Structures in Landscape Architecture

Topics Covered
· How to think about structure as an aspect of landscape architectural design thought.
· The structural implications of site elements: walls, retaining walls, fences, platforms, pavilions, pergolas, etc. encountered in landscape design studio project work at the GSD and later in professional practice.
· The structural implications of landscape infrastructure: fortifications, canals, railroads, roads and highways that have helped shape the environment since the 17th Century.
· Statics and the preliminary sizing of elements approached in qualitative and visual terms.
· Strength of materials explained in relationship to a material’s proposed structural role within a site element.
· Structural assembly analyzed as combinations of compression and tension elements.

Course Objectives and Outcomes
· The course objective is to understand how a proposed design element is structurally organized and how this relates to the performative and expressive intent of a landscape design proposal.
· The civil and structural engineering of landscape infrastructure is discussed with an emphasis on how structural imperatives contribute to shaping the landscape scale of infrastructure.
· The course outcome will provide each student with sufficient structural understanding to delineate a proposed landscape structure with sufficient tectonic clarity that it can be critically discussed with an architect and/or a civil, geotechnical or structural engineer.

Course Format
· Seminar/Workshop with an emphasis on the acquisition of practical skill in the application of the structural understanding to landscape design.
· Lectures describe course concepts.
· Case studies analyze the structural concepts used in specific landscape projects.

Method of Evaluation
· Evaluation of a portfolio/workbook of design development exercises produced throughout the semester.
· Class attendance and participation in discussions.

Successful completion of:
· 6242 Ecologies Techniques and Technologies IV or equivalent course.

Class Time
· Dedicated class time plus additional time as required for assigned readings and class assignments