Landscaping, in one form or the other, has been a significant part of our civilisations. It is either in the form of agriculture, where crops were grown for daily consumption or in the form of gardening when the beauty of the garden signified the status of the person, landscaping has the power to provide, beautify and render abstract benefits. Landscape architecture officially became part of the Architecture field after the second world war, when many cities and towns were being rebuilt. This article has a list of seventeen landscape architects and one of their well-known works. 

1. Prabhakar Bhagwat

Considered the first qualified landscape architect in India, Prabhakar Bhagwat born in 1930, got inspired by his father’s profession as a superintendent at the Botanical Garden in Pune. He started his firm in 1973 named Studio Landscape India and has over 50 years of experience in implementation, designing and retrofitting different scales of landscapes. One of his interesting projects, Linear Park, sits on a tall residential building. This park acts as a compatible counterpart of the built fabric. 

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Linear Park by Prabhakar Bhagwat_©Landscape India

2. Ravindra Bhan

Ravindra Bhan is considered the pioneer in establishing formal training for Landscape architects at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi. He also headed the department from 1972 to 1976 during which he established his practice, Ravindra Bhan and Associates. Over forty years of practice, Bhan has been actively shaping landscapes in and around cities, countryside, hotels, resorts, campuses, temples and government buildings. One of his prominent projects is Shakti Sthala – a memorial of Indira Gandhi, New Delhi. Enchanted by Kashmir, Bhan made Shakti Sthala a “paradise on earth” employing undulated terrain, rocks and water body.

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Shakti Sthala by Ravindra Bhan_ ©Sarbjit Bahga

3. Kishore D Pradhan

Yet another pioneer in India in the field of landscape architecture is Kishor Pradhan’s practice, established in 1972. Pradhan has successfully worked on landscapes at every scale, from homes to industries to city and regional parks. The endless list of his works has won several awards and recognitions in India and abroad. One of his city-level projects is Central Park in Jamnagar defined by its diversity yet simpleness. 

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Central Park by Kishore Pradhan_©Kishore D Pradhan and Associates

4. Hitesh Modi and Amit Srivastava

Architects Hitesh Modi and Amit Srivastava co-founded their firm in 1994, Modi Srivastava and Associated. Primarily an architectural firm, around 30 years of experience has inspired them to design and implement a few inspiring landscapes in India. Sayaji Hotel in Vadodara is one of their iconic and popular projects that has modest yet classy landscaped areas around the site. 

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Sayaji Hotel by Hitesh Modi and Amit Srivastava_©Modi Srivastava and Associates

5. Kunal Maniar 

Known for eco-friendly landscape, Kunal Maniar brings the need-of-the-hour dynamics to landscape architecture. Maniar made Xeriscape popular in India through his projects. Maniar’s ideology of treating landscape more than nature motivated him and his firm, Kunal Maniar and Associates to thrive for better and more sustainable designs. Maniar’s project, a sustainable garden on a high-rise residential building in Mumbai found a positive place in media and as a case study for upcoming landscape architects. 

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Bird eye’s view of the sustainable garden on the top of high rise building in Mumbai_©Gajendra Mandrekar

6. Michael van Valkenburgh

A New Yorker by birth in 1951, Michael van Valkenburgh has worked on a range of projects across the U.S, Canada, France, and Korea. Valkenburgh established Michael van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. in 1982, gaining recognition worldwide owing to its contribution to landscape architecture. Valkenburgh specializes in seasonal hedge gardens and ice walls. Valkenburgh’s famous project Brooklyn Bridge Park, a waterfront park appreciated by 5 million visitors every year, has set a benchmark for waterfront developments all over the world.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park by Michael van Valkenburgh_©Michael van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.

7. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol 

Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie, and Shannon Nichol founded Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, popularly known as GNN based out of Seattle. Designed with high-use landscapes with a complex urban context, GNN has made a mark across America and Asia. Many of GNN’s projects have won awards and various recognitions. One of the most acclaimed projects is the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago. The park is known for representing a balance between Chicago’s past and present eras. 

