Landscape Architecture: Design & Examples

Instructor: Christine Gyovai

Christine has taught elementary, middle school and adult learners in a variety of settings, and she has a master's degree in urban and environmental planning.

While landscape architecture styles vary depending on climate, landform, and region, there are several main elements in design styles, methods, and examples that are consistent. An overview of the design practice and examples may be found below.

Landscape Architecture Overview

While the field of landscape architecture changes substantially as region, topography, and weather-patterns influence design factors, there are several elements of landscape architecture that remain consistent. Designs created by landscape architects are created in both urban and rural spaces for private residences, public spaces, city parks, landscape regeneration projects, and stormwater management. Landscape architects frequently work with government agencies, private clients, as well as public institutions.

Areas of Practice

When people imagine visiting New York City, one of the first things that comes to mind is Central Park. Open glades dotted with trees, expanses of meadow, and meandering pathways all appear to be designed by nature. Many visitors are surprised to learn that Central Park, as well as many other well-known urban parks across America, have actually been designed by landscape architects. Parks and green spaces in cities provide many benefits including health, economic, environmental, and psychological paybacks. Landscape architects create the designs for urban parks and green spaces, and they often take into account the benefits of these parks and green spaces in their designs. The field of landscape architecture encompasses several different fields including horticulture, architecture, soil science, arts, ecology, botany, environmental restoration and botany. There are informal and formal programs of study in landscape architecture, and it is practiced around the globe. Landscape architects frequently work with a variety of private clients, non-profit organizations, architects, planners, ecologists, interior designs, stormwater engineers, foresters and other professionals in both creating and refining designs, as well overseeing landscape design installation. Below are several examples of landscape architecture.

Landscape Architecture Design and Examples

Stormwater management has become a stronger area of focus for many landscape architects. Due to increasing regulations, both large cities and small towns need to find innovative ways to clean the water that runs off of the streets (stormwater) using landscape architecture strategies to filter water naturally, usually using plants to filter water that is collected through storm drains before the water travels into sewer systems. Stormwater management is also considered a 'low-impact development' technique, which is a term that refers to development that has a low impact on the environment (such as in pervious paving or constructing rain gardens).

Private residences commonly have designs that landscape architects create. Designs are created for areas around buildings using trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and groundcover to create gardens. Hardscaping materials, such as stones, pavers, and pea gravel, are used to create pathways and patios. Finally, other materials such as mulch, drip irrigation, and lighting are used to accent gardens and maintain gardens. There are several well-known privately owned gardens designed by landscape architects that are now open to the public, such as the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina where the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds.

Biltmore Garden
Biltmore Garden

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