Introduction – familiar landscape

The in Portland, USA, is an adaptation of the rugged mountain landscape to the east of the city. The in Copenhagen was inspired by the hedges, ditches and meadows of the agricultural landscape on the island of Funen, Denmark. And the refers to the iconic visual language of the robust harbour landscape.

In these three examples, a local - or nearby - landscape is represented in a park, a garden and an urban public space. A characteristic image of a landscape serves in all three as a source of inspiration. The properties of the landscape in question have been edited, scaled down or sometimes copied literally. In this category of designs, the wild coincides with the organised and within the limited urban space connections with the larger landscape and nature can be experienced. This study examines why landscape architects and other designers use the landscape just around the corner for the design of parks, streets, squares and gardens. What are the underlying motives, what do they want to bring about and how does the design process take place?

Landscape architectural projects in which designers refer to a nearby landscape are not that common nowadays. An important trend in modern landscape architecture is the appreciation for the graphic qualities of a design, valuing the visual richness, design and aesthetics of a project. In 2013, Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt even called his professional colleagues "graphic designers". He said: "In more and more places, projects have orange running tracks and patterns in the pavement. It is simply no longer interesting." ( i )

This so-called footloose character of the landscape architectural vocabulary - built up from a formal language and a materialisation that can be applied everywhere - is slowly tilting. For example, Christophe Girot, professor at the ETH in Zurich, argued in 2016 in favour of local uniqueness. "Recognising and promoting regional and cultural differences in the landscape is the most important challenge of this global age. In a world that is increasingly becoming urban, and where individuality and identity become difficult and multifaceted concepts due to globalisation, such a design attitude can contribute to creating pleasant, associative places." ( ii )

By exploring why and how designers used the local landscape in the past, we want to highlight this design attitude. In this way we hope to contribute to a garden and landscape architecture that does justice to local circumstances, makes use of landscape features in the nearby landscape and celebrates diversity instead of erasing it.

Finally: despite the apparently sharp definition of the research question, the research field is of course much broader. It touches on the concepts of "landscape" and "nature", but also on terms such as "meaning" and "representation" - all of them concepts that differ with each culture, time period and scientific field. We address a number of these differences below, not with the intention of being complete, but more to indicate the scope.



People often use the terms landscape and nature interchangeably. ( iii ) A well-known attempt to distinguish between these terms stems from sixteenth-century Italian garden theory. The concept of the "three natures" makes a distinction between nature, landscape - and a third layer: the garden. Wild nature was conceived as the "first nature", the agricultural cultural landscape - the processing of the wild nature by man - as the "second nature". The "third nature" was, according to the theory, the garden, the place where humans imitate and reshape the raw material of both wild nature and the agricultural landscape.

The concept of landscape has been broadened since the sixteenth century and has long since ceased to include only the agricultural production landscape worked by farmers. The American landscape historian J.B. Jackson views the landscape as an artificial space, a system of places formed by human hands that functions and changes, not according to natural laws, but according to the wishes of a community. ( iv ) A landscape forms a dynamic background of people's lives and consists of physical elements such as mountains, oceans and plants, and of buildings, structures and perishable or sensory elements, such as the weather. According to this definition, a port area or an industrial zone is just as much a landscape as the agricultural or the natural landscape.



Anne Whiston Spirn, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, approaches landscape as a language. ( v ) A text has a meaning as a whole, just like a landscape. But just as the words of a text also have meaning separately, the parts of a landscape - water, trees, rocks, paths - also have their own individual meaning. A tree can be a place where birds nest, but for others it is the "tree of life" or the "knowledge tree."
According to Whiston Spirn, people hardly ever read the same from a landscape. What they see depends on where someone grows up, in which family, in which culture. ARTIS professor at the University of Amsterdam Erik de Jong uses the difference between Eastern and Western attitudes to nature as an example: "In Kyoto, the mythical landscape is part of the city, it is like a backdrop. To evoke that connection with nature in Japan, you don’t need that much. Ancestors and worship of nature are part of daily life, of the experience and life pattern. Western nature is more problematic, the space is more fragmented. They do not need an ecological main structure in Japan to evoke a landscape experience." ( vi )

Just like with language, people are more or less literate when reading a landscape. There are different levels of understanding, the meaning is different for everyone, and changes over time. Ian Hamilton Finlay, the designer of Little Sparta, a Scottish garden full of poetic references to the world outside the garden, didn't mind that not every visitor understood all his references. "There are many levels of understanding and none [is] to be despised." ( vii )


The landscape within the garden - a brief history

The gardens and public spaces mentioned in the introduction are part of an international "family" of designs that evoke an association with a local landscape. When do designers go back to the landscape as one of the most meaningful symbols of a country or a region? And what is the underlying motive: a personal conviction, major political or cultural changes, or as a response to growing urbanisation? In this short history we will go over these questions. ( viii )

Specific landscape images can become part of the collective memory. It is not without reason that you often see garden designs at , or that refer to landscapes that have become icons and thus form part of a national identity.

