Monday, June 20, 2011

Architecture and Landscape Architecture

A Legoretta-like wall frames and formalizes this garden walk.
Architecture and landscape architecture are inextricably intertwined. As an architect I am fully aware that my buildings look best when the wrapping around them contributes to the presentation. We frequently delay photographing our projects because the landscaping is inadequate or immature or incomplete. Landscape architects often join the project team too late and with too few resources. It is a sad fact that most of their work is done at the end when the budget is exhausted. Landscaping is an easy thing to do later, so, to the landscape architect's chagrin, later it often is. That does not diminish its importance.
An organic beginning with an architectonic terminus.
What would Versailles be without its gardens? Fallingwater without its lush natural setting? A contemporary home without an indoor/outdoor connection?
A tea house in the background establishes a purpose and a goal.
Conversely, landscape architecture works best with the support and companionship of architectural elements. It struck me touring the Denver Botanical Gardens last week that random architectonic elements give the landscaping a sense of place and purpose. A walk in the woods can be a fine experience, but we often seek a place of shelter or an architectural frame from which to appreciate the natural environment. Japanese gardens sometimes contain an azumaya. It is a garden-viewing-place; a small gazebo of sorts where one can appreciate and contemplate the garden itself. Every type of garden is enhanced and uplifted by architectural elements.

All photos taken at the Denver Botanic Gardens by MJK.