With latest architectural trend taking over the market of designing these days, Landscape Architecture is gaining a lot of momentum in India. A Landscape Architecture is a field of study which involves the designing, planning and managing of the public areas, landmarks and parks in our environment. It is one of the sub-branches of architecture.
In a broader conversation with Anjali Kulkarni, Landscape Architect, we will inform you about landscape architecture, its categories and importance in the real estate projects:
What is landscape architecture?
Landscape Architecture is designing of all outdoor spaces of a given plot/parcel of land. Landscape can define the use of a space, its social behavior response to the community, its environmental enhancing ability, along with aesthetical outcome.
Tell Us about How you Started Landscape Architecture?
After completing my Bachelors in Architecture from Pune, did my Masters in Landscape Architecture from SPA Delhi, worked with renowned Landscape Architect Mr. Satish Khanna for 5 years before setting up my own practice in 1991, in Delhi. Lot of struggle was involved initially. Then over a period of two and a half decades, it was a slow and steady growth.
How different it is to design layout for townships, independent housing, Farm houses and hospitality building?
All the above are different categories of landscape with different requirement and responses to their surroundings.
Townships are projects, where we would have the collective people using the space for activities. It would be with a signature entrance gate to the township and activities for community facilities- ranging from collective gathering, walking paths, mounds, trails, sports facilities, pools, water bodies, pavilions etc with active and passive recreation, put together in aesthetical manner to amalgamate it as a theme. It is more of a tradeoff between the ground coverage to the open spaces that can be released on the surface and the use of the open podium slab as a measure to recreate an aesthetical, environmentally appealing green. In this category financial budget is the governing factor too. Today projects are sold to some extent not only because of its Architecture, but also because of its Landscape.
Independent Houses- This category of Landscape would be governed by the requirement of individual house owner and the space available to fulfill their wish list. It is the ability of the designer to achieve an aesthetically, green environment for the client within their required parameters.
Farmhouses -are a category where a Landscape Architect can create a green environment with a style statement for the owners to display. It would obviously have all the hard and soft landscape elements designed to amalgamate and compliment the architecture along with the clients lifestyle. This category can be an interesting design expression.
Hospitality -This category of Landscape has some very specific requirements that need to be fulfilled and the style of Landscape in most Urban hospitality tends towards neat manicured experience. The first impression and the various Landscape elements that create the ambience and experience to interest the guests. There are hospitality projects like resorts where one is allowed to let the design juices flow to create an out of the box experience or an environmentally friendly experience for guests as the case maybe.
In each case the Landscape Architect plays a pivotal role to bring in a cohesive design solution to a project. To create an imaginary/theme, to a project and add value to the outcome / success of a project.
How Landscape Architecture plays a Pivotal Role in Real Estate particularly in Building Townships?
Landscape Architecture is the binder in a Real Estate Township/ Housing project. It sets a theme to a project and gives it an added value. The Landscape concept is the selling aspect of many projects and has become a norm. With more and more people going in for a gated community living, all want a green environment in their vicinity and with going green being the need of the hour, more floor areas are now released for the greens to be brought onto the podium roof. Projects are now self contained with both passive and active activities woven aesthetically as a landscape design. New materials hard and soft/planting methodology techniques add to bring exclusivity to projects.
What is your favorite planned or built landscape and why?
Cannot pin point any single project that has been, the evolution of understanding and growth as a Landscape Architect. There have been many projects and people who have been instrumental in ones growth as a professional. Those given yes, some projects that have been executed well, do bring satisfaction. Landscape is one clog of a wheel and it takes a team to make or break a project.
Do you Find Mix Land Use project better than specific ones like housing, hospitality and more?
Mixed use projects have their own challenges as a designer one need to understand the various parcels of the mixed use and, come up with a design solution which is holistic and parcel relevant. Its, definitely easier to design a specific category of Landscape as the design parameters are more specific. It’s the design & details that come into play. Then it’s the execution that takes a project to its success.
What inspires you to design layouts?
Inspiration come from seeing nature, reactions of people in various spaces, from seeing projects of many stalwart professionals , seeing current executed projects around the world, sometimes some inherent site feature and sometimes the requirement of a client inspires one to break the norm and think out of the box.
Is Real Estate Offering Better Future for Landscape Architecture?
Well in a large way, real estate is a driving force, enhancing the aspirational value of the end user. With unique and captivating ideas from Architecture, Landscape and other design affiliated fields, it’s the way to the future.
What do you enjoy about the process of making landscape proposals?
It’s the design process both hard and soft landscaping. The joy of seeing ones design ideas come to reality.
Describe your work style? Are you a self-starter or do you prefer specific direction?
Well, as a designer, once the brief from a client/ architect is discussed, it’s the Landscape Architects prerogative to design the land parcel to the best of his/ her ability.
What Kind of difficulty you find while designing?
Difficulty arises if one has not understood the requirement of the client.
Where You See this industry after five years from now?
Hopefully more organized and more professional.