What is seen as an iconic landscape differs per time period and per country or region. From the sixteenth century onwards, at a time when the borders between different European states slowly took shape and from which a national consciousness emerged, specific landscapes became increasingly important, instead of a general view of nature. ( ix ) In English discourse from the eighteenth century on landscape, for example, shows a preference for tamed, agricultural landscapes that were equated with (political) stability and peace. In Holland, poet Jacob van Lennep also praised the agricultural land in 1827, but from an economic point of view: “The Dutchman, when he looks down from his Dunes inland, finds with joy, in the Dutch meadows, an uninterrupted spectacle of prosperity, rich in products of husbandry, horticulture and farming, which in abundance, exported elsewhere, pay off the hard work of the countrymen with ample profit." ( x )

Interest in the local landscape usually flares up in times of crisis or major social and economic changes. In the run-up to World War II, the untamed Alpine landscape in Switzerland grew in interest as a mirror for the Swiss nation. In 1939, just a few months before the war broke out, the Landi, the Swiss National Exhibition, was designed like an alpine landscape with a Dörfli, a newly built but traditionally Swiss village. In a world that was changing at a frightening speed, the Alpine landscape offered the Swiss stability and a sense of home. ( xi )

There is also a dark side to the search for identity in nature or the landscape. In the 1930s, the native landscape of Germany was annexed by the National Socialists to emphasise the age and racial purity of the German people. Landscape designs had to look first and foremost natural. Large boulders and rocks were placed to radiate Urkraft and to give designs a sense if timelessness. The plants had to be native, exotic species were not welcome - it reinforced the idea of ​​a pure and unspoiled race, just as connected to the landscape as the native trees and flowers were.



In the nineteenth century the United States and Canada - still young nations at that time - discovered their own landscape as an opportunity to forge national unity. That landscape was an overwhelming nature that many European countries missed: mountains, prairies and primeval forests. These landscape images penetrated all layers of intellectual life and proved to be influential in the arts and sciences. ( xii ) The American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson argued around 1850 that the arts should first of all rely on what America itself was, instead of looking at Europe. ( xiii ) The American landscape was a rich source of inspiration for this, according to Emerson.
His contemporary, sculptor and art critic Horatio Greenough, thought a new aesthetic in the arts should be inextricably linked to the landscape of the new nation. He saw the landscape as a rich mine, an innocent and pure counterpart to the worn-out European traditions. As a result, the emerging field of landscape architecture had to look towards the American landscape for its aesthetics. ( xiv )

An example is in Chicagodesigned by Jens Jensen, constructed between 1916 and 1920. The park is part of a ring of parks and boulevards around the city: the Chicago Park System. Just like in Boston and Buffalo, this ambitious park system stemmed from the belief it would contribute to a healthy form of urban expansion. A healing effect for body and soul was attributed to a stay in a park.
Jens Jensen emigrated from Denmark to America in 1884, where he made a career for himself as a garden and landscape designer. His design for Columbus Park was based on the prairie landscape of the American Midwest, where slight slopes and low planting of grasses and shrubs allowed for distant views. Jensen made endless journeys to observe and photograph the prairie. In 1930 he wrote in The Saturday Evening Post about his motives: "‘As I made my Sunday excursions to the woods for the purpose of studying the native flora, I came to love the native landscape for its contours and physical aspects as well as for its plant life […] It seemed to me we all needed contact with this for our own spiritual development. Yet everyone from the city couldn't go to the out-of-doors, and the thought grew stronger and stronger with me that is was my obligation as a park man to bring this out-of-doors to the city’" ( xv )
The edges of the park refer to the typical slopes of the prairie, the open playing field in the middle refers to a prairie meadow with fast views. Jensen designed an artificial river with two waterfalls and rocks over which the water splits into two meandering streams. Rock walls, simulated with limestone, shape a swimming pool. He evoked the characteristic prairie forests by planting elm, maple, hawthorn and wild apple. Along the river he planted grasses, cat tail, hibiscus and arrow herb.
The park design was emphatically not a copy, but a quest to find the essence of the prairie landscape. In his book Writings Inspired by Nature, Jensen mentions: "I do not mean by this that I was to try to copy Nature. A landscape architect, like a landscape painter can't photograph; he must idealize the thing he sees. In other words, he must try to portray its soul." ( xvi )

