10 tips

1. Use a local problem to invent a generic solution. Though landscape architecture tends to be a custom job, it can still offer solutions for footloose phenomena. 2. Use a global challenge to solve a local problem. Global problems can have a major influence in landscape design. 3. Think big in small scale projects. Design solution often emerge in the bigger picture. 4. Think small and simple in big scale projects. On large scale and long term, it’s hardly possible to foresee the results of a design intervention. Still it’s vital to show how the future might look like. 5. Design total landscapes. If possible, ‘total design’ is very powerful and can overcome apparent contradictions. 6. Don’t design everything. The more you design, the less freedom there is left. 7. Aim for pure nature. Designed nature might never be ‘pure’ but can be overwhelmingly abundant, rich, exciting and fertile. 8. Make devices to experience nature. People need devices to experience nature; they bring binoculars, kites, bike, etc. Landscape architects should develop unique devices to enable that experience. 9. Trigger senses. Like most media, this book only shows the visual side of landscapes, while an intense landscape experience depends on all senses. 10. Make sense. Landscape architecture is about realizing ideas.

Lola Landscape Architecture, 10 tips for landscape architecture (2012)Park-Groot-Vijversburg08 Park-Groot-Vijversburg07

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  Park-Groot-Vijversburg11 Park-Groot-Vijversburg12 Park-Groot-Vijversburg13Park-Groot-Vijversburg04Lola Landscape Architecture, Groot Vijversburg Park (2015)

10 tips

Formal Properties?

If we had this conversation twenty years ago there would be discussion of the formal properties of surface. We might be looking at the paintings of Malevich or Kandinsky, or the photography of Gursky.

James Corner, Surfaces In-Depth (2012)

A surface is a living system with its own structure and cycles of production. It is a performative medium that conveys water and supports organisms like bacteria, fungi, plants, and animal life. It is the result of processes that take place under it such as the decomposition of rocks and their migration upwards from the depth of the ground. It is also the result of processes that take place over it like erosion caused by wind, water, and human activity. It responds to external systems like climactic patterns that evolve in their own composition. In its biological sense, the surface in landscape architecture is less a boundary and more a zone of connectivity. It is a place where vegetational, hydrological, and soil systems interact.

Anita Berrizbeitia, Surfaces In-Depth (2012)

Andreas-Gursky-2 andreasgursky070521_560 Andreas-Gursky-Nha-Trang-20041

zcs_08_andreas_gursky_architecture_017004_andreas-gursky_theredlistAndreas Gursky, photographs

Andreas Gursky, Rhein II (1999)
Formal Properties?


Architects and industrial designers often see their designs as a final product of genius, whose aesthtic entriety originated in their minds. A design like that is thrown off by the slightest damage. Landscape architects have learnt to put that into perspective, because they know that their designs are continually adapted and transformed. We have learned to see landscape not as a “fait accompli”, but as the result of countless forces and initiatives.

Adriaan Geuze, Interview with Olof Koekebakker (1994)

arton21  Michel Corajoud, Parc du Sausset (1981)



Mosbach’s unique education in the life sciences that was precursor to her training in landscape informs and nourishes her aesthetic approach. The ground at Louvre-Lens is designed as a sensitive surface.
The intention is to expose this surface to variations in time, playing with relationships between materials through the processes of conlagion, superimposition, and coverings. It is about drawing the ground via flows and traversing different environments in the park.
An existing wood at the edge of the site yields to a large clearing of meadow. which then becomes a mix of hard planted surfaces near the building. The ground is locally perforated to allow water to infiltrate; it folds over to become seating at the entrance to the museum: it protects the building from the intrusion of vehicles and it dips to accommodate a pool. Around the building, desirable mom exists as the first pioneer stratum, collecting
atmospheric dust and preparing for successive ecological cycles. For Mosbach, the way the park responds to temporal and ecological dynamics is multidimensional and becomes a new heritage for the site.

