State Street Reconstruction | Madison, WI

What is landscape architecture?

Sarah McDonald | with 0 Comments

What is landscape architecture?

There are many misconceptions about landscape architecture. Some believe it is simply picking out a few plants and placing them appropriately on a property - but it is so much more. Landscape architecture is defined as “The art and science of creating outdoor spaces,” but what does that mean?
One of a landscape architect’s primary objectives is to determine how people will use and experience a space. Landscape architects are concerned with how the landscape looks and what is planted, but they also want to know how a space feels to the user. Is it intimate or vast? Cool or hot? Lush or minimalist? These questions shape the user experience and the program of the landscape, and are fundamental to the design process.
One of the challenges landscape architects face is the increasingly complex relationship between the built and natural environments. It is important to implement projects that meet the needs of people while also considering environmental impacts.
Landscape architecture is expansive and diverse. The profession requires analysis, planning, aesthetic design, and stewardship of natural and built environments. Landscape architects coordinate with planners, civil engineers, architects, and other professionals at all stages of a project, from preliminary site analysis to construction observation. 
You probably have seen the work of a landscape architect without even knowing it. Project types range and include:
So you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a landscape architect on this project?” The answer, is almost always YES! Even with the lowest budget, simple projects can benefit from input from a landscape architect who will consider the aesthetic relationships and details of a site, including plantings, paving and structures. 
Your project’s landscape designs are the first thing someone sees, and, unfortunately, everyone notices a bad one. It takes time to carefully analyze existing conditions, formulate design alternatives, and create a plan that in the end will lead to the installation of a successful space.
Don’t make landscape planning an afterthought - be sure you contact a landscape architect early in the scoping process. To help you plan and implement a successful outdoor space, contact MSA’s Sarah McDonald. For more information about landscape architecture, check out American Society of Landscape Architects

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