Structures in Landscape Architecture

Topics Covered:

  • The conceptual, expressive and practical roles of structure and structural understanding in the design and making of works of landscape architecture at the site and territorial scales.
  • The explanation and application of graphical, visual and haptic methods to understand structural principles such as tension, compression, bending, shear and torsion and how they shape the appearance of landscape elements and assemblies.
  • Case studies of built and buildable works of landscape architecture that analyze the role of structure in the shaping of individual landscapes. These studies range from individual elements such as decks, pergolas and small bridges to territorial infrastructures such as fortifications, roads, highways and railroads.

Course Objectives and Outcomes

Develop in each class participant:

  • A non- mathematical understanding of structural principles associated with design at the site and territorial scales that can be used to understand existing structures and give credible structural form to landscape design ideas.
  • Use the understanding of structure gained in the course to effectively communicate with experts in the development of landscape structures.
  • Show how structural imperatives contribute to the shaping of the built landscape and support cultural meanings.

Course Format
The course is a seminar/workshop. Each class will introduce structural topics that will then be worked on in an in-class workshop. This hands on work is augmented by detail case studies of landscape structures.

Method of Evaluation

  • Class participation.
  • Class assignments consisting of an individual or small group structural landscape design project and a case study of an existing historical or contemporary landscape structure.

The class has no prerequisites and is open to all interested in the structural shape of the landscape.