It’s coming up to the 10 year anniversary of our video ‘I want to be a Landscape Architect‘, created for the Landscape Institute.
It’s been a great time for the profession with the increased awareness of outdoor space in our everyday lives, and the importance of sustainable design which delivers on climate change targets. Existing schemes such as the High Line in New York City are becoming increasingly popular and new projects continue to revolutionise the way public space can be viewed and experienced. With that in mid, we’ve put a quick recap together of the importance of landscape architects and the profession.
Landscape architecture is a unique field that merges architecture, design and the environment in order to create sustainable spaces which improve people’s lives. The profession combines several essential elements including: art, horticulture, architecture, engineering, sociology, and the environment. Many famous projects exemplify this, such as Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, Central Park in New York, and the magnificent vertical gardens in Spain and Mexico.
The Importance of Landscape Architects
Landscape architecture has left a significant impact on our daily lives. Every time we leave a building we’re stepping into a designed space. Even some of the most famous ‘natural’ landscapes have been heavily re-organised and designed since inception. The first examples of the use of ‘landscape architecture’ as a profession in the UK can be traced back to the 1800s with the ‘English Garden Movement.’ This began with a move away from the more formal renaissance arrangements of gardens spaces towards an impression of a natural landscape setting. Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is an excellent of this. The first works in this field created by three famous architects; Humphry Repton, Capability Brown, and Joseph Paxton.
Most new Landscape architecture integrates contemporary technology and conventional design with a contemporary twist. Landscape architecture therefore effectively combines the knowledge and expertise of architecture, creativity, and construction, moulding them together to provide long-lasting, workable solutions.
The places designed by landscape architects effectively create and enable life between buildings. Their impact can be seen in cities, suburban streets, houses, gardens, playgrounds, cemeteries, museums, institutions, forests, and waterways.
Another great aspect of landscape architecture is its environmental work, especially in the current era. We are all aware that the planet is changing, deteriorating in quality as ever-increasing human activity contributes to climate change. Landscape architecture provides a solution by providing the opportunities to create new sustainable spaces for this activity, often within highly polluted areas.
What Does A Landscape Architect Do?
A landscape architect is required to carry out all the essential tasks that are expected from an architectural designer, encompassing a wide variety of responsibilities including designing places, planning, creating, and managing. All these will revolve around the landscape and surrounding environment.
Landscape Architects work with open spaces including both natural and man-made landscapes. This covers projects spanning urban to rural settings, such as public parks, city squares, recreation grounds, gardens, buildings, aresidential properties, coastal erosion and waterways.
It is an exciting job allowing you to design innovative solutions, while ensuring that they are sustainable and built around the green spaces which make the outdoors so important to our everyday lives.
A career as a landscape architect will allow you to flaunt your creativity and hone your knowledge exploring the diversification of the profession while creating places that will last for generations. The tasks involved can range between design, planning, management and visualization, while working closely with clients, understanding and adhering to their requirements, and making necessary changes and feedback.
What Do You Need To Become A Landscape Architect?
The essentials of becoming a landscape architect are:
- Skills and abilities
As already mentioned, Landscape Architecture covers a wide variety of roles and it’s essential to be able to contribute to . Designing and drawing skills are
Anyone can work in the field of landscape design. To progress on to becoming a Chartered Landscape Architect, a professional qualification awarded by the Landscape Institute in the UK, you would need to complete an accredited course. Routes into the profession vary with Degrees, Diploma, and Masters courses available.
- Creative Flair
A creative mind is definitely required to become a landscape architect! The first step to planning and designing is visualising an idea and being able to communicate this to the rest of the project team.
- Problem solver
A landscape architect must be able to solve problems. When working with landscapes stumbling blocks will appear as projects progress. It’s essential to be able to react and modify the scheme without impacting the original design intent.
Types of Landscape Architecture
Landscape architecture encompasses several fields specialisms. Some of the most common fields are:
This is the design of spaces within cities and towns. Often at masterplanning level, this can include conceptual development of transport networks and building spaces to help plan for urban growth and infrastructure. It can also include the detailed design of small spaces such as public squares and mixed private/public space integration.
Ecological and Environmental Planning
With environmental planning the aim is mitigate the natural and man-made impacts on the landscape through minimal intervention. This covers activities such coastal, waterways and habitat restoration.
Heritage & Conservation
This involves working with ancient and historical sites to preserve and protect them. It encompasses historic preservation and conservation planning.
Designing open spaces for recreational purposes such as communal gardens, arboretums, parks, golf courses, and zoos.
The role of a landscape architect is crucial in contemporary design. They contribute to the improvement new and existing spaces for living, working, and recreation. Here’s to the next 10 years!
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