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Lurie Garden in Chicago by GNN_©gnnltd.com

8. Paul Thompson

Of Australian origin, with a life-long passion for plants and their environments, Paul Thompson started setting up temporary and permanent gardens at 14 years of age. Thompson is known as a landscape gardener because of his unique way of dealing with projects. Thompson strongly believed in building what he designed. Being around plants and nature keeps him thriving. Thompson would love to sow the seeds in the gardens he designed. And that is why he preferred to be called a landscape gardener.  

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Paul Thompson’s plantings_©Royal Botanical Garden, Melbourne

9. James Corner

James Corner is a well-heard name in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism. Corner has dedicated the past 30 years to promoting high standards of landscape and urban design in cities all over the world. Corner has contributed to important public realm design projects in New York, Doha, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Corner has published several books imparting his knowledge and ideas to the field. Corner founded James Corner Field Operations and has won several awards for his projects. One of his latest projects that have gained attention is the High Line, a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure in Manhattan. This project is admired for its sensitivity and dominance over the flow of movements. 

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High Line in Manhattan_©James Corner Field Operation

10. Martha Schwartz

Martha Schwartz is an American Landscape architect and an educator. Immediately after graduation, she started working on landscape projects and her career took off in 1979, when she designed “the Bagel Garden” in Boston. Schwartz established her practice in 1980, Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP) and since then she has left a mark in more than fifteen countries through her commitment to regenerating nature in cities. 

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Bagel Garden_©Martha Schwartz

11. Laurie Olin

Born in 1938, Laurie Olin is an American landscape architect and is listed among the artists who is awarded the National Endowment award for Art, the highest honour given to artists by the US government. Olin’s firm OLIN has also received several reputed awards. Olin has worked on dynamic scales, from private home gardens to regional parks. One of his iconic projects, 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington DC has won several awards and recognition before completion. The project connects two sides of the river with a park bridge realizing its historical importance. 

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11th Street Bridge Park _© Olin

12. Charles Jencks

Born in 1939, Charles Jencks was better known as a cultural theorist, architectural historian and landscape designer. Jencks passed away in 2019 after flourishing 50 years of practice. Jencks’s projects and work continue but his poetic philosophies and ideas will be missed. Jencks specializes in large-scale landscape projects. Jencks’s important project Wu Chi Olympic Forest Park in Beijing represents a rotating black hole that gives a feeling of gravity in the center. 

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Wu Chi Olympic Park in Beijing _© Charles Jencks

13. Louis Benech

Louis Benech doesn’t have a formal degree in landscape architecture but has designed over 300 private and public gardens and parks merely out of his passion for plants. A lawyer by education, Benech gave up law soon after graduating and started working in nurseries. Benech started designing gardens collaborating with his father, who was an architect. Benech strongly believes that a person should have immense knowledge about plants before designing a garden. 

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Tuileries Gardens _© Louis Benech

14. Sunay Erdem

Earning great popularity in Turkey through his landscape designs, Sunay Erdem has designed public realm projects in over 40 countries. Erdem is well recognized in Turkey for his free-hand sketches which are the only medium he uses to design. Along with his brother Gunay Erdem, Sunay Erdem established his firm Erdem Architect in 1998. One of their most renowned projects is the wall project on the US – Mexico border.

The Wall, US – Mexico Border as envisioned _© Erdem Architects

15. Walter J. Hood

A career catalogued to be known as a Landscape architect, Walter Hood, has worked in diverse settings. Hood’s practice known as Hood Design Studio was established in Oakland, California in 1992. Hood’s popular projects include hi-tech building projects, urban design projects, landscape architecture and community planning. 

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Oakland Museum of California gardens _© Walter Hood

16. Raymond Jungles

Miami-based landscape architecture firm Raymond Jungles Inc. was founded by Raymond Jungles in 1985 determined to produce timeless landscapes. Jungles aims to ingrain his design principle (integrity, relevance and nature’s honour) in his projects. Jungles’ project, 1111 Lincoln Road connects the urban population to nature through a mile-long pedestrian mall. 

