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An AVA Book Design by Anne Odling-Smee, 0-SB Design


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ISBN 978-2-940373-91-8
10987 6543 21
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF
LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECTURE

TIM WATERMAN
CONTENTS

HISTORY AND IDEAS 12 SITE AND CONTEXT 50 INHABITING THE LANDSCAPE 84


Yesterday and today 14 Landscape: site and context 52 Site plann ing and development 86
Before the ancient world 16 Climate 58 The view of t he landscape 92
The ancient world 22 Land 64 Landscape planting 96
The Middle Ages 26 Water 68 Flow: circulation and access 100
The Renaissance and baroque 30 Pl ants 72 Structures and habitation 104
The nineteenth century 38 Topography 76 Community planning 108
The twent ieth century 42 Landscape character 80
M illennial landscapes 48

How to get the most out of 6 Conclusion 180


this book Glossary 182
Introduction 8 Contacts and useful resources 186
Bibliography 189
Index 190
Acknowledgements and 192
picture cred its
Wor king with eth ics 193
REPRESENTATION 112 THE ANATOMY OF A PROJECT 140 CAREERS 164
The sketch 114 The Coventry Phoenix Initiative 142 Design and vision 166
Orthographic project ion 118 The project t imeline 144 Plann ingthe landscape 168
Perspective 122 1. Brief 146 Management and
3D images 124 2. Concept 148 conservation 170
Models 126 3. Analysis 150 Historic conservation 172
Computer-aided des ign (CAD) 130 4. Synthesis 152 The science of landscape 174
Storyboards 132 5. Detail development 158 Cit ies and towns 176
The moving image 134 6. Construction 160 Gardens and parks 178
Presentation 136 7. Maturation 162
The portfolio 138
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS BOOK

.. INHABITING THE LANDSCAPE


\\tlen we live in a place, make a home in it,
a permanent investment I we are sa.id to
inhabit 1t . A good place is one in which
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0 don't merely aake photogenic or sculptural
0 spaces. They aake landscapes that are
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Box outs Colour coding


Cont ain more detailed and cont extual Denotes the chapter.
inform ation about those landscape
architects or pract ices t hat are
referred to in the body copy.

Navigation Diagrams
Chapter navigat ion helps you Hel p to explain landscape
determine which chapter unit you archit ectural t heory and concepts in
are in and what t he preceding and more detail.
following sections are.
INTRODUCTION

8 climate and ecology. It also includes a knowledge


'If there's sky, it's mine.' of structures and how they are bu ilt, such as
Kathryn Gustafson, roads and bridges, walls, paving and even the
occasional building. Landscape arch itects are
Landscape architect broad th inkers who thrive on the big pictu re.
Landscape arch itects are playing an
increasingly im portant role in solving t he great
WHAT IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE?
z issues of our day, such as deali ng w ith climate
....0I- When asked where landscape arch itects work,
change and provid ing sustainable communities.
C.,
::, many people might point out t heir back door to
Q They are working on urban regeneration
0 the garden. It wou ld be more accurate, however,
a: and master-planni ng projects, t ackling
1-
to look out t he f ront door. The landscape is
....z environmental hazards, des igning Olympic
anywhere and everywhere outdoors, and
sites, and creating the public squares, parks and
landscape architects are shaping the face of
streets we all use.
the Earth across cities, towns and countryside
Landscape arch itecture is increasingly a field
alike. Landscape architecture involves shaping
that requ ires natural leaders who can utilise t heir
and managing the physical world and the natural
w ide-ranging knowledge to lead large proj ects.
systems that we inhabit. Landscape architects
It still, however, provides plenty of opportunities
do design gardens, but what is crit ical is that the
to make a substantial difference on a smaller
garden, or any ot her outdoor space, is seen in
scale as well. It is simply not possib le to give
context. All living things are interdependent, and
a satisfactory short definition of landscape
the landscape is where they all come together.
architecture, because of t he incredible breadth
Context is social, cultural, environmental and
of t he f ield - but far from being a short coming,
historical, amongst other considerations.
t his is landscape architecture's great strength.
Landscape architects are constantly zooming
For those who crave both variety and a challenge,
in and out from t he details to the big picture to
and are curious about everyth ing t hat makes
ensure that balance is maintained.
the wor ld go around, a career in landscape
Landscape architecture combines art and
architecture is ideal.
science to make places. The art provides a
vision for a landscape, using drawings, models,
computer imaging and text. The elements of
design, such as line, shape, texture and colour,
are used to create these images, and t he process
allows the designer to both communicate
w ith an audience and to visualise the s ite in
order to act upon it. The science includes an
understandi ng of natu ral systems, includi ng
geology, soils, plants, topography, hydrology,
Fresh Kills Lifescape, Staten
Island, New York, Field Operations,
2001-2005
Fresh Kills is an a r t if icial topography
creat ed by half a century's worth of
New York garbage. It shows the great
ra nge of landscape a rchitecture in
one project, f rom the need to mitigate
pollution, clean groundwater and t rap
escaping methane while creating a
public park for people and wildlife.

