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Principles of landscape architecture

Authors:
Facing a modernity which promised a future without limits of energy and
materials, we see ourselves today in a new debate revolving around a
change in the energy model and the manner in which environmental
questions can be taken on, as well as the relationship between mankind
and the environment The disciplines architecture, landscape architecture
and urban design have the potential to rethink and redene the relationships
between the human activities and the physical and biological phenomenon
which activates them.
This book is the result of a collaborative and international effort exploring
landscape infrastructures in a designerly way. The essays by experts in
the eld and graduation projects by students showcase an initial attempt
to get a grip on the wide range of possibilities and perspectives on the
topic. They exemplify the potential and opportunities of interdisciplinary
design of landscapes while respecting the processes previously induced
and projected towards the future.
FLOWSCAPES
EXPLORING LANDSCAPE INFRASTRUCTURES
FLOWSCAPES EXPLORING LANDSCAPE INFRASTRUCTURES
Management:
Elena Farini, UFV Madrid
Steffen Nijhuis, TU Delft
Editorial design and edition:
Elena Farini
Steffen Nijhuis
© 2013 Of this edition Elena Farini
© Textbook and photographs of the authors
© Francisco de Vitoria University
Architecture Department
Pozuelo Majadahonda km 1,8 Road
28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid (Spain)
© Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Any way of reproduction, distribution, public
communication or transformation of this
book can be performed only with the holder’s
authorization, unless otherwise provided by law.
Published by Francisco de Vitoria University
ISBN: 978-84-15423-43-0
Legal Deposit: M-30176-2013
Print: Stock CERO S.A
Printed in Spain
FLOWSCAPES
EXPLORING LANDSCAPE INFRASTRUCTURES
PROLOGUE
TU DELFT and UFV 4
Introduction
Flowscapes, Elena Farini and Steffen Nijhuis 8
ARTICLES
Urban voids and infrastructures, Joaquín Mosquera 14
Post-metropolitan archipelagos, José María Ezquiaga 22
Europe´s infrastructural opportunity, Christopher de Vries 34
Values and principles for landscape intervention, Felipe Samarán 44
Principles of landscape architecture, Steffen Nijhuis 52
Site-sensitive design, Beata Labuhn 62
On flows and scapes, Daniel Jauslin 70
Recycling the obsolescence, Gemma Peribáñez 80
Hidden rivers, Matthew Skjonsberg 88
Site specificity in contemporary project, Elena Farini 98
The boezem network, Inge Bobbink & Michiel Pouderoijen 108
Coastal landscapes, Miriam García 114
STUDENT PROJECTS
Prologue, Elena Farini 124
Introduction student projects, Eric Luiten 130
Students Projects 134
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 200
PRINCIPLES OF LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECTURE
Steffen Nijhuis
53
“To discover and reveal the deeper substrate of the landscape is something the
natural sciences alone cannot accomplish.”
– Günther Voght
The Department of Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and
Built Environment, TU Delft considers urbanism as a planning and
design oriented activity towards urban and rural landscapes [1]. It
aims to enhance, restore or create landscapes from a perspective
of sustainable development, so as to guide, harmonise and
shape changes which are brought about by social, economic
and environmental processes. In this respect we can consider
urbanism as an object or goal-oriented interdisciplinary approach
that breaks down complex problems into ‘compartments’ or
‘themes’. Landscape infrastructures is such a theme were
transportation-, green-, and water infrastructure are explored
as armatures for urban development. The core of urbanism is
formed by the disciplines of urban planning, urban design, and
landscape architecture. Giving shape to the relationship between
man and natural landscape is a core task for this disciplines and
involves civil-, agriculture-, nature-, and environmental based
techniques as operative instruments. However, in order to work
together effectively it is important to identify and develop the
qualities of the involved disciplines individually. What is the
particular nature of landscape architecture as an independent
discipline? The presumption is that the answer can be found in a
repertoire of principles of study and practice typical for landscape
architecture. But before elaborating on that some backgrounds
will be discussed.
Architecte-paysagiste
The term landscape architecture – architecte-paysagiste – was
coined by Jean-Marie Morel in 1803 and marked the eclipse
of the ‘new discipline’ [2]. Landscape architecture as an English
term appeared for the first time in the title of the book ‘On the
54
Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy’ by Scott
in 1828. Subsequently it was used by Frederic Law Olmstead
and Calvert Vaux at the design competition for the Central Park
in New York in 1858. The profession became official, when in
1863 the title ‘landscape architect’ was first used by the state-
appointed Board of Central Park Commissioners in New York
City [3].
