Designing Landscapes for Distinguished Architecture

Designing smart landscaping, that is both cohesive and fresh, is an essential part of any project involving a prominent building. Good architects are both creative in the overall scope of the project as well as detailed in the smallest nuances. While designing the outer areas of such a notable building can be intimidating, it really doesn’t have to be that hard. Here are a few things to keep in mind about designing a landscape for distinguished architecture:

Maintain the Integrity of the Design

One of the most important parts of designing for a famous building or architect is to maintain the original integrity of the design. Designers should have a full understanding of the methods used during the building design as well as the overall goal of the architect. Knowing the overarching style of the building will help you design better exterior spaces as well. Coupling inferior landscape and building designs will not only cause confusion but also create an unbalanced look. Even if the building’s design and style is not your cup of tea, it is vital to put aside your opinions as a designer and create landscaping that will work in the space.

Honor the Architect, But Make It Fresh

Some landscape designers find themselves creating the outer regions around an older building with deep historical roots. These buildings can be somewhat hard to reimagine due to their age and significance. There is a delicate balance between honoring the original architect and their purpose for the building, while also making the design fresh and relatable for a new generation. While mixing the two genres is feasible, you must take into account the balance between new and old.

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This home, designed by famous architect Minoru Yamasaki, was designed and built in the 1960s but had to be blended in with modern landscaping. Our landscape designers mingled hardscaped living spaces, combined with strategic plant placement, to mirror the simple but smart overall design of the home. Consider a few different ideas and ask other designers their opinions on what would work best in the space to honor the architect but also make it fresh for today.

Understand the Scale

Scale is nothing new to a seasoned landscape designer, but it can be even trickier to fit in your design around a building with small exterior spaces. Expansive homes and dwindling property lines leave little wiggle room for grand flower beds and outdoor living spaces. Being able to work within the scale of the surrounding property is where smart landscape designs come into play. Some of the best design starts from the smallest of spaces surrounding a prominent building.

Design of the Courtyard Area

While small spaces can be hard to design, the same goes for extra-large areas around a building. Sometimes plenty of exterior space can seem great at first but quickly becomes a problem. Finding one design that works for an expansive space can be difficult to pull off. Most large areas include different pockets of design which can significantly complicate the time and effort it takes to complete.

Prepare for Challenges

We all know that landscape design poses a unique set of challenges. Add in the pressure to design for a famous architect, and you’re likely to come across a few more hiccups as well. Being prepared for any unforeseen challenges is an essential part of any landscape design. Understand that buildings of historical or cultural significance will most likely have extra constraints that will need to be carefully considered.

For more significant public buildings, you’ll also be working with a board of directors or a group of trustees that will all have their own opinions to acknowledge as well. These overseers may also monitor the project much closer than you would find on less significant projects. Many landscape designers who work on important buildings will share that it was quite a task, but that it was well worth it in the end when the design finally came together.

Finding a balance between old and new is essential when designing any kind of landscape. Honoring the architect and the original purpose of the building is important to understand. Maintaining the integrity of the building, as well as using scale to modify your design, is crucial to smart landscape design. Consider these tips the next time you are designing a landscape for distinguished architecture.