Landscape architecture is concerned with the arrangement of land, water, plant form, and structures for their best use as well as greater enjoyment. It deals with land planning problems such as building sites, gardens, outdoor living areas, playground as well as, parks.
The field of landscape architecture is known by many different names like landscape designing, landscape planning, landscape engineering, etc. Landscape designing provides a beautiful setting for the building. Also, it provides comfort to the occupants by providing shade, buffers as well as natural touch.
What is the work of the Landscape Architect?
The Landscape Architect work on a canvas which is slightly different from the art form. The landscape architect has to consider several aspects while designing the space like the location of the site, the environment, the need of the user, functional as well as ecologically healthy design.
What are the Elements of Landscape Design?
The element of composition are the visual qualities that people see and respond to when viewing the space. The visual qualities can evoke many emotions as well as feelings which can be the factor for people to enjoy and use the space.
Most common element in a composition are
Line in the landscape creates an edge between two materials as well as outlines. Also, landscape designers use lines to create spaces. There can be straight lines or curve lines. Straight lines are used for geometric forms creation, or symmetrical design whereas curve lines create informal, natural, relaxed as well as, asymmetrical designs.
The line creates forms. Forms are the 3D mass of shapes. It’s the visually dominant element of the landscape. Forms are mainly of two types. Like geometric forms as well as, naturalistic forms.
Texture refers to how coarse or fine the surface of landscape as well as hardscape looks. Coarse texture is more dominant than the fine texture. Also, the coarse-textured plants attract the eye and tend to hold it. Whereas, the fine texture gives the feeling of more openness.
Color is the most important element to be considered in designing the landscape. The colors of the material, plants as well as hardscape adds interest and variety to the landscape. Basic color schemes are monochromatic, analogous, and complementary.
- Monochromatic Scheme
A monochromatic landscape means use of only one color other than green. One color can have different light and dark variations.
- Analogous Scheme
It is the type of landscape in which uses any three colors. These colors are adjacent to the color wheel. For example, blue, blue-violet and violet.
- Complementary Scheme
Complementary colors are those colors that are opposite to each other in the color wheel. They tend to have high contrast between them. For example, blue and orange, violet and yellow.
Principles of Design
Design principles guide designers in assembling the elements for a visually pleasing as well as appeling landscape. For the the harmonious composition of the landscape, one needs to follow the principles of
The design is in proper proportion and scale when a pleasing relationship exist between each component and a design as the whole. Plants, structures as well as other ornaments should be considered relative to human scale.
Proportion in plants, proportion in hardscape and proportion in voids is very important. When all three of them are in proportion, the composition feels balance as well as harmonious.
Order generally refers to the organization of the design and balance helps to achieve it. Also, balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or perspective.
When the same objects are placed on either side of an axis, we say it’s an example of symmetrical order. In other words, a mirror image. This type of balance is used in formal spaces and is one of the oldest organizational concepts of landscape design. Mughal Gardens are an example of symmetrical order.
When equal visual weight of nonequivalent forms, color as well as texture on either side of an axis, we say it’s an example of asymmertical order. Its the common type of landscape used in informal spaces. This type of landscape is visually balanced. The balance is achieved by the color, texture, the density of the plants.
Perspective Order is concerned with the balance of the foreground, the midground as well as the background. When looking at the composition object in the front usually have greater visual weight because they are closer to the viewer. Therefore the use of the larger objects, brighter colors as well as course texture in the background can balance the composition.
Repeated use of elements, features to create patterns or a sequence in the landscape is known as Repetition. The use of repetition is very dicey. Too much repetition can be monotonous whereas too little repetition can create confusion.
The concept of fitting everything together is Unity. The simplest way to achieve unity in design is to use a design theme or to adapt the design style.
Some Famous Styles of Landscape Architecture
There are many famous styles in Landscape Architecture like, Chinese, Persians, Mughal, Japanese, French etc. These style have their signature features, characteristic and elements. Let’s study these styles.
Chinese Style of Landscape Architecture
The Chinese Garden is the Chinese landscapes style which has evolved over 3000 years. The first garden was built in Yellow River Valley during the Shang Dynasty 1600-1046 B.C.
Chinese Gardens are laid out in a way that one cannot see the whole garden in once. Every scene is well planned and framed.
Important Features of Chinese Garden
Every Chinese garden contains architecture like a building or a pavilion, decorative rocks, water elements like ponds, trees, and flowering plants. Most of the Chinese garden has large walls surrounding them and also has winding paths.
Japanese gardens are inspired from Chinese gardens.
Example of Chinese Garden
The Lingering Garden is a famous example of the Chinese garden. This Garden is in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. This garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, the garden is in the area of 5.76 acres.
Persian Style of Landscape Architecture
Persian style gardens refer to their unique structures and design which represents the connection between human and nature. Also, the Persian Garden style follows the style of the Egyptian garden style. These gardens originate from 4000 BCE.
Persian gardens are the haven on the earth. Since Persian gardens are from hot land, climate plays a very important role in designing. The elements used in the Persian gardens are according to the hot climate. For example high wall structures, shady trees, water streams, etc.
Important elements of the Persian gardens are Water stream, fountains, pavilions with beautiful arches, shady trees as well as high walls. Persian gardens are symmetric.
The Persian gardens are of five types Hayat, Median, Char Bagh, Park as well as Bagh
It is the old classical Persian garden layout that highly emphasizes aesthetics. These gardens are mainly pool-centered as well as structure-centered.
It’s a public, formal garden which emphasizes more on biotic rather than on structures.
- Char Bagh
Char Bagh is formal and private. The basic structure consists of four-quadrant separated by a water stream. Mughal gardens are a type of Char Bagh gardens. Also, the concept came to India with Babur.
Persian park is nothing different than casual public parks. They provide pathways as well as sitting and have limited structures.
Bagh is like Persian parks only but private. Also, Bagh has lawns, Trees, and ground plants. It gives less emphasis to pathways as well as water elements.
Example of Persian Garden
Bagh-e-fin or Fin garden is located in Kashan, Iran. It was built in 1571-1629 by Abbas I of Persia. Also, the garden covers an area of 2.3 hectares. The garden consists of many structures. For example, Shahneshin Room, Preyer room, Safavid Pavilion, Library, entrance hall, etc
Book- Fundamental of Landscape Architecture
Amruta is from Nagpur, She is an architect, a vastu consultant, a interior designer and a blogger. She loves buildings, and loves to observe them, and to study them. In short architecture attracts her.