Relating Architecture to Landscape

By Jan Birksted | Go to book overview

Jan Birksted


Introduction

To write of the modern is to entertain the hope of the postmodern; to evoke that which is not yet built, transformed, laid waste, or irrevocably ruined; and to conjure up that ineffable ‘other’ world that lies beyond our present proliferation of useless objects. 1

Such hopes and fears, voiced by Kenneth Frampton in the late 1980s, lie at the source of this collection of essays too. But now in the late 1990s the opportunity arises for showing what has been built that challenges this ‘proliferation of useless objects’. Some things laid waste and irrevocably ruined have even provided the very opportunity to build on their wasteland precisely that ‘ineffable other world’ previously only conjured up in the imagination. In some exemplary cases, horrific ecological destruction has given place, as if through guilt and reparation, to ecological rebirth. Examples would be Peter Latz’s Landschaftspark at Duisburg-Nord and Richard Haag’s Gasworks Park in Seattle. Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette in Paris would be a more controversial one since it has also been described as littered with precisely that ‘proliferation of useless objects’ which prevents the ‘unique moment of beauty’. 2 So, this book sets out to present some contemporary examples in architecture, landscape architecture and garden design, that offer other models perhaps than the legacy of the Modern Movement and that lie at the borderline of what is normally accepted and at the cutting-edge of what is usually done. It is my hope that this book might stimulate both practising designers and students who are dealing with these issues live.

Indeed, garden designers, landscape architects and architects are urgently reconsidering the legacy of the Modern Movement, a legacy sometimes described in terms of a simple and radical separation between landscape and architecture, grounded in Le Corbusier’s statement that

One clear image will stand in my mind forever: the Parthenon. Stark, stripped, economical, violent; a clamorous outcry against a landscape of grace and terror. All strength and purity. 3

-1-

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Relating Architecture to Landscape
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 6
  • Section One 13
  • Introduction 15
  • Introduction - To Modern Gardens (1953) 16
  • Section Two 39
  • Introduction 41
  • Time and Temporality in Japanese Gardens 43
  • Notes 57
  • Some Recommended Books on Japanese Gardens 58
  • Detailing and Materials of Outdoor Space: the Scandinavian Example 59
  • Notes 75
  • Playing with Artifice: Roberto Burle Marx’s Gardens 77
  • Section Three 103
  • Introduction 105
  • External Interior/Internal Exterior Spaces at the Maeght Foundation 106
  • 1 - Plan of Prague Castle 120
  • References 157
  • The Re-Invention of the Site 158
  • Notes 172
  • Section Four 175
  • Introduction 177
  • Hans Scharoun, Schminke House, LöBau, Saxony 1932-33: Garden by Herta Hammerbacher and Hermann Mattern 178
  • Notes 193
  • 1 - Road to Acropolis, Sketch 194
  • Notes 204
  • Notes 227
  • Section Five 229
  • Introduction 231
  • The Necessity of Invention: Bernard Lassus’s Garden Landscapes 232
  • Notes 243
  • The Prospect at Dungeness: Derek Jarman’s Garden 244
  • Notes 258
  • Building in Nature 261
  • Contributors 281
  • Index 285
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