Jens Jensen was convinced that a garden or park design had to carry the soul of the "own", local landscape. "‘You cannot put a French garden or an English garden or a German or an Italian garden in America and have it express France or England of Germany or Italy. Nor can you transpose a Florida of Iowa garden to California and have it feel true, or a New England garden to Illinois, or an Illinois garden to Maine. Each type of landscape must have its individual expression." ( xvii )
Jensen's designs formed the basis of the so-called "prairie style", which was widely followed internationally. Someone like Piet Oudolf is indebted to Jensen. Paradoxically, Jensen's basic idea of ​​locality has thereby been lost. By applying the style all over the world it has become an almost generic image of nature.



In the first half of the twentieth century, the relatively new field of research of plant geography emerged. This specialisation was based on the observation that wild plants do not just grow side by side, but group together in a specific location in a number of plant combinations - so-called plant communities. ( xviii ) In garden and landscape architecture this resulted in natural-looking designs, with an emphasis on a "correct" and coherent planting image.

The Danish landscape designer went a step further. He was one of the first European landscape architects in his designs to look for a landscape experience that went beyond mimicking the natural landscape with the right planting combinations. In the time of Brandt - the first half of the twentieth century - the widely accepted conception of nature was based on the landscape images that were portrayed by popular nineteenth-century painters: the meadow, the forest, the lake and the winding stream as archetypes of 'good' nature. Brandt spoke ironically of "Sunday nature", unreal idylls, and he thought the paintings showed landscapes that no longer existed. The painters didn’t show the stone walls that had become commonplace since the Forest Law of 1805, the beech trees planted for commercial forestry or the ditches that reminded of the large-scale reclamation of wetlands. Also missing were the square fields and the straight (high) roads.

Brandt's approach to design therefore differed greatly from the naturalistic ideas of his contemporaries. He saw the landscape as an ever-changing concept and appreciated the human hand that actually enhanced the charm and aesthetics of the landscape. Danish architectural historian Lulu Salto Stephensen wrote in 2008 how Brandt in his search for a truly modern garden, developed a design philosophy based on “the use of individual elements of the cultivated landscape as landscape gardening themes within the boundaries of the garden." ( xix ) In other words: Brandt did not try to imitate 'real' nature in his designs - which almost no longer existed in Denmark - but instead looked for inspiration in the agricultural landscape, cultivated by human hands. Or as he wrote himself: "We can imitate and idealize the wild unclipped hedges, like those bordering side roads on the island of Funen [...]. We can […] use the meadow channel or the ditch for water and bog plants, and the old Danish stone wall for rockery plants as planting themes." ( xx )
Brandt's garden in Copenhagen was a showcase of his design philosophy. The garden consists of four rooms delimited by hedges containing the archetypes of the Danish cultural landscape: the orchard, the meadow, the forest and the canal. As one of the first in the field, he did not put the cultivated landscape directly opposite nature, but treated both as equally valuable and "good."



While for Brandt the cultivated landscape of Denmark was the answer to the demands of modern times, the Brazilian designer argued the use of the natural forest landscape. In his gardens and parks, ecology, nature conservation and modern design went hand in hand, in a non-dogmatic way. In the first half of the twentieth century Brazil was a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups. ( xxi ) The cultural discourse was determined by a desire for brasilidade: a national identity that would reflect the rich diversity of the population.
In almost all art forms, this quest translated into an unprecedented artistic focus on the rainforest and a revaluation of indigenous cultures. For landscape architecture, this meant replacing the formal design language - a legacy of Portuguese and Italian rulers - with a design approach based on the use of native tropical vegetation, an abundance of color and organic patterns.

In addition to his painting and design work, Burle Marx regularly organised expeditions to tropical regions - not only for designers, but also for scientists. The expeditions were valuable for more multiple reasons. Not only did he use the acquired knowledge of native plants in his designs, the ruthless deforestation that he observed made him a fierce advocate of forest protection.

According to Roberto Burle Marx, the essence of the jungle lay in the native planting, the visual richness and the morphology of the landscape. These elements gradually became a source of inspiration for Brazilian garden and landscape architecture. His garden designs were like showcases of endangered plant species, but like Brandt, he stretched the boundaries of what could be considered a landscape. For example, he arranged the plants in spatial compositions, with patterns and forms from modern painting. In her book about the famous Brazilian garden designer, landscape architect Rossana Vaccarino writes: "Ecology for [Burle Marx] was the means for analysing plants in their native habitat; art was the means for creative reconfiguration". ( xxii )



After the Second World War, in many countries the landscape became a starting point in the search for a collective identity. ( xxiii ) The trauma of the war and the threat of losing one's own national identity, acted as a catalyst for designs in which the landscape acted as the carrier of a shared identity.

