landscape architecture

The World of Landscape Architecture

While it is true plants are part of the palette of landscape architects, the really cool stuff doesn’t necessarily bloom. The fun parts of the job include things like manipulating landform, playing with hard materials like stone, copper and steel, assessing water flows, and understanding people flows, too. I can’t speak for all in the field, but the most interesting projects have more to do with fitting in to context than specifying the right perennial. During the month of May, I’ll share a few inspirational projects that may bend the idea of landscape architecture.

The first on the list (‘cause it’s local, and well, I happened to work at the landscape architecture firm): Westminster Courtyard and Columbarium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Employing only two plant species (honey locust trees and creeping thyme), the beauty of this project lies in its comfortable size, its relation to the existing structure, and its minimal material palette. A pattern abstracted from the stained glass windows becomes a perforated copper fence, a constantly coursing water rill muffles the adjacent street, soft illumination allows for evening congregation, and a timeless columbarium wall complements the 110 year-old Westminster Church and its engaged community. Check out Coen + Partners website for a lengthier (and more interpretive) description of the project.

All images by Paul Crosby Architectural Photography

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