Structures in Landscape Architecture

Topics Covered
• How to think about structure visually and qualitatively as an aspect of landscape architectural design.
• The structural understanding 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 shapes of landscape infrastructure: canals, railroads, roads and highways that have helped shape the historic and contemporary territorial landscape.

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 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
• Assignment 1: The design of a landscape structure evaluated as to the development of a structural principle or principles.
• Assignment 2: A case study of the structural properties of a work of contemporary or historic landscape infrastructure.
• Class attendance and participation in discussions.

Pre-Requisites
Successful completion of (or concurrent participation in):
• 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