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Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture combines environment and design, art and science. It is

about everything outside, both urban and rural, at the interface between people
and natural systems. The range of ways in which landscape architects work is
From master planning Olympic sites to planning and managing landscapes like
national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to designing the public
squares and parks that we all use, landscape architecture nurtures communities
and homes and makes their environment human and livable.
General Features of Landscape
Paths and steps
Water Supply , Fountain, Pools, swimming Pools
Garden Structures
Roof Gardens
Street Furniture
Internal Planting
Soil preparation
Landscape Engineering Works
Landscape Design by Michael Laurie
Landscape design is an extension of site planning and, as we have seen, is
involved in the site planning process. It is a very complicated process with
many alternatives.
Landscape design is the solution of a series of problems defined in site planning:
the circulation or movement
the surfacing
the location, and
form of seating, the form and space for any
purpose or multiple purposes.
Landscape design is the giving of form to water and land and selection of
Landscape design is depends on an understanding of materials, their
technology and their maintenance
Landscape design is a rational procedure that depends on an experience of life

and social behavior. Successful design will express sympathy for the people
who will use it, and it will express a feeling and understanding of use.
Landscape design demands an imaginative ability to devise new and creative
form out of the analysis of the problem and the determinants of form.

Landscape Design : Dewayne L. Ingram

Landscaping combines elements of
art and science
to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing extension of indoor living to the outdoors.
One initial purpose of landscape design is to blend man's technology (house or
building) into the natural surroundings.
To work toward a desirable landscape design, the landscape horticulturist must have a
working knowledge of art elements and design principles.
The six elements of landscape design may include:
Color All surfaces have some inherent color which is perception of different light
wavelengths. It is important to use a complementing color scheme throughout the
design scheme.
Line - Linear patterns are used to direct physical movement and to draw attention
to areas in your design.
Form - Form can be expressed through trees and shrubs of various shapes and
sizes which create natural patterns. Also through built elements in the landscaping
context, like pergolas, water features, etc.

Motion When a three-dimensional form is moved, motion is perceived, bringing

in the fourth dimension, time as a design element. Motion here however shoulder
be considered in relation to the observer.

Texture - Plants and other elements with varying textures can add to the
atmosphere of your landscaped area.
Scale - Your outdoor design should balance the size of the buildings it surrounds,
while maintaining a comfortable environment for the individuals who will use the

Colour variation can best be explained by use of a color wheel. Primary colors
are red, blue and yellow. Orange, green and violet are called secondary colors
because they are combinations of two primary colors. For example, yellow and
red are combined to yield orange. Tertiary colors are the fusion of one primary
and one secondary color. These colors would be between primary and secondary
Complimentary, Analogous, Contrasting are all the ways in which colour can be
You can use color in a number of ways, including:

Attracting attention to prominent areas of your yard

Affecting the perception of distance. Colors that blend into the landscape,
deep hues like black, green, and cool shades of blue, can make a home
appear further away, while bright, warm colors make objects appear to be
Creating mood and atmosphere throughout your outdoor space. Vibrant
reds, oranges, and yellows convey excitement and are most appropriate in
active areas of your landscape design. Cool shades, like blues and
greens, are tranquil colors that work well in areas designed for relaxation.
The colors incorporated into a landscape design can contrast for a
striking statement or can blend softly into the environment to create a
more relaxed atmosphere.
Colorful patterns that gradually move through the color spectrum can
make stunning displays for areas that should be accented.


Line is related to eye movement or flow. The concept and creation of line
depends upon the purpose of the design and existing patterns. In the overall
landscape, line is inferred by arrangement of elements and the way these
elements fit or flow together. Line is also created vertically by changes in plant
height and the height of tree and shrub canopies. Line in a small area such as an
entrance or privacy garden can be created by branching habits of plants,
arrangement of leaves and/or sequence of plant materials.
Line and linear flow can be created many different ways:
Straight lines, like paved edges or hedge rows, encourages movement
and directs attention to a focal point.
Curves and natural linear patterns invite lingering and free movement.
Arrangements and design of planting beds and natural areas defines the
overall linear style of the landscape.
Vertical lines of your outdoor design can be enhanced by altering the
height of plants and trees.

Within small, enclosed spaces, like entryways, line is created by the

patterns of leaves and branches on the surrounding plants.