Sweden led the way and Swedish designers distinguished themselves by taking the natural landscape as a source of inspiration for the design of parks and gardens. ( xxiv ) Until then, they had been following international trends in garden and landscape architecture, but in the post-war years it turned out this was inadequate to meet the needs of modern society. ( xxv ) They mainly concerned the desire for a pleasant, healthy and green living environment for all Swedes, young and old. As a result, parks were conceived as places for walking, exercising, sunbathing and playing. The idea that the natural landscape had a healing effect on body and mind played a major role.

In Stockholm this resulted in parks of exceptional quality, which as a series later became known as the "Stockholm School of Park Design". The municipal parks department - led by urban planner Holger Blom - abandoned the traditional ideas about garden and landscape architecture and introduced elements from the landscape around nearby Lake Mälar. ( xxvi ) A paddling pool was designed like a puddle, with oaks and ash trees on the banks. The lake itself also underwent a metamorphosis. Along the north bank - a stony loading quay at the beginning of the twentieth century - a boulevard was built. The 1.4 kilometer long park lane was designed as a natural bank. A hiking trail winds along rocks, birches and other area-specific trees. Jetties, pavilions and seating areas lure city dwellers.



For landscape architecture, the sixties and seventies were all about concern and reflection. Designers read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring from 1962 and Ian McHargs Design with Nature from 1969, all of which were books that exposed nature and environmental issues and promoted an ecological design approach.
Instead of artists, landscape architects were seen as engineers who had to correct nature’s imbalance. Nature was good and innocent and that resulted in a multitude of ecologically designed gardens and parks. Man's hand was barely visible - giving a design a different meaning than a natural one was practically unthinkable.

The American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin turned out to be an exception. He shared the worries about the demise of nature, but, unlike many of his contemporaries, he had a broad view about the appearance of nature and landscape. Halprin compared the relationship between man and nature with the relationship between a mother and her teenage children. Sometimes the children need the warmth and stability of their mother, sometimes they want to be free, away from her strict rules. ( xxvii ) In his design philosophy natural processes were driving forces, but his designs were never a slavish imitation of them. Halprin's sketchbooks are full of visual and sensory perceptions of nearby landscapes, ranging from drawings that describe how water washes around rocks to angular twists and shadows in mountain walls. On one of the sketches in the water is written: leap, bounce, bubble, surge, glide. Halprin didn’t just consider form, but also sound, light and smell. He was interested in the experiential value, and in particular of the natural landscapes that people were familiar with.
In the - a series of squares and parks in Portland - Halprin's philosophy resulted in a bold use of abstracted landscape images. In the squares he evoked the natural landscape of Oregon, in particular the nearby waterfalls and mountains of the High Sierra Mountains. For Halprin, the mountains evoked associations with familiarity, not only because of the landscape, but also because of the memories of the holidays with his wife and children: playing, walking, being together, the sounds, the smells. In his design for the Ira Keller Fountain, Halprin transforms the streams and rocks of the High Sierra Mountains into a succession of meters high concrete angular shapes, basins and plates where water flows over and clatters down.

In the 1960s and 1970s, large parts of the old inner cities were demolished or restructured in many American cities. As a result, the historically grown identity of these places was largely lost.
Lawrence Halprin wanted to oppose this. By making landscape experiences part of the urban public space, he hoped to give city dwellers something of a sense of place, a sense of individuality. Moreover, such experiences had to "intensify" urban life on an aesthetic, emotional and psychological level. ( xxviii ) Historian Marc Treib: "Halprin tended to bring the experience of the rock and water of the mountain landscape for the people living in bricks and steel so that they could get in touch with nature." ( xxix )
For that reason, Halprin is compared to Frederick Law Olmsted, who used landscape images a hundred years earlier in his design for Central Park in New York. Both saw parks and squares as meeting places for all walks of life, but where Olmsted shaped his parks as a pastoral escape from the unhealthy bustle of the city, Halprin's designs were a celebration of urban liveliness. ( xxx ) Form, sound and smell refer to natural processes, but the forms used are an abstraction and the material used is concrete. As Halprin described it himself in 1995: "This act of transmuting the experience of the natural landscape into human-made experience is, for me, the essence of the art of landscape design." ( xxxi )



