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TitleEuropean Landscape Architecture: Best Practice in Detailing
ISBN 139780203622995
File Size9.2 MB
Total Pages289
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The Netherlands
The United Kingdom
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European Landscape Architecture

This is an important new book about landscape con-
struction and good detailed design. It is not a book
of standard details in landscape architecture, nor
does it give the reader step-by-step instructions;
instead it highlights how important it is to consider
detail in the creative process, showing that good
practice in detailing is as integral to successful
design as an exciting concept or striking site plan.

The book features case studies of recent land-
scape architectural projects in nine European coun-
tries, including the Peace Garden in Sheffield, the
Harbour Park in Copenhagen, a motorway service
station in France, a guest house garden in Hungary,
a cemetery in Munich and the new Botanic Gardens
in Barcelona. Each project has been chosen for its
exemplary good practice in construction detailing
and is demonstrative of how a strong overall con-
cept can be expressed through well-designed detail
to create convincing design.

European Landscape Architecture draws together
a team of leading professionals and academics in
the field of landscape architecture. The case stud-
ies are well-illustrated with photographs and many
original construction drawings running alongside
the text. This will be a valuable source book for
students and practitioners alike, as well as being
of interest to researchers with an interest in the
process of design.

Jens Balsby Nielsen was Associate Professor at the
University of Copenhagen from 1998–2005 where
his main subjects were landscape planning, manage-
ment, and landscape architectural detailing and con-
struction. In 2005 he became a landscape advisor in
the Danish Palaces and Properties Agency.

Torben Dam has been an Associate Professor at the
University of Copenhagen since 1993. Torben is the
author of books about garden design, quality stand-
ards and hard surfaces in landscape architecture. His
main areas of teaching and research are in detailing
and construction in landscape architecture.

Ian Thompson is Reader in Landscape Architecture
at Newcastle University. A chartered landscape
architect and town-planner, he spent thirteen years
in practice before joining the teaching staff in the
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape in
1992. He is editor of the international peer-reviewed
journal Landscape Research and the author of
several books including Ecology, Community and
Delight (Spon Press, 1999) which won a Landscape
Institute Award in 2001 and The Sun King’s Garden
(Bloomsbury, 2006), a narrative history of the crea-
tion of the gardens of Versailles.

Page 144


The Garden of Somogy

extended all the way to the stream. The original
surfaces next to the buildings were inappropriate
for the intended garden uses and could not remain.
The realisation of the entry, the steps that gave
access to the guest-house, the parking places, the
barbecue and the furnished garden lounge, was
only possible using a series of retaining walls to
accommodate height differences. This stepping of
the ground originates from the requirements of
everyday use, but it melts into the landscape from
the most important viewpoints.

A characteristic gate marks the transition between
the welcoming area associated with the buildings
and the outside world. The gate is the threshold that
allows visitors to understand that they have arrived
at a new place. People can enter this welcoming
area on foot or by car, and when they arrive, they
are faced with the Somogy landscape. The driver
who speeds along the motorway and turns off the
highway and arrives in Bonnya, slowing down a
little bit on the hills of Somogy, turns through the
gate and stops. It must be a real stop; he must
wait for a moment before getting out of the car,
looking around, calming down, for here is the true
landscape of Somogy.

The creation of this welcoming place was a primary
aim of the design. It was necessary to create an
old-fashioned system of terraces and embank-

ments using retaining walls that varied in height
from 500mm to 4m. These enabled the designer to
enlarge the upper area and to create a fruit garden
below, which became the most intimate resting area
within the garden, where low walls for sitting were
incorporated. The undulating lines of the retaining
wall symbolise the outlines of the landscape, but
at the same time, like all the curving, dynamic lines
in the plan, it is a line full of energy, charged with
mental and spiritual ideas, which draws upon the
area’s ancient culture and popular arts.

Beyond the guest-house, an enclosed area near to
the stable forms an open-air lounge for community
activities. It includes some characteristic structures,
an open-air oven which provides all the functions of
a kitchen and a sideboard, and an old restored well,
which today has only ornamental value.

In the planting, the principle was to use species
that reflected the character of the surrounding
landscape, while also symbolising, in a sensitive
way, the complex relationship between human
beings and place. Next to the house, therefore,
there is a great variety of species, including small
ornamental bushes and perennials, and also some
native species with high ornamental value. As well
as some traditional forms of roses, we can find
peonies, hydrangeas and yuccas, while the south
front garden is planted with herbs typical of a


Elevation of ‘male’ and ‘female’ entrance gates


Details of the ‘female’ gate


Photo: ‘male’ gate


Photo: ‘female’ gate

Page 145



peasant’s garden: Mentha, Lavandula, Santolina,
Salvia, Thymus and Rosmarinus. Further away from
the house, a greater proportion of the more com-
mon and native species are planted, including
Corylus colurna, Syringa vulgaris, Viburnum opulus,
Amygdalus nana, Cotinus coggygria, Sambucus
nigra, Euonymus europaeus, Lonicera japonica and
Spiraea x vanhouttei.

