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what is landscape architecture

What is landscape architecture?

Landscape architecture involves planning, design and management of outdoor spaces. Here are 8 tips for perfect Landscape design

Climate change together with current environmental problems, such as pollution, greenhouse effect and deforestation are a global threat impacting various sectors and demanding more sustainable choices across industries.

With respect to such significant influence of the building industry, landscape architecture is making a valuable contribution to sustainable building approach and providing solutions to many existing environmental issues.

If you are a Landscape architect or need to plan, design and manage natural and built environments, then you should definitely be supported by cutting edge and innovative landscape design software, that you could immediately try for free. Keep reading this article to find out more about landscape architecture and which are the things to consider when planning your landscape design.

What is meant by landscape architecture?

Landscape architecture is a discipline that deals with the study and design of outdoor areas, landmarks and structures, which may include architectural, artistic, naturalistic, engineering and sociological elements.

It applies aesthetic and scientific principles to address ecological sustainability, quality and health of landscapes, collective memory, heritage and culture, and territorial justice.

In fact, landscape architecture encompasses the study of social processes, the history of a place, and its ecological and spatial characteristics to enable systematic planning and management of public spaces on small, medium and large scales.

Landscape architecture

Rendering of a natural environment created with Edificius

What landscape architects do

Landscape architects work on a variety of projects, ranging from public parks, gardens, and recreation areas to residential properties and commercial developments. They play an important role in designing and creating outdoor spaces that meet the needs of individuals and communities while also promoting environmental sustainability.
They must have analytical skills in solving collective problems, as well as technical and professional skills in creating spaces that not only enhance amenities but also enhance the aesthetics of the landscape.

In short, landscape architects design rural and urban landscapes, starting off from the natural features and historical and cultural values of the area and incorporating technical, aesthetic, functional, scientific and management principles.

Landscape architects should be able to:

  • create landscapes that meet human and natural needs;
  • recognize and preserve the natural environment, history and vocation of the place;
  • identify their clients’ needs and make them compatible with those of the community.

What is the difference between architecture and landscape architecture?

Architecture and landscape architecture are complementary yet distinct disciplines:

  • architecture is primarily concerned with the design of buildings and structures such as housing, offices, and schools, and infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and utilities;
  • landscape architecture, on the other hand, focuses on the conceptual design of urban and natural spaces that lie “between buildings and constructions” and aims to protect human and environmental health and well-being.

What are examples of landscape architecture?

There are multiple examples of landscape architecture, including:

  • parks and public open spaces;
  • squares;
  • gardens;
  • streets;
  • campuses;
  • gardens;
  • botanical gardens;
  • green infrastructure;
  • green roofs;
  • playgrounds;
  • natural and artificial wetlands;
  • commercial areas;
  • transit zones;
  • tourist areas.

8 tips for Landscape design

Here are 8 key steps that can help you design landscape architecture:

  1. analysis of the client’s requirements;
  2.  inspection and site surveying;
  3.  study and outline design;
  4.  plant selection;
  5.  irrigation type;
  6. distribution of paths and paving;
  7.  selection of outdoor furniture components;
  8. analysis of the lighting system

1. Analysis of the client’s requirements

Taking time to listen to the client is the first step in developing a good landscape design. It is important to know how to interpret their needs and requirements in order to identify the solution that best fits their aesthetic and functional needs.

2. Inspection and site surveying

Examining the state of the sites is an important input to direct creativity: physically viewing the site allows you to better grasp the details and identify the choices best suited to the client’s requirements.

At this stage, it is made an assessment of the available area, measurements are taken, and the quality of the terrain is analyzed.

3. Research and outline design

Based on the client’s requirements and the data collected, an outline project is drawn up together with:

  • floor plans;
  • elevation views;
  • cross-sections;
  • perspective views and renderings;
  • videos and animations;
  • details;
  • BoQs;
  • material estimates;
  • etc.

4. Plants selection

It is only possible to move on to green design following a detailed landscape study. In fact, through careful analysis it is possible to identify the type of plants, trees, flowerbeds, shrubs and green elements best suited to create an environmentally sustainable environment with beautiful and functional spaces.

5. Choosing the type of irrigation

Green spaces should be irrigated daily. In fact, some of the landscape architect’s task involve choosing the most appropriate method of applying irrigation water. Some irrigation system are:

  • sprinkler system;
  • drip irrigation system;
  • soaker hoses and perforated pipes;
  • run-off irrigation.

6. Distribution of paths and paving

To make the outdoor space usable and functional, green spaces are as important as paved ones. Relevant to the design will be:

  • the selection of materials and finishes;
  • construction technology;
  • the study of slopes and drains.

7. Choice of outdoor furniture components

Another important element when designing outdoor spaces is the selection of outdoor furniture components. Outdoor spaces, in fact, can be enriched by numerous furniture elements decorating:

  • living areas;
  • relax areas with gazebos;
  • swimming pools;
  • solariums;
  • playgrounds;
  • etc.

8. Analysis of the lighting layout

The outdoor lighting system is very important to make spaces usable even in the evening and night hours.

It is important to choose the type of lighting system (overhead or underground), the type of lighting points and their correct placement.

modelling outdoor spaces


What software does a landscape architect use?

To develop a complete design, the landscape architect needs to use appropriate software tools to guide him or her from the concept phase to the implementation phase. If you, too, are involved in outdoor space design and want to make your workflow more efficient and improve your design projects, we recommend using a landscape design software immediately.

Thanks to this tool you can improve decision making and design quality by:

  • modeling the existing natural and built environment;
  • customizing spaces with the inclusion of dedicated objects;
  • managing green elements, water or lighting systems;
  • creating highly photorealistic renderings and immersive experiences of your outdoor space design.