Form and line are closely related. Line is considered usually in terms of the
outline or edge of objects, whereas form is more encompassing. The concept of
form is related also to the size of an object or area. Form can be discussed in
terms of individual plant growth habits or as the planting arrangement in a
Plant forms include upright, oval, columnar, spreading, broad spreading,
weeping, etc. Form is basically the shape and structure of a plant or mass of
plants. Structures also have form and should be considered as such when
designing the area around them.
The shape and form of the trees and plants you select are also important
elements of your landscape design. Trees may have an upright growth form that
allows placement near structures.
While spreading trees, like the banyan, they are best planted in an open location
and are ideal shade providers. drooping forms, like that of the weeping willow,
are excellent accent shapes.
Shrubbery forms are typically defined by the plants growth pattern. Oval or
rounded shrubs are often planted in the front of the property to provide a uniform,
symmetrical appearance.



Texture describes the surface quality of an object than can be seen or felt.
Surfaces in the landscape includes buildings, walks, patios, groundcovers and
plants. The texture of plants differs as the relationships between the leaves, twigs
and branches differ. Coarse, medium or fine could be used to describe texture
but so could smooth, rough, glossy or dull.
The look and feel of the plants and materials in your landscape design can be
just as influential as the color schemes.
Tree bark may be rough or smooth, grass may be thick or extremely fine, and
plants may have smooth, glossy leaves or sharp, prickly leaves.
The key to effective use of texture is creating a balance between various plant
qualities in the yard.
A large amount of smooth, fine materials should be used to balance coarse
textured plants and trees.
One could gradually move through similar textures in your design for a smooth
transition into each new texture.

Scale refers to the size of an object or objects in relation to the surroundings.

Size refers to definite measurements while scale describes the size relationship
between adjacent objects. The size of plantings and buildings compared on the
human scale must be considered.
For a smooth, flowing appearance, materials and structures in your landscape
design should be relative in size to the objects around them.

Non Visual Elements of Design:

Sound-auditory perception. Having a profound effect on the way we

experience space, sounds can loud or soft, natural or artificial, pleasant or noisy,
and so on.
Fragrance-olfactory perception. In landscape design the scent of flowers,
leaves or other plant material most often stimulate our sense of smell, and a wide
range of pleasant and unpleasant olfactory perceptions exist and can be
Touch-Tactile and kinesthetic perception Through skin contact we receive a
variety of sensations-hot and cold, smooth and rough, sharp and blunt, soft an
hard, wet and dry, sticky, malleable and so on.

Form Development:
Logic / Geometric Forms as guiding themes

The components, connections and relationships follow fundamental laws

of order inherent within the mathematics of the various geometric shapes.

Geometric Forms:
90degree: Rectangular or Square Themes

Angular Themes
45/90 degree Angular theme
30/60 degree Angular Theme

Circular Themes
Concentric Circles and Radii
Arc Tangents
Circle Segments
Spiral Themes

Naturalistic Forms
Shapes may appear erratic, whimsical and random but will likely have more
appeal to the intuitive side of the user, for example:
A sense of ecologically sensitive design
Feeling of a more naturalistic setting as the connection to nature is more
These forms may be imitations, abstractions or analogous of nature, eg:
-The Meander
-The free Ellipse and Scallops
-The Free spiral
- Irregular Polygon
-The organic edge
-Clustering and Fragmentation

Gaudi in his Park Guell, Barcelona
Martha Schwartz, Environmental Art, new Landscape


Color, line, form, texture and scale are tools which are used in combinations to
accommodate some key design principles.
These design principles include:
unity, balance, transition, focalization, proportion, rhythm, repetition and
All these principles interact to yield the intended design.
Here, the elements of landscaping come together to develop a garden design
that is not only attractive and inviting but is also balanced, providing a unified
appearance between the indoors and the outdoors.