The worlds of design and science remained separate for a long time in landscape architecture. From the nineties on, offices such as Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten from Switzerland and the Danish SLA went in search of the balance between ecology and poetry. In doing so, the concept of landscape is interpreted in a much broader sense: as a package of visual and sensory experiences and natural processes. The design of SLA for the in Copenhagen, for example, illustrates this more complementary approach to landscape. The typical sand dunes along the west coast of Denmark were not only a reference for the shape of the design, but were also useful because of their functional aspects. Just like the real dunes, the City Dune has a windward and leeward side, a strong and a weak slope. The concrete cools in the evening and the nebulisers make the site cooler than the surrounding streets. Designer Stig L. Andersson: " In the case of The City Dune, we did not seek to represent the dunes of the Western coasts of Denmark. We learned from them." ( xxxii ) Exactly that - transforming the experiences, knowledge and skills gained in nature into designs that can contribute to the city - Andersson calls Nature Based Design. Andersson describes the motive behind this method as follows: "From nature, we can learn how to better adapt to our environmental conditions. At the same time, it is in nature that many of us have had some of our strongest aesthetic experiences – that is, experiences of wonder, discovery and meaning. This may sound a bit lofty, but we find such experiences to be very basic for the living, human animal.” ( xxxiii ) This way, Andersson combines the scientific world of Mc Harg with the sensitive world of Halprin and conceives landscape as a complementary, all-embracing world. Landscape representation is not a goal, but a means.


Motives and principles - from landscape to garden

The historical tour shows that crises, such as war, unbridled urbanization or deforestation, in particular, are a breeding ground for new approaches to the relationship between society and landscape. The motives for taking a local or national landscape as a starting point can be roughly divided into four categories - which can overlap.



The first motive is about believing in a physical or spiritual connection between man, nature and landscape - and then not an arbitrary landscape, but the landscape that is close by, that is familiar, to which memories are connected. A thus convinced designer uses his designs to bring this alliance to the city, and wants to create a sublime landscape experience in squares and parks. The Swiss is such a "missionary", who frequently refers to local and meaningful landscapes in his designs. Also think of landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, who with his design for brought the natural sensation of the Catskills Mountains to New York.



Of a completely different order, is the motive for using a regional or national landscape as a marketing tool, as a calling card for a country or region. in Japan was designed by Shunmyo Masuno as a reference to the archetypal Canadian landscape and serves as a "conversation piece" for visitors and staff. This example shows that a remote landscape of its own - in this case the landscape from home - can also be a source of inspiration. The space around the "best restaurant in the world" in Copenhagen has been designed by agency Polyform as an accentuated landscape, based on the Scandinavian "terroir" and is a reflection of the cookery practiced in the building.



In this category, mainly personal considerations determine the design motive. Designers use a landscape to create places that reflect their life story, that reflect personal experiences. Gardening, the act of shaping and constructing, are more important than the result. Take the deceased filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman who decided in 1985 to spend his final years in his , near Dungeness on a headland on the English south coast. He roamed around like a beach comber to collect wreckage, objects and rare plants. He made a composition with it, a summary of the surrounding landscape.



In this final category, the landscape is seen as a complex system from which people can learn. A close examination of this system could offer solutions to problems that the city faces, such as climate adaptation. The landscape in this category is not a source of images that can be replicated, but a source of possible solutions. It is more about how the landscape system works than about its visual qualities. For example, studied sand dunes to learn how their shape generates a microclimate, which was then translated this into an urban context.


Form - four ways of representation

After the motives, the question arises how landscape architects and designers translate a specific landscape image into the confined space of a garden, park or square. Lawrence Halprin articulated this translation process as "transmuting the experience of the natural landscape into a human-made experience". ( xxxiv ) This description clarifies, that even when landscape is copied very precisely, the result always will be a translaton. It is up to the designer to determine what experience of the landscape should be transmutated and in what form this should be done. What are the essential characteristics of the landscape in question, should the vegetation be used, the height differences, the winding of a river, or the openness? Is it mostly human intervention or natural processes that shape the landscape? And does the designer want to make visitors feel that they are actually in a certain landscape, or is it perhaps more about an abstract representation that stimulates visitors to reflect?

In his essay Evocative Parallels: Japan and Postwar American Landscape Design, American architecture historian Marc Treib distinguishes four manners in which designers can be influenced and how they use this influence in a design, from literally to abstract. ( xxxv ) He successively distinguishes replication, citation, adaptation and abstraction. Although Treib did not specifically name these four manners for the subject of this study, this classification from realistic to abstract can be used to gain insight into how designers make landscape representations and which themes are addressed.