The definition of landscape architecture according to the
International Federation of Landscape Architecture (IFLA) is:
“A profession and academic discipline that employs principles
of art and the physical and social sciences to the processes
of environmental planning, design and conservation, which
serve to ensure the long-lasting improvement, sustainability
and harmony of natural and cultural systems or landscape
parts thereof, as well as the design of outdoor spaces with
consideration of their aesthetic, functional and ecological
aspects” [4]. Within this broad definition of landscape architecture
there are three areas of activity: landscape planning, landscape
design and landscape management[5]. Landscape planning is
concerned with the long-term development and preservation
of natural and cultural landscapes by implementation of
strategic goal-oriented concepts and allocation of types of
land use. Landscape design deals with form and meaning and
is concerned with the organisation of a physical, functional
and aesthetic arrangement of a variety of structural elements
to achieve desired social, cultural and ecological outcomes.
Landscape management is concerned with the conservation
and enhancement of the long-term beneficial use of landscape
resources as well as its heterogeneity, character, and beauty
55
[6]. These activities overlap and address different spatial levels
of scale with different degrees of intervention. They require a
multi-layered understanding of landscape in general: its spatial
structure, history, (relational) context, as well as the ecological,
economic and social processes involved.
Four principles of study and practice
The nature of landscape architecture as a discipline, and
particularly landscape design as an important activity, can be
characterised by the interplay of four principles of study and
practice, understanding landscape as (I) three-dimensional
construction, (II) history, (III) scale-continuum and (IV) process
[7].
(I) Landscape as three-dimensional construction: this principle
addresses landscape as a three-dimensional construction. Here
the focus is on research and design of the landscape ‘from the
inside out’, as it could be experienced by an observer moving
through space. It elaborates on the visual manifestation of open
spaces, surfaces, screens and volumes and their relationships in
terms of structural organisation (e.g., balance, tension, rhythm,
proportion, scale) and ordering principles (e.g., axis, symmetry,
hierarchy, datum, transformation)[8]. The basic premise is that the
shape of space, plasticity (form of space-determining elements)
and appearance (e.g., colour, texture, lighting) of spatial elements
in the landscape determine the relation between design and
perception. This principle addresses the form and functioning
of three-dimensional landscape space, which creates a spatial
dynamic. This might be, for example, the framing of a landscape
or urban panorama, or the construction of a spatial series along
1
56
a route, making a pictorial landscape composition. Examples
from landscape architecture designing landscape as a three-
dimensional construction include: Stourhead landscape garden,
Wiltshire (UK) (figure 1), Vaux-le-Vicomte, Melun (France) and
Japanese pre-modern gardens.
(II) Landscape as history: the landscape is ‘read’ as a biography,
as a palimpsest that evidences all of the activities that contributed
to the shaping of that landscape. The Genius Loci expresses
the character of the site, not only geographical but also the
historical, social, and aesthetic character, and is at the heart
of this principle. The landscape is regarded as a layered entity
where traces that time has laid over can reinforce or contradict
each other. Knowledge of these layers is one of the starting
points for new transformations of the landscape involved, or
adding a new design layer. This principle involves the evolution
of landscape over time and elaborates on operations of ‘erasing’
and ‘writing’ history[9]. Operations of erasing history include:
complete or partial eradication, etching, excision, entropy and
excavation. Operations of writing history include: parceling, infill,
addition, absorption, enveloping, wrapping, overlay, parasitize
and morphing. Examples from landscape architecture carefully
intervening in the landscape as a historical culture include:
Bunker 599, Diefdijk (Netherlands) (figure 2), the Quarries at
Crazannes (France) and Oranjewoud Estate (the Netherlands).
(III) Landscape as scale-continuum: this principle regards
landscape to be a relational structure connecting scales and
spatial, ecological, functional and social entities. Landscape is
viewed as a scale-continuum. The design involves establishing
2
57
relationships via attachment, connection, embedment of a
specific site or location into the broader context at different scale
levels. A landscape intervention will have impacts on different
levels of scale, hitting interests of stakeholders operating on that
level. Although scale is a matter of grain and radius, it implies that
a particular site is always part of the larger context [10]. Once the
frame and granule of the site (object of study) is determined, the
rest is regarded ‘context’. The reach of scale is also important,
because conclusions on a specific level of scale could be
opposite to conclusions drawn on another level of scale (called:
scale-paradox). This principle addresses working through the
scales as an important basic premise, for example for systematic
elaboration of planning strategies (e.g., regional planning and
design) and design interventions (e.g., project-based realization).
Examples from landscape architecture connecting scales and
different layers of interest are: Metropolitan Park Boston (USA)
and Emscher Landscape Park (Germany) (figure 3).
