‘Embracing the landscapes’ refers to a growing of the landscape architecture in context. You can see it in how building and landscape relate to our life and each facet of the context, whether it be environmental, ecological, economic, urban, or human aspects. Embracing is a means by which to think about a multi-dimensional relationship of landscape architecture. From this point of view, the role of landscape architect is to compound the selected components of design and make them stay and evolve together over time.
The book ‘Embracing the landscapes’ shares about a set of principles and strategies in landscape architecture on which the practice of Landscape Architects 49 has been founded since 1989. It also encapsulates the spirit that seeks for alternative ways for harmony, beauty, and the formation of atmospheres that could enrich and localize the works of landscape architecture in the context.
Reading it is similar as a path to explore the relationship between terrains and landscape architecture: from Mountains, Rural and Suburban, Urban, to Seaside and Island. Each terrain comes with the general principles as well as its particularity. The challenge for each new problem is in the balance between the two. The best chances of survival is a constant cause of concern that rules out formulas.
Usually, a process of selecting and combining landscape components runs its course until it finds a tune that fits in harmony with both life and structure, like fauna, flora, building, or object. It wires all relevant elements in order and sequence in relation to the existing condition. A living concept for a project often emerges from the nature of tension found in the site. In the mountain, a design process of making a masterplan can pinpoint the source of a concept among the insights of site observation. It can surface in a fierce tension between forces of nature and site existing condition which is rich in diversity and unpredictable by nature.
On the contrary, the rural or suburban area on a flat plain has quite light tension in topographical terms. Sometimes, the revitalization of a site through reprogramming the functional requirements and enhancing some topographical characters can turn out to be a worthy value-added step from the economic viewpoint. In the midst of the chaotic city, the design challenge shifts toward an attentive focus on user’s behavior and desire. Nowadays, the users tend to have a growing appetite for work-life balance and cherish their individuality as well as social life. By embracing all questions, the firm seeks a common ground and build up a place where an individual can stay at ease with oneself and enjoy gathering up with their beloved ones.
The work process at the seaside uses a bit of every approach mentioned before to make an atmosphere of enjoyment for people. That is why the saline soils and drought can become essential ingredients for designing the contrasting play between the struggling and relaxing modes of living in the landscape architecture. The challenge of landscape architecture is thus more about how to enhance a localized relationship and make it practical across the project. Each terrain’s limitations can become a real potential for compounding all elements in balance.
ที่มา: หนังสือ Embracing the Landscape