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1111 Lincoln Road _© Raymond Jungles

17. Pamela Grace Burton

An American landscape architect, Pamela Grace Burton is known for her interdisciplinary approach to design. Burton aims to bridge the gap between plant materials, art and architecture through her designs. Rincon Place, which is 15,000 square feet of a pedestrian park, is a perfect example of her design ideology.  

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Rincon Place _©Pamela Burton & Company

References

  1. Online sources
  2. Landscape India. Prabhakar Bhagwat. [Website]. Available at: https://www.landscapeindia.net/home  [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  3. Sarbjit Bahga. (2020). Ravindra Bhan: A Pioneer Of Landscape Architecture In India Passed Away. [Online]. Available at: https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/eemzh/ravindra-bhan-a-pioneer-of-landscape-architecture-in-india-passed-away.html [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  4. Kishore Pradhan. About. [Website]. Available at: https://www.kishorepradhan.com/about-us/the-firm [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  5. Modi Srivastava. About. [Website]. Available at: https://www.modisrivastava.com/about [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  6. Rajashree Balaram. (2022). Kunal Maniar designs a sustainable terrace garden in a Mumbai high rise. [Online]. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.in/story/kunal-maniar-designs-a-sustainable-terrace-garden-in-a-mumbai-high-rise/ [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  7. GNN Ltd. Info. [Website]. Available at: https://www.ggnltd.com/info [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  8. James Corner Field Operation. About us. [Website]. Available at: https://www.fieldoperations.net/about-us/profile.html [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  9. Martha Schwartz Partners. Info. [Website]. Available at: https://msp.world [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  10. Olin. Who we are. [Website]. Available at: https://www.theolinstudio.com/philosophy [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  11. Charles Jencks. Biography. [Website]. Available at: https://www.charlesjencks.com/page-11 [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  12. Louis Benech. Biography. [Website]. Available at: https://www.louisbenech.com/biographie [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  13. World Architecture. [Online]. Available at: https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/cggpm/erdem-architects-envisioned-trump-s-mexican-border-wall-as-mega-greencorridor-.html [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  14. Hood Design Studio. About. [Website]. Available at: https://www.hooddesignstudio.com/about  [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  15. Raymond Jungles. About. [Website]. Available at: https://raymondjungles.com/projects/ [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  16. Pamela Burton Company. Profile. [Website]. Available at: http://www.pamelaburtonco.com/about/profile/ [Accessed date: 11/09/2022].
  17. Images/visual mediums
  18. Landscape India. Linear Park. [Photograph].
  19. Sarbjit Bahga. (2020). Ravindra Bhan: A Pioneer Of Landscape Architecture In India Passed Away. [Photograph].
  20. Kishore Pradhan. (1990). Central Park. [Photograph].
  21. Modi Srivastava. Sayaji Hospitality. [Photograph].
  22. Rajashree Balaram. (2022). Kunal Maniar designs a sustainable terrace garden in a Mumbai high rise. [Photograph].
  23. Catherine Tighe. The Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. [Photograph].
  24. Field Operations. High Line, New York. [Photograph].
  25. Martha Schwartz Partners. Bagel Garden, Boston, MA, USA. [Photograph].
  26. Olin. 11th Street Bridge Park. [Photograph].
  27. Charles Jencks. Wu Chi. [Photograph].
  28. Louis Benech. (2000). Tuileries Garden. [Photograph].
  29. WA Contents (2016). Erdem Architects Envisioned Trump’s Mexican Border Wall As ’Mega Green-Corridor’. [Photograph].
  30. Hood Design Studio. Center Street Plan. [Photograph].
  31. Steven Brooke, Stephen Dunn, Robin Hill. 1111 Lincoln Road. [Photograph].
  32. Pamela Burton Company. Rincon Place, San Francisco, Californnia. [Photograph].
Author

Shikha is an urban planner whose work is focused on climate responsive planning and ecosystems in neighbourhood planning. She has a keen interest in comprehending human connections in city spaces through ways of engaging with the community. Her passion for books, travelling, fiction and research writing keeps her motivated.

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