The monograph titled, Garden, Park, Community, Farm, places the firm’s work and the discipline of Landscape Architecture at the forefront of the conversation regarding design and the environment; it strives to awaken a wide audience to the varied and complex practice of Landscape Architecture and its potential in improving the quality of life in urban and rural environments. The book emphasizes the connection between ecologically performative spaces, beauty and fostering profound engagement with land and nature.
Deciphering the Design Process
The publication is structured into four chapters and features 12 projects; from the more traditional expressions of Parks and Gardens to ones of Communities (academic and corporate campuses and towns) and rural Farms; the projects featured here, speak to the deep research and collaborative spirit inherent in the firm’s methods as it extends the practice of landscape architecture and sustainable design through innovative trans-disciplinary partnerships. This process broadens traditional roles in restoration ecology, planning, civil engineering, and agriculture. Consequently, public and private gardens shown are designed to a high standard of aesthetic excellence and ecological performance. One of the leading landscape architectural theorists in the United States provides analysis and historical perspective, while essays by two principals of the firm add personal histories, formative experiences and reveal the process behind their publically-acclaimed work.
The first section of the book exemplifies what a progressive contemporary Landscape Architecture practice is capable of achieving in the controlled environment of the garden: creating beautiful spaces while restoring ecological balance, and injecting tautological elements and compositions.
Three projects in the Park section show the variety of public spaces designed by the firm. A zoo presents the opportunity for weaving fauna in a designed ecological and programmed social web. Reinforcing the concept of coexistence and displaying conceptual rigor, the design includes construction details inspired by the local customs of the species’ indigenous territory. A memorial on a reclaimed coal-mining site addresses remediation of a polluted sight while achieving the required solemnity and symbolic weight in the design. A contemporary sculpture park in a previously blighted urban area has become a site of celebration of art, water and nature.
The Community chapter of the book exemplifies the potential impact of the profession at the city/community planning level: the projects are stitched into the ecological systems of each site, showing the enormous advantage in the awareness and celebration of native elements and resources.
One of the examples in the Farm section is the Stewardship Master Plan and Homestead Plan of a 3000 acre agricultural property in New Zealand. The landscape architects designed and implemented a plan that reflects the rich history of the site and a rigorous ecologic agenda, including reforestation and habitat creation for the reintroduction of the endangered Tuatara reptile. The design’s aesthetic consideration and sustainable farming practices created a highly functioning, contemporary work of art and a national model for sustainable farming practices.
Presented in the monograph are projects that, in addition to their sheer beauty, trigger a cascade of ecological benefits: depleted landscapes brought back to life by the celebration of water, the preservation of cultural landscapes, the reintroduction of native plants, the reemergence of local wildlife and the restoration of damaged ecosystems. The memorable landscapes presented in this publication contribute to the health of cities, farms, and wild lands. Reflected throughout, is the firm’s belief that the pleasure discovered in a deeply expressive landscape will form profound bonds with the land.