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WHERE DO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS WORK? .c
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Landscape architects work within an incredibly Historic places - historic monuments,
diverse number of places. Anywhere humans heritage landscapes, historic urban areas
have a hand in shaping the landscape, you may Scholarly places - universities, botanic
find a landscape architect at work. some may gardens, arboreta
specialise in a specific area, but many will have contemplative places-healing gardens, sensory
the opportunity to work with a wide variety of gardens, cemeteries
fields over the course of a career. Productive places - community gardens, storm
water management, agricultural land
Everyday places - schoolyards, parks, streets Industrial places - factories and industrial
Monumental places - Olympic campuses, grand development, mining and mine reclamation,
public squares, waterfront developments reservoirs and hydroelectric installations
Play places - resorts, golf courses, playgrounds, Travel places - highways, transportation
theme or amusement parks corridors and structures, bridges
Natural places - national parks, wetlands, Theentireplace-newtowns, urban regeneration
forests, environmental preserves and housing projects
Private places -gardens, courtyards,
corporate campuses, science or industrial parks
Courtyard in the LG Chemical
Research Centre, Seoul, Korea
This courtyard by Mikyoung Kim
derives its contemplative beauty
f rom the great precision of its design.
A simple, elegant relationship
between bamboo, moss, stone and
water create a highly sculptural
composition.
THE ROLE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Landscape architectu re combines social, 11
As a profession, landscape architecture economic. enviro nmental and cultu ral
is relatively new, dating back only about perspectives. Landscape architects study, plan.
a century and a half . However. the term design and manage spaces, which are both
'landscape architecture' emerged slightly sustainable and visually pleasing. They shape
earlier. It sits within a group of interdependent the face of the Earth and also help to shape the
professions that can be conveniently called face of t he future.
'the arch itectu res', which include: architecture. Q)
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a specialisation of landscape architects,
architects and urban planners. It is perhaps
simplest to say t hat landscape architects
create places for people to live, work and enjoy,
and places for plants and animals to thrive.
Landscape architects also speak up for the care
and preservation of our landscapes.
I n: .__

11 all

12
HISTORY AND IDEAS
The history of humankind is written
in the landscape. Every civilisation,
every empire, has left its mark in
some significant way. People have, for
millennia, felt the need to build and
create, not just to provide for the basic
needs of food, shelter and companionship,
but to make glorious monuments that
symbolise their collective ambitions.
We have, as a species, become disconnected
from the landscape that supports us in many
ways. For example, we are rarely able to
make a link between the food on our plates
and the landscape that produced it. This
disconnection is also of ten clear when we
look at the great built landscapes of our
past. Most people, for instance, see the
Pyramids at Giza as merely buildings, but
in reality they were parts of a complex
functioning landscape. An understanding of
the history of landscapes can help us to see
the whole picture.
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The ancient city wall in Xi'an , 13
China
Contemporary buildings
overshadow the ancient city
wall, which in turn overshadows
a modern streets cape where
"' building fac,ades are a mix of old
and new.
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YESTERDAY AND TODAY

14 Landscape architecture, as it is practised


'What we owe the fu t ure is not today, is qu ite dist inct f rom its hist orical roots in
a new start, for we can only landscape gardening, and it is on a course t hat
is still evolving. At its most basic level , it is st ill
begin with what has happened . about building landscapes for inhabitation and
We owe the fu t ure the past, sustain ing t he hu man species . However. t he
great advances of k nowledge and technology
the long knowledge that is the
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The beginnings of Settlement at Skara Brae, The Ziggurat at Ur, Sumer, It symbol ised not only
agriculture and of the Orkney, Scotland Mesopotamia religious power, but it also
Neolithic age The Ziggurat at Ur stood marked the centre of one of
at the heart of a tern ple the earliest empires: that of
complex, in t he heart of the anc ien t !:iumerians.
one of the earliest cities .