(IV) Landscape as process: the landscape is regarded as
a holistic and dynamic system of systems[11]. In that respect
landscape is an expression of the dynamic interaction between
ecological, social and economic processes. The landscape is
considered as a process rather than as a result. Natural and
social processes constantly change the landscape, making
the dynamics of the transformation a key issue in research and
design. The design is like an open strategy, aimed at guiding
developments, no blueprint design. Projects play a role as an
open-ended strategy, as in staging or setting up future conditions
(e.g., manipulating processes of erosion and sedimentation by
water or the development of project-based master plans).
3
58
Operations focus on the interaction between landscape
processes and typo-morphological aspects and facilitate
aesthetic, functional, social and ecological relationships
between natural and human systems. This principle of study
and practice elaborates on models for understanding the
landscape as system (e.g. layers-approach) and concepts like
sustainable urban metabolism and urban ecology. Examples
from landscape architecture using natural and social processes
to shape landscape include: Jardin Élémentaires (Italy/France:
study project) (figure 4), Nature development De Gelderse Poort,
Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and London Guerrilla Gardens (UK).
Conclusion
The knowledge reflected by the principles of study and practice
form the core of landscape architecture and expresses the
integrative nature of the discipline. It embodies a way of thinking
typical for landscape architecture and is visible in landscape
architecture theories, planning and design processes and
products. The understanding and development of this body of
knowledge is an important basis for interdisciplinary, context-
driven and problem focussed research. Boldly stated it is like
this: “if you don’t know what the core of your own discipline is,
you don’t know what you can contribute to other disciplines”.
By developing the typical principles of study and practice of
landscape architecture, it is possible to contribute to other fields
in terms of theories, methods and techniques, as well as their
application via concepts, strategies and interventions. It becomes
the basis for exploring the boundaries of the discipline, exchange
of knowledge and the search for collaborations and partnerships
to engage in sociocultural, ecological and technological issues
4
59
from the perspective of spatial planning and design. Educational
and research institutions have an important role to play. They
must take the lead in inspiring students, building up and
transferring knowledge, while stimulating students to develop
a critical academic attitude and explore the scope and remit of
their discipline in an international context.
Figures
Fig 1: Stourhead landscape garden (Wiltshire, UK) is a landscape designed
from the observers point of view. Views and sightlines are combined with
formal, transitional and progressive elements. Study map of Stourhead in 1779
by Frederik Magnus Piper showing important sight lines at eye-level (image
courtesy: Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm)
Fig 2: Bunker 599 (Diefdijk, the Netherlands) is an example of a careful design
intervention in an important historical defence structure of the Netherlands, the
New Dutch Water Line. Project by Rietveld Landscape with Atelier de Lyon,
2010 (source: Rietveld Landscape)
Fig 3: Emscher Landscape Park (Germany) is based on a regional strategy
elaborated by project-based design interventions. Section of the Masterplan
2010 indicating realised and future projects (source: Regionalverband Ruhr,
2010)
Fig 4: Jardin Élémentaires is a theoretical experiment were natural processes
of erosion and sedimentation by water are manipulated by dams, creating
changing patterns of streams and sedimentary islands in a valley landscape.
Project by Michel Desvigne, 1988 (image courtesy: Michel Desvigne)
60
Notes
[1] Here landscape is understood as “an area, as perceived by people, which
character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human
factors” (Council of Europe (2000) European Landscape Convention. s.n.,
Florence, p 3). Urban and rural landscape are types of landscape.
[2] J. Disponzio (2002) ‘Jean-Marie Morel and the Invention of Landscape
Architecture’, in: J.D. Hunt & M. Conan (eds.) Tradition and Innovation in
French Garden Art: Chapters of a New History. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press, pp 135- 59; J. Disponzio (2007) ‘History of the
Profession’, in: L.J. Hopper (ed.) Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards.
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, pp 5-9
[3] F.R. Steiner (2001) ‘Landscape architecture’, in: N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes
(eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Oxford:
Elsevier, pp 8270-8275; K.J. Evert, et al. (eds.) (2010) Encyclopedic Dictionary
of Landscape and Urban Planning. London: Springer-Verlag, p 509
[4] Evert et al., 2010 (note 3), 509
[5] R. Stiles (1994) ‘In search of a definition’, Landscape Design No. 234, pp
44-48; R. Stiles (1994) ‘Landscape theory: a missing link between landscape
planning and landscape design?’, Landscape and Urban Planning Vol. 30, pp.
