Landscape Architecture intentionally gives design its meaning and direction. Just try to think of iconic places like New York City’s Central Park, The garden of Louis XIV in Versailles, France or the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. these spaces have transformed, improved and changed by the man as a cultural being. In the meantime, the environment can never be fully controlled and that the natural world has its authentic values and mechanisms that can never be controlled or tamed. This means that the role of landscape architects is not just beautification, but it is about creating the space itself, creating the ambiance of a development and creating the quality of the built environment.
So What is Landscape Architecture all about?
It is the design of almost anything around you and under the sky. Green roofs, urban forms, corporate campuses – they all outline landscape architecture.
Generally, landscape architecture covers a huge spectrum, achieving a balance between the built and natural environments. It requires a multidisciplinary approach involving environmental science, art, ecology and much more to meet the aspirations of the people concerned.
Artistic Flair | Creativity and Imagination | Lateral and Spatial Thinking
One such internationally acclaimed legendary American Landscape Architect who is one of the best-known of a generation of landscape architects equally at home in the worlds of art, architecture and urbanism is Ken Smith.
Trained in both design and the fine arts, he explores the relationship between art, contemporary culture, and landscape. His practice, Ken Smith Workshop, was established in 1992 and is based in New York City.
Among Smith’s best-known projects are the MoMA Roof Garden 2005, an elevated view of New York Harbor; and Orange County Great Park, California, a redevelopment of a Marine Corps air station to include a 2.5-mile canyon, 20-acre lake, cultural terrace, botanical gardens, great lawn, performing arts venue, veterans memorial, aircraft museum, sports park, nature preserve, and wildlife corridor.
The Daily telegraph defines his work as below,
"If there's one thing for certain about the gardens designed by landscape architect Ken Smith, it's that you'll never forget the ones you've experienced, whether in person or on the printed page."
Smith states, ‘I approach landscape architecture as an art form that addresses contemporary urbanism, social and environmental conditions. What unites my work is a search for conceptual understanding of what landscapes mean, combined with a commitment to beauty and craft.
Strategic ideas expressed with conceptual clarity and rigour of execution is at the core of my craft. Aesthetics lie at the heart of my professional practice, it expresses the qualitative aspects of design. Aesthetics and aesthetic practice are the language, the emotional core, of how designs communicate meaning. It is how and why one creates meaningful places that matter to people and matter over time.
So, How will it feel to live within the Landscape craft of Ken Smith?
In India, Ken Smith has collaborated with Lodha Group and has transformed the spaces at The World Towers, Mumbai.
On designing one of the most dramatic landscapes in a vast 17-acre estate, Smith says, “I think of it as a 17 acre canvas – to create something more inspiring, more stunning, than the city has ever seen.” It’s been delivered and ready to experience, a push beyond the traditional landscape typology and an influence of the contemporary urban landscape.
Within its lush boundaries are an organic herb garden, kids’ playground, an art gallery, an amphitheatre, tropical-themed pool and cafés. With one of the largest landscape area per residence in South Mumbai, encompassing world-class facilities to nurture the mind, body and spirit, the Ken Smith landscape represents a range of experiences that seem infinite.