Perennials are particularly important in such a young
garden, where they provide the main ornamental
interest. They are planted here in great numbers.
There are rich flowerbeds forming a riot of colour
around the house and along the main roads; they
are planted with Iris, Campanula, Centrantus ruber,
Solidago aurea, Rudbeckia, Phlox, Achillea and
Lilium. The intensive use of flowerbeds is less and
less evident as one moves away from the house
and the main picnic areas. There are perennials not
only along the garden paths, around the bushes and
in certain parts of the grass-covered areas, but also
along the roadside and opposite the gate to empha-
sise arrival. The driveway is lined with a welcoming
avenue of maples (Acer campestre) while a pleas-
ant sycamore in a round flowerbed radiates a sense
of calm from the centre of the front garden.

The English yew (Taxus baccata), which used to be
typical of this landscape, plays an important sym-
bolic role. While the yew is considered the symbol

of death in many cultures, it is also regarded as the
symbol of life. The ancient Celtic warriors honoured
it as a holy tree. The most effective bows were
made out of yew and, according to historians of
ecology, the huge number of war bows made dur-
ing medieval times caused the extinction of English
yew in many parts of Europe, including Hungary,
where only some small yew forests survived in the
Transdanubian region. In Hungarian culture the yew
carries complex meanings. It is regarded as the root
of history and the temple of wisdom, and it helps us
to restore and to purify ourselves. Because of these
strong associations, it was chosen to create a frame
at the main entrance to the guest-house, bringing
the ‘energy of life’ into the building.

The European white elm (Ulmus leavis) is another
symbolic tree in Hungary. According to ancient
traditions, the elm was the most significant saint’s
tree and was able to create a connection with the
sky, therefore all the most important decisions
were made beneath the elm tree. It was therefore
essential that this species should be represented in
the garden.

On the lower terraces there is a fruit garden planted
with the varieties of fruit trees found in traditional
peasants’ gardens. On the middle terrace the fruit
trees are next to the retaining wall and are grown on
cordon, utilising the heat stored and re-radiated by

Page 288



canal quay, under construction, 165
Doesburg Panorama observation tower, 159
grandstand steps, 159, 164; photo, 164
housing, 162, 167
lighting, 165
lower quay, materials (photo), 160
paving, 160–2, 164, 165
planting, 159, 160, 162, 165–6
promenade, raised level (cross-section), 160
railings, 164
roadways, 165
walls, 163

Ray, Jill, 255, 259
Rees, Ieuan, 254
Rosa Barba European Landscape Award, 235

Sándor, Tamás, 135
see also Erzsébet Square, Budapest

Schmidt, Rainer, 83
see also Landscape Park, Riem

Sheffield, 5
Heart of the City Project, 237–8, 255; early

masterplan, 253
Sheffield City Council, 252
see also Peace Gardens, Sheffield

SIAC Ltd, 48
Skelton, Andrew, 254
Smithfield, Dublin

braziers, gas, 52, 53, 56; photo, 48

design development, 52–3
design philosophy, 49
at dusk (photo), 53
EU funding, 48
evaluation, 53–6
ice-rink, temporary, 49
kerb detailing (photo), 55
lighting, 48, 49–52; gas braziers, 48, 52, 53,

56; masts (diagram and perspective
sketch), 54

paving, 49, 50–1, 52, 52; detail plans, 50–1;
diagonal pattern, 49; edge (photo), 49;
pedestrian route (photo), 52

pedestrian areas, 49, 52, 53–5; pedestrian
route (photo), 52

project data and overview, 46
project history, 48–9
roadways, 53, 55
site plan, 47

see Bay of Somme motorway service


see Garden of Somogy
Sørensen, C. Th., 9

landscape architecture, 183–4
see also Jardí Botànic de Barcelona

Spire, The
see under GPO Plaza, Dublin

sports and leisure
barbecues and outdoor cooking facilities,

28, 30, 128, 131
basketball pitches, 20, 24
cycle lanes, 61, 174
dog-walking areas, 174, 178
‘hangout’ for young people, 174, 178
health and fitness centres, 128
outdoor entertainment, 141–2
pétanque pitch, 31
picnic areas, 72, 77, 78, 78, 175
playgrounds, 18, 36, 36–40, 37, 38–9, 75, 76
playing field, 174, 176–8
skateboard rink, 18, 20–4, 21, 22–3
skating, 20, 21, 49
soccer field, 178, 178
sunbathing, 34–6, 87
swimming, 87, 128, 228
toboggan hill, 97
volleyball pitch, 31
windsurfing, 228

Stahr and Haberland, 83
see also Landscape Park, Riem

Statham, Derek, 261
Steiner, Rudolf, 121
Sweden, 5

landscape architecture, 213–14
see also Daniaparken, Malmö

Szücs, Gábor, 4
see also Garden of Somogy

Page 289



Thames Barrier Park, 3
Thompson, Ian, 1

see planting
Treib, Marc, 4, 219
Tschumi, Bernard, 3, 4

United Kingdom, 5
landscape architecture, 237–8
see also Blue Carpet, Newcastle upon Tyne;

Peace Gardens, Sheffield

Vexlard, Gilles, 2, 67, 83
see also Landscape Park, Riem

von Sckell, Friedrich Ludwig, 81

Watts, Richard, 255, 260

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