- - - - - - - - - t c10,000 BCE c7000BCE c3000BCE c2600-2500 c2250BCE

The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt would take the weight of


The Pyramids are part the buildings. The site also
of a complex f unerary needed to be near a quarry.
landscape, or necropolis The grounds surrounding t he
The first urban centre at
~atalhoyuk, Turkey
('c ity of t he dead'). The sit e
requ ired st able ground that
Pyramids were designed for
ceremony and majesty.
.. -..... .
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People have always left their mark on t he 15
landscape, f ro m the earliest cave paintings to
great f eat s of engineering such as Stonehenge.
Whi le we shape landscapes, we are at the same
time the product of these places. In an urban ised
world , we are more and more the product of city
landscapes. As with rural landscapes, no t wo
c iti es are alike . A forest dweller is as different (1)
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Stonehenge, Wiltshire, 1n active use and was Birth of Gautama Buddha


England continually modified. It is
For over a millennium one of t he most enduring Birth of Alexander
the ceremonial site and symbols ever inscribed on the Great
astronomical observatory the landscape.
at Stonehenge was

- - - - - - - - - - t c3100-1900 BCE 1333-1324 BCE c540BCE c500BCE 356BCE OCE

The founding of as their capital in what is


Persepolis, Persia now south-western Iran. It
Cyrus the Great, and his was a cent re of ceremony,
son Darius t he Great after marked wit h l avish and
him, both emperors of impressive buildings.
Reign ofTutankhamun Persia, built Persepolis Birth of Jesus Christ
BEFORE THE ANCIENT WORLD

16 THE DAWN OF CIVILISATION


The earliest humans would have led 'When we dream alone it is only
exceptionally busy lives . Hunt ing and gat heri ng ad ream, but when many dream
would have occupied most of their ti me and
energy - tracking a ni mals and searching for
together it is the beginning of
plants bearing edible root s, f ruit or leaves. They a new reality.'
would have had t o wander far a nd wide for a
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
meagre d inner, w ith only occasional bounty. The
marks they made on the land scape may have
been as small as footprin ts or discarded bones
and shells. It is d ifficult t o say just how much What is startli ng about Skara Brae is just how
sense of belonging the early humans might have recognisable it is that people were maki ng a
f elt in t he landscape. home, making a place, in more or less the same
As agricultu re emerged around 12,000 years way we do now.
ago, fixed settlement s of people became more St onehenge in Wilt shi re, England, and the
common. It is easier to imagine t hat people might great f ield of standing stones at Carnac in
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~ have given names to t he hills and ri vers that Brittany, France, are monument al examples of
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o them with more stable sust enance. Skara Brae
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settlement in Europe, bui lt roughly 5,000 years
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Birth of the Prophet The rise of the The Wars of the Roses Michelangelo paints the
Muhammad Aztec Empire Sistine Chapel
The beginning of the
Black Plague

- - - - - - - - - - i 570CE 1096 14th Century 1406-1420 1455-1487 1508-1512

The Forbidden City, of a city grid t hat forms the


Beijing, China street pattern of Beijing to
The Forbidden Cit y was t his day. The Forbidden City
built as t he capital of the was t he Emperor's palace,
empire of t he Ming Dynast y and he controlled all entry
The First Crusade of China. It sits at the centre to the city.
The neolithic settlement of Skara
Brae in the Orkney Islands, Scotland
Skara Brae was cont inually occupied
for approximately 600 years. The
bui ldings were nestled into heaps of
old kitchen rubbish called middens,
which provided shelter and insulation
for the buildings from the harsh North
Sea cli mate.