139-149; I. Thompson (2008) Ecology, Community and Delight. Sources of
values in landscape architecture. London & New York: Taylor & Francis
[6] M. Vroom (2006) Lexicon of garden and landscape architecture. Basel,
Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser
61
[7] This principles are adapted from: M. Prominski (2004) Landschaft
entwerfen: Einführung in die Theorie aktueller Landschaftsarchitektur. Reimer
Verlag; S. Marot (1995) ‘The landscape as alternative’, in: K. Vandermarliere
(ed.) Het Landschap / The Landscape. Four International Landscape
Designers. Antwerp, De Singel, pp 9-36; Also based on S. Nijhuis (2006)
‘Westvaart als landschapsarchitectonische ontwerpopgave’, in: Westvaart in
de polder. 4 ontwerpen voor een verdwenen 7-molengang. Leiden: Uitgeverij
Groen, pp 35-37.
[8] S. Bell (1993) Elements of Visual Design in the Landscape. London, E & FN
Spon.
[9] P. Lukez (2007) Suburban Transformations. Princeton Architectural Press
[10] T. de Jong (2006) Context Analysis. Delft University of Technology
[11] I.S. Zonneveld (1995) Land Ecology. An Introduction to Landscape
Ecology as a base for Land Evaluation, Land Management and Conservation.
SPB Academic Publishers, Amsterdam
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Book
Introduction. Part 1: Basic elements. Point. Line. Plane. Solid volume. Open volume. Combination of elements. Part 2: Variables. Number. Position. Direction. Orientation. Size. Shape (form). Interval. Texture. Density. Colour. Time. Light. Visual force. Visual inertia. Part 3: Organization. Objectives: unity, diversity, genius loci. Spatial cues: nearness, enclosure, interlock, continuity, similarity, figure and ground. Structural elements: balance, tension, rhythm, proportion, scale. Ordering: axis, symmetry, datum, transformation. Part 4: Case studies. The Canadian Museum of Civilization. Powerscourt. Strathyre Forest. Glossary. References and further reading. Index.
Jean-Marie Morel and the Invention of Landscape Architecture Tradition and Innovation in French Garden Art: Chapters of a New History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp 135-59History of the Profession
  • J Disponzio
J. Disponzio (2002) 'Jean-Marie Morel and the Invention of Landscape Architecture', in: J.D. Hunt & M. Conan (eds.) Tradition and Innovation in French Garden Art: Chapters of a New History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp 135-59; J. Disponzio (2007) 'History of the Profession', in: L.J. Hopper (ed.) Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards.
Landscape architecture
  • F R Steiner
F.R. Steiner (2001) 'Landscape architecture', in: N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Oxford: Elsevier, pp 8270-8275;
Landscape theory: a missing link between landscape planning and landscape design Ecology, Community and Delight. Sources of values in landscape architecture
  • R Stiles
  • R Stiles
R. Stiles (1994) 'In search of a definition', Landscape Design No. 234, pp 44-48; R. Stiles (1994) 'Landscape theory: a missing link between landscape planning and landscape design?', Landscape and Urban Planning Vol. 30, pp. 139-149; I. Thompson (2008) Ecology, Community and Delight. Sources of values in landscape architecture. London & New York: Taylor & Francis
Landschaft entwerfen: Einführung in die Theorie aktueller Landschaftsarchitektur Reimer VerlagThe landscape as alternative Het Landschap / The Landscape. Four International Landscape Designers. Antwerp, De Singel, pp 9-36; Also based on SWestvaart als landschapsarchitectonische ontwerpopgave
  • M Vroom
M. Vroom (2006) Lexicon of garden and landscape architecture. Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser [7] This principles are adapted from: M. Prominski (2004) Landschaft entwerfen: Einführung in die Theorie aktueller Landschaftsarchitektur. Reimer Verlag; S. Marot (1995) 'The landscape as alternative', in: K. Vandermarliere (ed.) Het Landschap / The Landscape. Four International Landscape Designers. Antwerp, De Singel, pp 9-36; Also based on S. Nijhuis (2006) 'Westvaart als landschapsarchitectonische ontwerpopgave', in: Westvaart in de polder. 4 ontwerpen voor een verdwenen 7-molengang. Leiden: Uitgeverij Groen, pp 35-37.
Suburban Transformations Context Analysis. Delft University of Technology [11] I.S. Zonneveld (1995) Land Ecology. An Introduction to Landscape Ecology as a base for Land Evaluation
  • P Lukez
P. Lukez (2007) Suburban Transformations. Princeton Architectural Press [10] T. de Jong (2006) Context Analysis. Delft University of Technology [11] I.S. Zonneveld (1995) Land Ecology. An Introduction to Landscape Ecology as a base for Land Evaluation, Land Management and Conservation.
Here landscape is understood as "an area, as perceived by people, which character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors
Here landscape is understood as "an area, as perceived by people, which character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors" (Council of Europe (2000) European Landscape Convention. s.n.,
Urban and rural landscape are types of landscape
  • Florence
Florence, p 3). Urban and rural landscape are types of landscape.