Thierry Kandjee & Sarah Hunt, The Invisible Made Present (2013)

ml_Louvre_Lens_Sanaa_2_09_1200Louvre-Lens by SANAA and Imrey Culbert03Louvre-Lens-By-SANAA-59-Hisao-Suzuki Louvre Lens By SanaaCatherine Mosbach, Louvre-Lens Museum Park (2012)



A timescape conception of large parks leads to a recognition of uncertain sites -spaces where matter, flow, and waste know no boundaries -and to a different conception of consumer society.

Elisabeth K.Meyer, Uncertain Parks: Disturbed Sites, Citizens and Risk Society. (2007)

The processes at work in the world produce landscapes where everything is in a constantly dynamic state. The competition for resources, the interaction of organisms with each other and with inorganic, physical processes, the cycles of carbon, nitrogen and water, together with a wide range of weathering and erosion activities, combine to drive the engine of the biosphere fuelled by the energy of the sun and of nuclear reactions deep in the earth. Out of this endlessly shifting cycle of growth and decay, a myriad of patterns is apparent, evolving at various rates into an uncertain future. Humans are part of this world and contribute to the patterns and processes to varying degrees.

This uncertainty is an important concept, as experience indicates that everything is determined by possibilities and probabilities: the likelihood of a fire burning a forest, of an avalanche burying some animals, of a Volcano erupting and covering an area with hot ash or a hard winter killing a late hatched brood of baby birds. Some of the events that alter the evolution of landscape are more predictable than others, in the sense that they are significantly more likely than unlikely to occur. Some are unexpected, only because we have not experienced them before. Others follow regular, or nearly regular cycles. Few are completely random.

Simon Bell,  Landscape. Pattern, Perception and Process. (1999)



Vista, Haarlemermeer Polder (2010-2060)



The drawing presented here for a park in Greenwich interests me highly as a unique landscape drawing. It, in a convincing way, depicts time and  evolution. The development of an urban forest is the main theme in the project. The drawing does not simply explain the development of the forest. It mainly states that there are several stages of maturity which have an individual quality in terms of design. This drawing is important as it denies the idea that a landscape project can be represented by one drawing which shows the project in an unknown year in the future, in its supposed final state. Desvigne here, combining plan and section shows different moments in time as being independent optimal design conditions. In doing so, the designer is forced to be more precise about what happens over time: how big are the trees in certain stages; which configurations might come true by thinning the trees?  Aprt from that, the drawing has a convincing beauty which has always been present in the French drawing tradition. Desvigne himself became known eariy for drawing with his work on theoretical gardens, “Les jardins elementaires”. Starting from here Desvigne became one of the international stars — in itself an interesting new phenomenon in recent landscape architecture.

Noël van Doreen, Speaking about Drawing (2012)

5 2 3Michel Desvigne & Christine Dalnoky, Greenwich Peninsula (1999)



The Third Landscape – an undetermined fragment of the Plantary Garden -designates the sum of the space left over by man to  landscape evolution – to nature alone. Included in this category  are left behind urban or rural sites, transitional spaces, neglected land, swamps, moors, peat bogs, but also  roadsides, shores, railroad embankments, etc. To these unattended areas can be added space set aside , reserves in themselves: inaccessible places, mountain summits, non-cultivatable areas, deserts; institutional reserves: national parks, regional parks, nature reserves.

Compared to the territories submitted to the control and exploitation by man, the Third Landscape forms a privileged area of receptivity to biological diversity. Cities, farms and forestry holdings, sites devoted to industry, tourism, human activity, areas of control and decision permit diversity and, at times, totally exclude it. The variety  of species  in a field, cultivated land, or  managed forest is  low in comparison to that  of a neighboring «unattended» space..

From this point of view, the Third Landscape can be considered as the genetic reservoir of the planet, the space of the future…..

Gilles Clément, The Third Landscape (2003)

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Gilles Clément, Third Landscape Garden at St. Nazaire (2009)