17

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The gardens at the Villa image of t he natural world, Vaux-le-Vicomte, near design t hat incited such
d'Este, Tivoli, Italy and is not able for its very Melun, France jealousy in Lou is XIV th at he
Th e Villa d'Este is a elabo rat e gravity-fed Andre le Not re designed hired the same designer to
masterpiece of Renaissance fou nt ains. the impeccable landscape creat e t he ultimate garden
Italian garden design. It atVaux-le-Vicomte, a for him at Versailles.
is a highly romanticised masterpiece of ba roque

- - - - - - - - - 1 1550 1564 1620 1633 1661 1666

Shalimar Bagh, Gardens of t he Shah Jahan.


Kashmir, India The gardens were arranged
Elaborate fountains and in a grid pattern, much l ike
c ascades over t hree ShahJahan's most famous
Birth of William levels were construct ed creat ion, t he Taj Mahal. Inquisition trial of
Shakespeare in the beaut iful Shal imar Galileo Galilei The Great Fire of London
18 WESTERN CIVILISATIONS The great ambitions and power of the pharaohs
The 'cradle of civilisation' was more central than made it possible for the Pyram ids at Giza to be
western. Mesopotamia, t he ri ch but vast and built , as well as the remar kable temple at Karnak
feature less valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates and the tombs at Luxor.
(now present -day Iraq), were f armed by the Mediterranean civilisation was soon to sh ift
Sumerians, the culture t hat preceded t he north from Egypt to ancient Greece, and th en to
Babylon ians. The Sumerians bui lt great brick Rome, where t he ph ilosophies underpinn ing our
ziggurat s - stepped pyramids ri sing high out world views were first articulated.
of the level pla in . Some archaeologist s believe
t hat t he terraces of these huge structures were
planted w ith trees and gardens. These massive
pyram ids would have helped to organi se t he
otherwise bland landscape as landmarks -
markers of place and identity.
The floodwaters of the Nile River in Africa
nourished t he land with silts and sediments in
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o the fertile plains.
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Birth of The American Revolution Pere Lachai se Cemetery, centuries. Its picturesque
Napoleon Bonaparte Paris, France style set t he tone for later
The French Revolution The cemet ery of Pere cemete ries, such as Mount
Lachaise contains the tombs Auburn in Massachusetts,
of some of the most famous wh ich would serve for
French figures of two pleasure as much as burial.

1740-1760 ,- 1769 ,- 1776 ,- 1789-1799 - Late1700s - 1804


The Gardens atStourhead, in their day and upto the The Indu strial Revolution
Wiltshire, England present. They have long
The gardens at Stourhead served as a model for park
were built in t he English design.
l andscape trad it ion and
were hugely infl uential, both
The temple complex at Karnak near courtyards. The processional routes
Luxor, Egypt bet ween the t emples foreshadow the
A sphinx-li ned avenue connects t wo great avenues that were to come.
of the temples at Karnak. The great
complexity of the site takes it out of
t he realm of buildi ng architecture
into landscape architecture and
urbanism. The ent ire complex is a
walled enclosure with int erior spaces
t hat include buildings and garden

19

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Invention of the Central Park, New York, USA The real it y of it has lived
lawnmower The vision of Frederic k up t o Ol mst ed's vision a
Law Ol msted, Central hundredfold.
Park was c onceived as an
egal itarian public spac e fo r
all t he people of New York.

