Relating Architecture to Landscape

By Jan Birksted | Go to book overview

Jan Woudstra


Detailing and materials of outdoor space: the Scandinavian example

During the second half of the eighteenth century William Chambers’ famous thesis on oriental gardening was instrumental in spreading the Chinese influence in garden design across Europe. It brought exotic detailing and frivolity in particular to the design of buildings, but also ideas on planting design. In Scandinavia for example the oriental influence could be felt from the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries. Chambers appears never to have visited China, and the information for his thesis derived from a mixture of second hand sources and his own ideas based on tradition. In contrast, during the twentieth century Scandinavian design was influential on the rest of the world, primarily due to visiting architects and landscape architects returning to their own countries and applying similar principles.

In 1960 the landscape architect and architect Elisabeth Beazley published what has become a standard reference work entitled Design and Detail of the Space Between Buildings, This book has been quoted to be ‘one of the most useful and readable books on landscape construction of the period, not least because it combined landscape context with a wealth of in depth knowledge of landscape detailing’. 1 In the introduction Beazley analysed and listed the problems regarding the treatment of the space between buildings. Unfortunately her observations are still as current today as when they were written. Her main conclusions were that there was much lacking in our twentieth century efforts, but that there were some outstanding examples of good new work, ‘outstanding because they are straightforward, robust, simple and well detailed’ (Fig.1). Of these criteria she noted that: ‘These virtues should be the rule, not the rare exception.’

She continued:

There is a strange resignation on the part of the general public, who are often oddly confused about what they like and what we can now do. Though enjoying the past tradition they do not seem to realise that a new and equally good one can, and in fact gradually is, taking its place. The present attitude towards outdoor design is one of either apathy or perverse preciousness, both of which are quite illogical. When the importance of exterior design is compared, in terms of the number of people affected, with that of the interior design of any building, this

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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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