Landscape Architecture | Creating A Blissful Outdoor Spaces!
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
Landscape architecture is a specialized field of architecture that deals with the design and aesthetic enhancement of outdoor spaces of homes, apartment complexes, educational institutions, office spaces, commercial building and more. Landscape architecture involves the systematic investigation of existing ecological elements, native spices, weather, soil conditions, etc. and the design apt interventions to create desired delightful outcomes.
Landscape design includes site planning; ground water planning and management, environmental restoration, provisioning parks and recreational spaces and more. A qualified practitioner specializing in architecting the outdoor landscape is called a landscape architect.
01. What does a Landscape Architect do?
Landscape architect’s expertise in managing complex urban areas has changed over time. Landscape architecture is a developing profession where the arts, urbanism, and ecology can connect ensuring that all plans meet the current building codes and local and federal ordinances. The skill and talent of a landscape architect is visible all around us when we see the beauty and usefulness of our parks, gardens, urban plazas, streets, neighbor hoods, etc. Proper organization of the space is related to right plantings, appropriate planning of paths and implementation of all necessary program elements. Thus, giving a path to landscape architecture to flourish and fit in with people’s needs.
Also Read: Indoor Plant Care: Tips You Must Know!
Why is Landscape Architecture is Gaining Prominence in Recent Times?
Preservation of nature:
- It helps to protect national treasures, ecology and solve many environmental issues.
Regeneration of polluted areas:
- The negative effects of pollution can be fixed through landscaping and planting. Plants absorb air pollutants thus purifying the air. Phytoremediation is a very cost-effective solution when considering soil.
- Promotes less consumption of resources and creates high-quality outcomes.
Relief from hot weather:
- Outdoor spaces like Small parks, known as ‘Pocket parks’ are places where you can get a sigh of relief from noisy, running lives in urban areas.
- Provides outdoor recreational centers and positive influence on people’s state of mind.
What are the Key Elements of Landscaping?
Landscaping typically consists of the two main elements that enliven outdoor living spaces namely hardscape and softscape. Hardscape comprises of the harder elements like concrete pavers, bricks, stone, tiles, pergolas, light posts, etc. Softscape comprises of the softer elements like lawns, flowers, shrubs, trees. Softscape comprises the living elements whereas hardscape does not. A well-designed landscape architecture blends the two elements together to create a pleasing marvelous look.
Hardscape installations are expensive but easy to maintain in a long run. These helps to keep too much water from being absorbed, protect the soil from loosening and add defined shape to space.
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02. Why is it Absolutely Necessary to Hire a Professional Landscape Architect?
Landscape architects have a well-rounded approach that integrates realistic and unrealistic components henceforth providing robust solutions for bridging the skills and ecology. They seek the synergies between architecture, engineering, culture and nature. A professional can balance the needs of all stakeholders, designers, owners, consultants and create aesthetic complexes with simplicity presenting a blend of artistry and technicality. The landscape architect works holistically on modern platforms with authenticity. With their astounding designs, they incorporate the need of people inhabiting that space. Their approach is system oriented considering why and who instead of usual what and how.
Landscape architects increase the value of your home by incorporating preamble paving into your home outdoor landscape. A professional landscape architect designs low-maintenance gardens featuring beautiful plants to make splendid ambience with a thorough knowledge of proper placement of trees to lower energy bills.
03. What are the Most Popular Landscape Architecture Styles in Vogue Today?
- Best fit for luxurious classical style homes. Pure geometry is used with well-defined pathways. Additional elements like ceramic pots, sculptural water features add splendor.
- Informal setup with organic forms and usage of natural materials.
- Classical style along with old style charm.
- The style highlights encompass vibrancy, gravel pathways and shaded seating area.
- Formal look covers defined pathways, trellis, statuary, fountains and beds at different levels.
- Informal look focuses on curvilinear and gentle organization.
- This Symmetry is the basic style providing a picturesque view influenced by Moorish and Persian gardens.
- Most widely used design type which is driven by sleekness and simplicity. Clarity is maintained even after interceptions.
04. How should I go About Selecting a Landscape Architect?
- professional landscape architect holds a bachelor degree and sometimes a masters level degree in Environmental conservation, Garden design, Landscape design, Ecology landscape management or planning and more. Hire a professionally qualified individual with the desired experience for best results.
- Hire a landscape architect who has the know-how of the local language, climate and more. Experienced landscape architects typically leverage learnings from past projects and deliver good quality with minimal mistakes.
- A great landscape architect has an eye for design and good designing skills, including computer-aided design, excellent communication and negotiating ability, concern for the environment, good observation skills with deep knowledge.
- Multiple factors determine the landscape architecture costs, like the Sqft area of the space, how elaborate or minimal the design elements are, including the pathways, swimming pool, lighting, selection of planters and plants, cost of labour specific to the city and the costs of hiring a professional architect. The costs vary based on the proportion of hardscape and softscape elements used.
A landscaping project in a tier two city in India should cost you around 10% of the building’s net value. As an example, a 5crore duplex villa should ideally invest a 50lakh Rs. in landscaping including the architect’s fee and the material and labour.
A landscape architect’s work is intricate and professional, it requires a professional qualification to practice legally. Many landscape designers offer to work as a landscape architect, but do not have the qualification and expertise. Since the work involved is exquisite and intricate, it is advisable to be vigilant and hire only a qualified individual. While selecting the professional, one should insist on seeing the past project and should evaluate critically on criteria like previous experience, portfolio review, awards and recognition, level of commitment to a project, and customer service.
Anshu Sachdeva is the founder and business head of boutique research and content firm based out of India. She has over ten years of corporate experience in consulting and research. She holds a masters degree in business management and is passionate about the application of research to do business faster, better, cheaper.