Replica en hypernatuur

A replication is a representation as similar to the natural landscape as possible. For a moment the visitor feels like he is in a natural landscape, to realise a microsecond later that it is a replica. For landscape architect Günther Vogt, that confusion is a goal in itself: "[…] for a very brief moment, you wonder: Am I in a model? If that happens, it is to my mind ideal. But for that to happen, the project must be very compressed, atmospherically extremely dense and not too spacious, because otherwise, of course, the idea of the model get lost very quickly". ( xxxvi )

A replication stems from a careful study of the natural landscape; for example, for , Vogt sent employees to forests near Zurich to accurately measure trunk diameters, height and mutual distance. With this knowledge, he drew up a planting plan based on the idea that without these precise measurements the illusion of that landscape would not work. The principles of the reconstructed nature must match those of real nature, visitors will notice when this is not the case. Or in the words of Bèr Slangen, the maker of inspired by the Alps: "It must be just right." ( xxxvii )

To make the association with the natural landscape immediately clear, a replication is often a more intense, denser and therefore paradoxically non-existent version of this landscape. The Danish landscape architect Malene Hauxner called these intensified versions of the original "hypernature". ( xxxviii ) In his essay Travels in Hyperreality, the Italian writer Umberto Eco speaks of hyperrealism: “technology can give us more reality than nature can”. ( xxxix ) For example, in the inner garden of the the trees are placed closer to each other than in the natural landscape, to mask the facade on the other side of the garden and thus create the illusion of an infinite forest. Piet Oudolf's planting plans are inspired by prairie planting, and then intensified and supplemented with species that do not occur in these prairies to evoke the intended landscape experience. Technical means can further intensify the experience, such as the heliostats - an instrument that uses a mirror to reflect sunlight back to a certain point - on the rooftops around in New York and the nebulizers on the .



A citation is the use of a specific element or specific elements from the natural landscape in a new spatial construction. For the in Arnhem, landscape architect took a bite out of the Veluwe and transported these heathland sods to a derelict part of the city. No visitor will truly believe they are in the Veluwe, but the vegetation gives the visitor the opportunity to imagine being here.

Gudmund N. Brandt citates the hedges and stacked walls from the Danish cultural landscape at the in Copenhagen. He regarded the landscape as a "rich mine", from which he could freely draw and only use what he needed for his designs. He does not attempt to make a replication of this landscape, but uses elements from it to create new forms that stand on their own and make an association with landscape.

In his garden at , Derek Jarman captured the pebbles, the wreckage and the plants from the surrounding landscape in new compositions that are associated with the landscape but also stand on their own. Similarly, Polyform brought rocks and plants from all over Scandinavia to the in Copenhagen. Nobody here will think they are in the original landscape, but the individual elements make an association with this landscape.

In the aforementioned examples, associations are made with the natural landscape. In the garden of the , associations are made with the cultural landscape by capturing a series of Dutch cliché images from this landscape (the lighthouse, the cow, the dyke, the sea) in a new composition. The cited elements fulfil a spatial and sensory function in the new design; the hedges of Brandt at the cemetery Mariebjerg separate different burial chambers, the pines in the of Oberlander bring the smell of needles to the city. In addition, these elements play an associative role; they are reminiscent of the landscape, they represent something. The elements thus have multiple layers of meaning.



With an adaptation, parts of the original are transformed into new forms. Unlike the replication or the citation, the landscape has been edited by human hands into something cultural. A rock in the natural landscape can thus become a work of art in the garden, such as the wall that artists Ann Hamilton and Michael Merci designed for .

In the floor of the , the undulating sand landscape of the Veluwe has been translated into a sand-colored paving of granite boulders in a bowl shape. The rolling shape and color of the landscape are shown, but in an interpreted way. The flying pines serve as citations from the landscape.

The of Halprin takes the waterfalls of the High Sierra Mountains as inspiration and translates them into an urban water square. The visitor immediately sees that this is not a natural landscape, but the capriciousness, the differences in height, the crashing water, the conifers and the relationship with natural waterfalls is immediately clear. A waterfall is simulated in a different material and design, but unmistakably a waterfall. The human hand is immediately recognizable, yet the place offers the experience of a natural landscape.

West 8 has adapted the characteristics of the port landscape on the in Rotterdam to an urban square. The square does not have any containers, cranes, water or boats, but the design of the square elements unmistakably refer to the ports due to their raw materialization and robust design.