The seven principles of landscape design may include:

Unity - One of the basics of landscape design is creating a central theme to
build your outdoor plan upon. A unified look is important to a beautiful landscape
Balance - The plants, walkways, and other features of your outdoor plan should
be laid out in a design that complements the entire site.
Transition - Changes in colors, plant styles, and accessories will blend better
with planned transitions to slowly move into the new look.
Proportion - Plan a design that incorporates trees and shrubs that are relative
to the size of the people and things around them.
Rhythm - The patterns created with colors and lines give the landscape design
a natural rhythm that is relaxing and enjoyable.
Focalization - With the use of lines, form, and balance, you can develop a
landscape design with specific focal points to draw interest and turn heads.
Repetition - Repetition of these patterns and rhythms, in just the right amount,
gives your outdoor design the perfect look without being overpowering.
Unity is obtained by the effective use of components in a design to express a
main idea through consistent style. Unity is emphasized by consistency of
character between units in the landscape. Use of elements to express a specific
theme within units creates harmony. Unity can be achieved by using mass
planting and repetition.
Unity means that all parts of the composition or landscape go together;
they fit. A natural feeling evolves when each activity area belongs to and blends
with the entire landscape. Everything selected for a landscape must complement
the central scheme and must, above all, serve some functional purpose.

Balance in design refers to the equilibrium or equality of visual attraction.
Symmetrical balance is achieved when one side of the design is a mirror image
of the other side. There is a distinct dividing line between the two sides. Equal
lines, forms, textures or colors are on each side of a symmetrical design.

Asymmetrical balance uses different forms, colors and textures to obtain

balance of visual attraction. These opposing compositions on either side of the
central axis create equal attraction. For example, mass may be opposed by color
or linear dimension by height.
The landscape designer must skillfully manipulate the design elements to create
asymmetrical balance. The central axis must be predetermined and then
developed by the elements of art and other principles of design discussed in this

There are three different ways to achieve balance:

Symmetrical balance duplicates the garden design on one side of a clearly
defined central axis and repeats the exact same design on the opposite side.
Each side of the design is a mirror image of the other with no variation in color,
texture, or other elements.
Asymmetrical balance is less rigid with natural curves and more variety in the
design. The center point may not be obvious and balance is achieved through
mass and weight rather than color, texture, and plant types.
Radial balance works in a circular pattern from a center point to produce a
balanced appearance. Sunflowers, wheels, and other round elements can
produce radial balance.

Transition is gradual change. Transition in color can be illustrated by the radial
sequence on the color wheel (monochromatic color scheme) previously
discussed. Transition can be obtained by the arrangement of objects with varying
textures, forms, or sizes in a logical sequential order. For example, coarse to
medium to fine textures, round to oval to linear structural forms, or cylindrical to
globular to prostrate plants. An unlimited number of schemes exist by combining
elements of various size, form, texture and color to create transition. Remember,
transition refers to the 3-dimensional perspective of composition, not just the flat
or facial view.

Proportion refers to the size of parts of the design in relation to each other and to
the design as a whole. One large towering oak may compliment an office building
but would probably dwarf a single story residence. A three-foot pool would be lost
in a large open lawn but would fit beautifully into a small private area. And of
course, a colossal fountain would dominate a private garden but could enhance a
large city plaza.

Rhythm is achieved when the elements of a design create a feeling of motion
which leads the viewer's eye through or even beyond the designed area. Tools
like color schemes, line and form can be repeated to attain rhythm in landscape
design. Rhythm reduces confusion in the design.

Focalization involves the leading of visual observation toward a feature by
placement of this feature at the vanishing point between radial or approaching
lines. Straight radial lines create a strong focalization when compared to curved
lines. The viewer's eye is quickly forced along straight lines to a focal point.
Generally, weaker or flowing lines of focalization are desirable in the residential
landscape. Transition of plants or other objects along these lines can strengthen
or weaken the focalization. Curved lines are stronger when curved toward each
other than when curved outward. Indirect focalization is created by lines curved
in the same direction. Focalization can be adjusted by plant materials along the
lines to create symmetrical or asymmetrical focalization. Asymmetrical
focalization is indirect while symmetrical focalization is more direct, creating
stronger focalization.

Repetition refers to the repeated use of features like plants with identical shape,
line, form, texture and/or color. Too much repetition creates monotony but when
used effectively can lead to rhythm, focalization or emphasis. Unity can be
achieved better by no other means than repetition. Think of repetition as not
having too much variety in the design which creates a cluttered or busy

Simplicity goes hand-in-hand with repetition and can be achieved by elimination

of unnecessary detail. Too much variety or detail creates confusion of perception.

Simplicity is the reduction of a design to its simplest, functional form, which

avoids unnecessary cost and maintenance.
Basic Principles of Landscape Design
Dewayne L. Ingram