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Can you be a landscape architect without a degree in the field? Can you design projects from scratch? If you answered "Yes" to both questions, here's where you can start:
This project summary is designed to get you started on designing projects from
scratch. But first, a few caveats:
1. You do not have to do landscape design or work in a particular state or province. All the project summaries are from designers who are living outside Canada, and most are living in either the United States or California. But they work on projects throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in other states, provinces and countries, so the knowledge presented here is applicable in more than just a few places.
2. Read the instructions. Each project summary includes a summary and a few pages of
examples, which are clearly marked. Don't read the examples too quickly, though, since they are supposed to inspire you to design your own ideas, not to do an exact copy of somebody else's.
3. It takes time. Many of the best ideas for projects come to us over time. We usually start with a simple concept, one that is easily illustrated, and then, over several weeks, months or years, refine and complete the project. That's why it's important to put the project on the back burner for a while. Do the design work as time permits.
4. Be willing to change your designs. As we have done several of these projects, we have been
inspired by previous projects, but have also felt free to push our own creativity, make our own statements and redesign the ideas. In fact, you're probably better off keeping your designs relatively simple, rather than going all out with the first idea that comes to you.
5. Enjoy the journey.Landscape design is an enjoyable journey of exploration, discovery and learning. We can almost taste the possibilities that lie in every design. Our goal in this book is to inspire you to design projects of your own, and in the process of doing so, to become a better landscape architect.
Subsequently, we will present the project summaries and give you our advice on the
preliminary steps. Most of these projects are very simple to design, so you may not need any
special expertise for them, but if you feel more comfortable with a specific type of design, or
with some other aspect of the project, read up on that aspect in one of the other books we have written.
But enough with the boring bits. Let's start on some adventurous designing.
* * *
This project would allow you to live in a garden and still enjoy the views from above. The rocks, which would be used in combination with wooden planters, would all be grown from stones taken from the garden, the rockwork itself and from the property where the garden is.
A box or bed made out of interlocked rockwork would be large enough for a large table and its accoutrements, and would be built up around the base of an existing rock or boulder. Two levels would allow for views through the rocks and of the spaces below.
Project drawing by Gerry Stober.
These projects are created in AutoCAD, but can be done in any 3D program. If you are new to working in 3D, we suggest taking a course.
Because the box would be enclosed, it would be lighter on your back than a set of garden benches.
The "live" rockwork would have to be grown in the garden, although some rocks would be recycled from the house. It could be made from recycled bottles or plant pots, and would be arranged like an animal habitat.If you want to change the overall look of the house, we suggest changing the windows so they look more like the rockwork.
The rockwork shown here is modeled using a third-party vendor's design from his website. It was created by clipping the images of various stones from different locations, then adding them together with a random overlay of textures. The rocks are stylized, as are the planters and tables. The textures were drawn in Sketchup, then layered onto the rockwork using Photoshop.
Start with a drawing of the box, from front to back. Label it "Box." Include a drawing of the side of the box, so you know what will be on each side. Some sort of planter will go in front.
Next, create a section view from the front to back and from left to right. Include two planters, either stacked or side by side.
To make the rockwork, draw a block-in of the bed. Make it long and wide enough for two or three stacked planters.
Once the stone work is done, create sections again. Label each of the sections "Front," "Side" and "Back." Again, create two planters.
If you have never used 3D software before, we suggest taking an Intro to AutoCAD for Landscape Architects (or one of its cheaper siblings) course. It will give you the confidence to create the blocks, and you can use a more powerful tool if you are designing a project of great complexity.
These rockwork blocks were modeled and drawn by a third-party vendor. It would be nice to learn how to make them yourself, so you would have complete control over the look of the project.
Project by Bruce Nott of Stone Barn Designs.
This type of project might make you look at the possibilities of growing your own rocks, although we doubt that you would find all of the stones you want for this project here in one garden. But it does allow you to live in the garden, take in the view, and have access to the rocks from within the garden, and probably also outside the garden.