Other projects in which adaptations are applied are the in Haren, in Copenhagen, in Badoz and in Chicago.



In this research we have included abstraction in the designs that take the landscape as a starting point, without this being immediately recognizable. This category of design often requires an explanation to see the reference to the landscape, the association with the landscape is primarily a mental one.

, the Los Angeles-designed garden by artist Isamu Noguchi, is such an abstract representation of California's natural landscape. A rectangular lawn enclosed by sequoia trees here represents the Sierra Mountains, at first glance a beautiful, mysterious image that appeals even more to the imagination when the visitor knows the meaning of the work.

The of Shunmyo Masuno also looks nothing like the landscape that formed the inspiration. All parts of the garden are abstract, scaled views of larger landscapes; the Rocky Mountains are set in three sharp forms, the Atlantic Ocean is an elongated pond. All elements offer a layered experience in which the elements from the landscape are not only used as a raw material, but also as a meaningful carrier; a rock in the garden can thus be appreciated for its color, shape and structure, for its position in the garden, in the manner of processing but also for the reference to a mountain range.

In the West, association often takes place through the physical, sensory perception, representations are usually larger spaces through which one can walk. It is more the composition of the elements that the association evokes than the individual element. , a tree is a tree and a rock is a rock, the parts of the garden are not abstracted and not scaled. The total of all elements means that this garden evokes the association of Parisians with the Bois de Fontainebleau. In the East, the relationship with the landscape is more a mental one, so small spaces or objects are sufficient. In this way a single rock in the roof garden of Masuno can be a complete mountain range.



The example projects show that the representation of (local) landscapes in gardens, squares or parks can take many forms. We saw hyper-realistic copies of wild nature and graphic representations where the reference to the landscape without explanation is not understood. The same principle - representing a local landscape in the garden - leads to a multitude of projects, as different in image and perception as the designers who designed them.

Above, based on the layout of Marc Treib, four ways have been described to represent a landscape - natural or cultural - in a garden. There is no right or wrong way. The approaches can be combined and used together. A certain motif does not mean a certain form, here too different approaches are possible.

It is ultimately up to the designer to determine the motive and the form. This offers landscape architects and other designers breathing space: they can design a multitude of place-specific spaces that refer to landscapes that are close or not, without being limited in their design choices - because, for example, they could only lay grass and ditches in polder areas. The essential elements of a landscape, the selection and transmutation there of, responding to the processes that take place in a landscape: they offer numerous possibilities for creating unique gardens, parks and squares that are nevertheless based on a nearby landscape.

In 1988 landscape architect Sylvia Crowe wrote The Pattern of Landscape in which she describes the relationship between landscape and human interaction with it. The aim is to give people a deeper knowledge of the landscape and thus connect more with it. "In different countries and in different periods in history, people have looked at the landscape in a different way. It has been his home, his enemy, his God, his colleague or a storehouse to be looted. All these attitudes to the environment can be found in today's world. But there is also a dangerous superficial attitude that sees the landscape as an image, static and independent of the forces that influence it, more of a background than a part of life." ( x¦ )

The projects that have been shown make the landscape into more than just a background, from a concern about this landscape or to offer a nature experience, as an identity bearer or as a refuge, process. By replicating or citating this landscape, adapting or abstracting it into inspiring and meaningful places, we can make the landscape part of our lives.