- - - - - - - - 1827 1839-1860 1852-1870 1857 1880-1881 1914-1918

Baron Georges-Eugene
Haussmann's renovation
The Opium Wars of Paris The First Boer War World War I
20 EASTERN CIVILISATIONS landscape were in commemoration of death .
The evolution of humans in t he landscape There has been much speculatio n over t he
followed much the same progress in the Far years about the uses of t hese stones, and
East as it did in the West. The earliest hunter- aside from t hei r use as tomb markers, it seems
gatherers improved their circumstances most likely t hat t he stones either had spiritual
t hrough the domestication of animals and the significance or they were used as observatories.
development of agricu ltural practice. The links One t hing is certain: they served to f ix a place
between West and East are perhaps more in the landscape that signif ied a belonging,
profound t han is commonly imagined. The wh ich marked a physical place on the planet .
prehistoric development of Eu rasian languages as well as a locatio n with in t he cosmos . It is t h is
are li nked in ways t hat suggest t hat nomad ic significance t hat has resonance and relevance
t ribes had spheres of influence that overlapped to us today; it situates t he work of landscape
across all of Europe and Asia. These t ribes would architects within human needs and aspirations,
have travelled with domest icated an imals and wh ich stretch back over millennia.
lived an itinerant existe nce. following resources
seasonally across t he landscape.
~" Almost everywhere in t he East, there are
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remains to be fou nd t hat are strikingly sim ilar to
o t hose found in Europe. These include standing
~ stones, eit her in circles or alone, and dolmens.
~
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World War II Paley Park, New York, USA First man on the moon
A tiny oasis in Manhattan where
t he sound of a wall of water
washes away t he noise of the
city. Designed by landscape
arch itects Zion and Breen

- - - - - - - - - 1 1939-1945 1950 1967 1968 1969

Assassination of Martin
Indian independence Luther Ki ng
Standing stones in the Altai
Mountains, Siberia
The Altai Mountains are in the centre
of Asia, at the meeting poi nt of
Siberia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
The stones protrude starkly from the
vast, windswept steppe.

21

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End of the Vietnam War Berlin Wall dismantled War in Iraq

- - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1970 1975 1989 2003 2008

Copacabana Beach, Copacabana Beach, are


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil typical of t he work of
Bold modernist patterns, Roberto Burle Marx. His
including t he emblemat ic exuberant landsca pes
wave motif t hat unif ies captured the optimistic
t he waterfront aIon g spirit of t he age. Olympic Games in Beijing
THE ANCIENT WORLD

22 Gods and monarchs gave shape to the EASTERN CULTURES


landscapes of the ancient world, wh ic h were There is a great unity of intent in t he realisatio n
often bu ilt on a scale that is still impressive of architecture and landscapes throughout the
today. A great flowering of knowledge and eastern cultures. From t he form of build ings and
c ulture happened all over the world, more or less the ir location within t heir landscape context,
simu ltaneously, over the space of roughly 1,000 to the smallest sculptural or decorative details,
years. The society of ancie nt Greece brought us style and form are consistent and intelligible
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< w the science and philosophy t hat still provide t he across t he continuum of scales. While world
W c.!:!
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< O Roman c ultu re spread across Europe and Africa
>- .... ways of liv ing on Earth and existing within t he
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o w by dint of force and introduced new techni ques cosmos seems to have been held in common.
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~ of building. It also left behi nd new patterns of city As with almost all cultures across t he world,
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i roads to aq ueducts. usually defined by a boundary- often a wall. The
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...
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(.) stupas (reliquaries) at Borobudur in Indonesia, were some of the earliest Buddhist structures
~ and San ch i in India, mark the emergence of that acted as enclosures or boundaries. They
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a: Persian Empire . A gateway and a path arou nd the dome would
~ The cultu res in Pre-Columbian America have been part of a meditative c ircuit.
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anywhere else in the wor ld, from the Sun site, there was always emphasis on movement
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c ity of Machu Picchu. Alt hough t he Incas were expression of power, as was the sequence of
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they are perhaps more analogous to ancient the capital city of ancient Persia .
Western c ivilisation, at least in terms of how t hei r
c ulture manifested itself in space.
It is not just the temples and cities that defined
the landscape of the anc ient world. Agricultu re,
and the infrastructu re required to move food
from t he countryside to the city also had a
profound imp act on the land.
Persepolis
The site of Persepolis, the capital city
of the Persian Empire, was chosen fo r
its st rat egic location. This location
allowed excellent physical access to
much of t he empire, with views out
from a def ensible position.
The city itself was built t o impress.
It had a sequence of spaces designed
to convey the strength of Persia and
its emperor.

