Discover the multiple roles played by a landscape architect during the design and beautification of the outdoor spaces
A landscape architect is a qualified professional who is involved with the design of open spaces and can skilfully create an excellent spatial relationship between the indoors and the outdoors. If you are planning to appoint a landscape rofessional for beautifying the outdoor areas of your home, here are insights into the broad scope of their work and responsibilities
What is landscape architecture?
Landscape architecture is a branch of architecture which involves different aspects of the planning and design of outdoor spaces, such as city landmarks, parks, public and private gardens, terrace gardens and so on.
Landscape architecture uses hardscape and softscape to integrate the built environment with the inbuilt environment.
Note: Hardscape forms the non-living parts of the landscaping, such as paved walkways, retaining walls, gazebos and patios – made of materials such as brick, natural stone and wood. Softscape includes the live horticultural elements – the flower beds, trees, shrubs, plants and grass.
Qualifications of a landscape architect
After earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture, one can study further to attain a master’s degree with specialisation in the field of landscape architecture and become a landscape architect.
The duration of a bachelor’s degree in architecture is five years, while a master’s degree in landscape architecture takes an two years.
Hence, a landscape architect is trained to design buildings and they can also use their artistic and problem-solving skills to create practical, functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces.
Importance of landscape architecture
Landscape architecture plays a key role in creating well-designed streets, parks, public spaces and private gardens. These areas form green spaces which inspire healthy living and create a stress-free outdoor environment.
Landscape architecture is not only about gardening and planting trees to beautify the space but it also involves the integration of other concepts like climate change, environment issues, ecology, sustainability, conservation and biodiversity.
In recent years, the landscaped pockets of urban cities involves the plantation of natural air-purifying plants which absorb toxins and can automatically help clean outdoor pollutants to improve the air quality of the surroundings.
What is the scope of work of a landscape architect?
Landscape architects are primarily involved with the design, planning and management of the outdoor spaces around public buildings, condominiums, townships, parks, farmhouses, bungalows and so on.
A landscape architect has a wide range of responsibilities, including involvement in site analysis, planning and furnishing of technical drawings for the hardscape and landscape. They also inspect the soil conditions, select the plants, and plan plantations, design both the hardscape and softscape to control erosion and manage storm water.
When should you appoint a landscape architect?
If you want to beautify the outdoors areas of a bungalow, villa, farmhouse or terrace garden, then appoint a landscape architect who can take responsibility for the conception, execution and beautification of these areas.
Whether it is a small project or a big one, landscape architects know how to enhance the aesthetic value of the space and create a beautiful and highly functional outdoor space.
When the project is still in design phase, the first step is to schedule a one-to-one meeting between the client and the landscape architect so that there is a detailed discussion and the landscape architect gets a fair idea about the client’s vision, requirements and approximate budget.
During this meeting, the landscape architect will also spell out the fee and payment structure, the scope of work, level of involvement in terms of site visits and the time frame required for the total completion of the work
In the next stage the landscape architect will share design concepts with the help of initial sketches, drawings and 3D images to explain about the space planning, the layout of the gardens, water bodies like fountains or a swimming pool (if applicable) and outdoor lighting.
Once the concept is finalised, the landscape architect uses CAD (computer aided design) to generate working drawings that are fit for execution on site.
The landscape architect also coordinates with external agencies such as contractors, architects, engineers and plumbing consultants to ensure smooth execution of work at site.
The landscape architect will periodically supervise the site as the work progresses, clears discrepancies between design and execution, and ensures timely completion of the project.