( i ) Lecture Günther Vogt, ‘Landscape as an Attitude’, London, November 22 2013.
( ii ) The New Landscape Declaration: A Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, June 10/11 2016, University of Pennsylvania.
( iii ) Herrington 2009, p. 6.
( iv ) Herrington 2009, p. 7.
( v ) Anne Whiston Spirn, The Language of Landscape, New Haven 1998.
( vi ) Conversation Erik de Jong, Overveen, Augustus 5 2017.
( vii ) Pollok-Morris 2010, p. 266.
( viii ) The focus of this chapter is on the relatively nearby history - the 20th century - and on the western world. This choice was made on the one hand for the necessary delineation, but also on the idea that this period offers recognizable social constellations and cultural frameworks for most readers (emerging industrialization, attention to nature conservation, urbanization, etc.).
( ix ) Eric Kaufmann, Oliver Zimmer, In Search of the Authentic Nation: Landscape and National Identity in Canada and Switzerland, in: Nations and Nationalism, 4 (1998) 4, pp. 483-510.
( x ) K. van Berkel, ‘Landschap, natuur en nationale identiteit. Ter Inleiding’, in: K. van Berkel, Landschap, natuur en nationale identiteit. Themanr. Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 2006, p. 599.
( xi ) Udo Weilacher, ‘Made in Switzerland. Swiss Landscape Architecture in the 20th Century’. Essay for the exhibition "the swiss touch in landscape architecture", Lausanne 2012, p. 2
( xii ) Eric Kaufmann, Oliver Zimmer, In Search of the Authentic Nation: Landscape and National Identity in Canada and Switzerland, in: Nations and Nationalism, 4 (1998) 4, pp. 483-510.
( xiii ) D.J. Nadenicek, ‘Emerson's Aesthetic and Natural Design: A Theoretical Foundation for the Work of Cleveland’, in J. Wolschke-Bulmahn (red), Nature and Ideology: Natural Garden Design in the Twentieth Century, Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture 18, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 66.
( xiv ) D.J. Nadenicek, ‘Emerson's Aesthetic and Natural Design: A Theoretical Foundation for the Work of Cleveland’, in J. Wolschke-Bulmahn (red), Nature and Ideology: Natural Garden Design in the Twentieth Century, Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture 18, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 71.
( xv ) Jens Jensen, Writings Inspired by Nature, edited by William H. Tishler, 2012, p. 86.
( xvi ) Jens Jensen, Writings Inspired by Nature, edited by William H. Tishler, 2012, p. 86.
( xvii ) Robert E. Grese, 'The Prairie Gardens of O.C. Simonds and Jens Jensen’in: Therese O'Malley, Marc Treib (red), Regional Garden Design in the United States. Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the history of landscape architecture 15, p. 118.
( xviii ) Mariëtte Kamphuis, ‘Intermezzo Plantensociologie’, in: Fransje Hooimeijer, Marinke Steenhuis (red), Maakbaar Landschap. Nederlandse landschapsarchitectuur (1945-1970), Rotterdam 2007, pp. 122-125.
( xix ) Lulu Salto Stephensen, Garden Design in Denmark: G.N.Brandt and the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century, Chichester 2007, p. 99.
( xx ) Lulu Salto Stephensen, Garden Design in Denmark: G.N.Brandt and the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century, Chichester 2007, p. 99.
( xxi ) Rossana Vaccarino (red), Roberto Burle Marx: Landscapes Reflected, Landscape Views 3, New York 2000.
( xxii ) Rossana Vaccarino (red), Roberto Burle Marx: Landscapes Reflected, Landscape Views 3, New York 2000.
( xxiii ) Marc Treib, The Architecture of Landscape 1940-1960, Philadelphia 2002.
( xxiv ) Marc Treib, The Architecture of Landscape 1940-1960, Philadelphia 2002, p. 13.
( xxv ) Marc Treib, The Architecture of Landscape 1940-1960, Philadelphia 2002, p. 18.
( xxvi ) Marc Treib, The Architecture of Landscape 1940-1960, Philadelphia 2002, p. 18.
( xxvii ) Lawrence Halprin, Notebooks from 1959 to 1971, London 1972, p. 322.
( xxviii ) Alison B. Hirsch, The Fate of Lawrence Halprin's Public Spaces: Three Case Studies, graduation theses University of Pennsylvania, 2005, p. 2.
( xxix ) Marc Treib, ‘From the Garden: Lawrence Halprin and the Modern Landscape’, in: Landscape Journal 31 (2012) 1/2, p. 22.
( xxx ) Alison B. Hirsch, The Fate of Lawrence Halprin's Public Spaces: Three Case Studies, graduation theses University of Pennsylvania, 2005, p. 2.
( xxxi ) Website The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Lawrence Halprin, consulted October 2017.
( xxxii ) email conversation with Stig Andersson, juli 2017.
( xxxiii ) email conversation with Stig Andersson, juli 2017.
( xxxiv ) Website The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Lawrence Halprin, consulted October 2017.
( xxxv ) Treib 2005, pp. 180-181.
( xxxvi ) Günther Vogt, Landscape as a Cabinet of Curiosities, Zürich 2015, p.143.
( xxxvii ) Conversation with Nico Tillie, Delft, September 2017.
( xxxviii ) Saskia de Wit, ‘The garden and the layered landscape: landscape urbanism through the lens of garden design’, in: C. Dahl, L. Diedrich, G. Lindholm, V. Vicenzotti, & N. Vogel (red), Proceedings Beyond ism: the landscape of landscape urbanism, Alnarp 2016, p. 89-99.
( xxxix ) Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyper Reality, San Diego 1986, p. 44.
( x¦ ) Sylvia Crowe, Mary Mitchell, The Pattern of Landscape, Funtington 1988, p. 7.