23

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Buddhist stupa (Stu pa No. 3)


atSanchi
The stupas at San chi are one of
t he earliest Buddhist religious
complexes known, and one of the
best preserved. They were built near
t he modern city of Bhopal in India by
t he Emperor Asoka. They are sited in
an enclosure on a hill with fi ne views
out t o t he plai ns below.
Th e Agora in At he ns
The Agora (which translates roughly
as 'marketplace') in Athens was
central t o Athenian public and
democratic life, providing not only a
market for goods, but also a place fo r
generating ideas. Philosophers such
as Socrates developed their ideas
with a public audience in theAgora.
Athens was not alone in possessi ng
an agora. Wherever Greek culture
blossomed, so did the agora.

24

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~ THE MEDITERRANEAN Public life in ancient Greece and Rome was of


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~ Greece, wh ich provided the foundations for for sporting eve nts, theat re, markets and t he
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a: science, mathematics, phi losophy and polit ics. exchange of ideas, and these were all central
~ From Greece also came the concept of the genius to t he way cities were planned. The Ago ra was
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.... loci - the genius or spirit of a place. At t he t ime,
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this would have been a lite ral interpretation, a contem porary public squares, but it was much
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w spirit or deity inhabiting a place. The same was more at the heart of culture and politics. The
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importantly for t he present day, it refers both to for Roman cultu re, so much so t hat nowadays,
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CD the essence of a landscape's c haracter and to when we refer to a forum, we are speaking of
the practice of observing a place to understand a meeting of minds. Public space has not lost
where best to place built elements or plants, its signif icance for democracy and public life,
both for environmental reasons. such as and landscape architects are very much aware
exposure to sun, and f or aesthetic reasons. of its democratic funct ion when they design
for it today.
The Forum at Rome
The Roman Forum had some
similarities to the Greek Agor a, in
that it was the cen t re of political
and civic life. However, it lacked the
underpi nnings of democracy that
were so crucial to the Greek stat e
and society.

25

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The Hippodrome at Caesarea


Public life in the ancient world also
extended to great theatrical and
sporti ng event s. Chariot racing at t he
Hippodrome at Caesar ea (in present-
day Israel) would not have been so
different from a visit to a racetrack
today. The Hippodrome was built by
Herod as part of massive building
works at Caesarea.
THE MIDDLE AGES

26 The Midd le Ages may be seen as a period of LAND AND FEUDALISM


ti me in which superstitious religion, warri ng The control of land in the M iddle Ages was highly
fac ti ons and authoritarian power conspired to centralised; in Europe, feudalism defin ed th e
slow the pace of progress and stifle expression. way the landscape was subdiv ided and used .
In realit y, these influences d id much t o ensure The bulk of th e land was in the control of kings
that we have a legacy of power ful bu ildings and or nobles, who would use the labour of peasants
evocative landscapes that developed w it h strong to reap its benefits.
1/) w local ident it ies. This was not merely confin ed to While some common land existed, it was not
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< O in Spain , the Forbidden City in Beij ing and the
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animals and for foraging. Peasants were tied
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moss garden at Saiho -j i in Kyot o were all in
const ructi on in the short space of 200 years
to the land so common land was th erefore not
... <( symbolic of freedom a nd community in t he way
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between 1200 and 1400. it is today.
zw The concentration of power and money in the The enclosure of lands for privat e ownership
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t he construction of incredible monuments, bot h landscape, particularly in England, whose walls
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~ van it y. Defensive structures, suc h as walls is symbolic of t he countryside and emblemati c
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and cast les, were also built everywhere, often of the national t ern perament.
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provid ing a new def ini ng characterist ic to a
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....
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~ contained w ithin the small interior spaces of
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~ buildings (cloist ers, in part icular), where herbaria
or physic gardens would be built. These provided
herbs f or cooking, perfu mes and potpourri s, but Th e cloister at Mont Saint -Mi chel,
Normandy, France
more import antly, for med icinal purposes. Wh ile
Both physic gardens and cloisters
plant s and herbs may have been grown f or th eir were enclosed spaces. In the case
beauty, it is more likely t hat th ey were grown of mediaeval cloisters, t hey were
primarily for their usefu lness. These, along with used for meditat ive perambulation,
and would probably have provided a
vegetable gardens, would have been the most very welcome break f rom the close
formal ga rdens constructed. interiors that monks or nuns would
have found themselves confined to
much of the ti me.