olmsted-in-1877-Reproduced-from-F-L-Olmsted-Mount-Royal

3. Sir Geoffrey Allan Jellicoe (1900-1996)

Jellicoe was born in Chelsea, London, and flourished in the world as an English architect, landscape architect, garden designer, landscape historian, lecturer, and author. After studying architecture from London, he won a British Prix de Rome for Architecture in 1923, which led him to his first book Italian Gardens of the Renaissance, co-authored by John C. Shepherd. His iconic projects of Houses for munitions workers at Whitchurch in Cardiff in Wales, Caveman Restaurant, Cheddar Gorge, were also called for his iconic presence in the Landscape architecture industry with a distinctive signature design style.

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The garden of Sutton Place in Surrey by Geoffrey Jellicoe_©www.martamalavasi.wordpress.com
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Sir Geoffrey Allan Jellicoe_©merl.reading.ac.uk/collections/jellicoe-geoffrey/

4. Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994) 

Roberto Burle Marx was an artist by mind and believer by heart. He was not a stiff thinker and his thoughts were fluid enough to cross the limitations and be an illustrator, painter, sculptor, jeweler, and a lot more. Marx was born in 1909 in Sao Paulo in Brazil and started his career studying art in Germany, but soon became interested in tropical plants while visiting the Dahlem Botanical Gardens. Even being a self-taught Landscape Architect, he completed numerous projects across diverse communities, from which his first official design was a Garden Terrace at Alfredo Schartz’s residence in Rio de Janeiro.

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Ministry of the Army Garden designed by Roberto Burle Marx_©www.ladprofile.weebly.com
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The modernist parks and pavements of Copacabana designed by Roberto Burle Marx_©www.creativeboom.com

5. Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009)

Born and brought up in Brooklyn, New York, Lawrance graced the world with his presence in July, 1961, after which he first spent many years traveling the world and finally settled in San Francisco and began to study plant sciences at Cornell University with a dream to become a professional basketball player one day. Soon he graduated and moved on to his Master’s at the University of Wisconsin to study horticulture science, it was where Lawrance found his two loves, his wife and Landscape design. It was just the beginning that never ended as Lawrance first joined Thomas Church’s Landscape firm in San Francisco. After working and nourishing his work style, he opened his firm in 1949, called Lawrence Halprin Associates, in San Francisco. His list of projects is uncountable and his every work is iconic including the design of Lovejoy Fountain Park and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

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Manhattan Square Park_©www.tclf.org
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Freeway Park, Seattle_©Aaron Leitz- The Cultural Landscape Foundation [landezine.com/the-landscape-architecture-of-lawrence-halprin/]

5. Thomas Church (1902-1978)

Thomas Dolliver Church was an author and a pioneer to the California Style, who introduced the use of asymmetrical planning, raised planting beds, sitting walls, and timber decks. This American Landscape architect and garden designer was born in Boston; and studied architecture at Havard and Berkeley, and later taught at Ohio University which led him to San Francisco. Here, he started his firm and bridged the gap between school traditional landscape design and modern styles. His best-known project is Donnel Gardens, an icon for the modernist style in Landscape design.

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Thomas D. Church, Donnel Garden_©www.occupyactionscape.wordpress.com
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Thomas D. Church, Donnel Garden_©www.sfgate.com

6. Garrette Eckbo (1910-2000)

Eckbo was born in Cooperstown in New York and went to the University of California in 1932 for his further education. His philosophy for landscaping was inclined towards his rejection of gardens and parks as a provider of visual pleasure. He believed a landscape was a site of the interaction of people and place. He wanted Landscape architecture to function as an exterior spatial design used to create a purposeful interaction between humans and nature. 

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Alcoa Forecast Garden_©www.quod.lib.umich.edu
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Landscape for Living, 1950_©landscapetheory1.wordpress.com/tag/garrett-eckbo/

7. Michel Corajoud (1937-2014)

Corajoud was a French Landscape architect and a great professor who contributed his vision for incorporating surroundings in urban landscape form, such that they are the extensions of existing buildings. He was a people-pleaser by work and believed in centralizing people and their needs as foci for his designs as a fusion between existing and futuristic demands in landscape and the built form to embrace every site’s natural setting. It is characterized for almost all his projects that they are expressive of a distinct idea but mainly for his design of the Avenue in Paris and the Grand Terrace of Saint Germain-en-Laye in western Paris.

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Restoration of public spaces on the left bank of the River Garonne_©www.publicspace.org
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Michel Corajoud_©landezine.com/water-mirror/

8. Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

Gertrude Jekyll was the first women pioneer in this profession. She was an English Landscape Architect, artist, author, and enthusiast gardener. Her works were based on the basic principles of design as they included the use of rhythm and balance throughout. She believed passionately in the understanding of beauty in natural landscapes. Continuously flowing art and craft moment, her designs were based on the use of color balance, use of textures, and fragrance in the plantations.

 

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Barrington Court Garden, Ilminster_©www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk
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Hestercombe Garden_©gardencollage.com/wander/gardens-parks/lessons-from-gertrude-jekyll-then-and-now/

9. Martha Schwartz (1950)

Martha Schwartz is an American landscape architect and educator and the principal founder of Martha Schwartz Partners, a firm based in London, New York City. She received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan and transferred to graduate school of design at Harvard University. Her notable works include Grand Canal square Plaza in Ireland, and Rio Shopping Center in Atlanta, U.S.

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Grand Canal Square Plaza, Ireland_©www.e-architect.com
Minneapolis Courthouse plaza_©www.pinterest.com/yanmingyong/martha-schwartz/

References:

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     TEDx Talks. (2020). A new

vision for how architecture can bridge nature & urban landscapes

. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcTKW8x2GFk. [Accessed: 12/ 02/ 2022].

Author

Rahat Khanna is an architectural student by profession & a serendipitous explorer by a person. She accompanies architecture and writings as a medium to research, evaluate, analyze and contemplate minute details in architectural reign for sustainably intelligent solutions. Her passion for words came from reading books and made her resourceful.

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