A Comprehensive Guide to the Landscape Design Process

Learn about all five steps necessary for successful landscape design process from site analysis to creating high-level design concepts.

A Comprehensive Guide to the Landscape Design Process

The landscape design process is essential for creating a successful outdoor area that meets the purpose for which it was designed. To achieve this, five steps are necessary to produce a design that is suited to the architectural style of the house, the environmental and location-specific conditions, and the amount and cost of maintenance that the entire area will require. The most important step in any landscape design is site analysis, which analyzes terrain and general conditions. This takes into account everything from the results of a soil analysis to exposure to the sun, the amount of shade, exposure to wind, drainage, flooding, salt spray, the actual size of the space, and all the maintenance needed to ensure that the landscape is healthy and attractive. The work of a landscape architect requires excellence in a variety of skills due to its versatile nature.

Architects must act as planners, communicators, designers, innovators, problem solvers and calculators. The success of a landscaping project depends on the extent of the planning and research done at the beginning, so someone who is thorough is sought. However, it's equally important to use creative and flexible problem-solving skills during the project. All construction projects experience changes throughout the construction process, but landscape architects must deal with the degree of unpredictability that natural sites bring. As a result, architects must be prepared to solve problems, reinvent themselves and offer new solutions based on changes in the workplace, the client's objectives and the restrictions that nature may pose.

The primary objective of a landscape architect is twofold: they must design spaces to meet the developer's objectives while respecting the natural environment. Their work could be directly related to the revitalization of natural areas affected by human activity, such as restoring streams, wetlands or areas close to a mining site. However, even if their work does not explicitly refer to natural restoration, they prioritize maintaining the existing environment and optimizing its use for their client's purposes. Landscape architects can work on a wide variety of projects, including public parks, university campuses, monuments, hospital grounds or areas surrounding corporate headquarters. They could also participate in urban and urban planning during county development or help restore historic areas. They maximize function while focusing on natural preservation.

A successful landscape design doesn't resist nature but works with it. Landscape architects can't start designing plans until they have a place to work; the landscape of the site affects any structure that their client needs them to create. This job requires a diversified set of skills to fulfill tasks such as communicating with customers and cross-industry colleagues, inspecting future sites, designing plans, working with contractors during project execution and maintaining projects for some time after completion. The job requires long hours, attention to detail, project management skills and an appreciation for natural spaces. The position combines art and mathematics as architects must see creative solutions and understand mechanics needed to make their vision work. Landscape projects cover a wide range of objectives; one architect could work on designs for a healing garden for a hospital or an innovative dog park on top of a luxury housing complex.

While methods and specifications change with each project to suit particular objectives of each job site, the process remains relatively consistent. The brief stage of design in landscape architecture is about asking the right questions. The architect interacts with their client's developer so they can communicate their objectives for the project. These objectives determine what design plans will look like; this process provides them with information needed to develop questions that their final design must answer. It's time to brainstorm ideas, weigh options, visualize possibilities and offer proposals on how to meet their client's objectives.

This time allows developers to explain what requirements must be met at end of project in order for it to be considered successful. By creating these reference points, architects have a framework for measuring final product and knowing when they achieved it. If customers skip design phase then project remains open; if client never sets metrics for final objectives then architects have no way of measuring whether project achieved client's objectives. The architect works with developer to understand what design should do for client; later they determine how design will achieve those objectives and this phase begins with research. Design stage begins when proverbial pen touches paper; architect takes ideas discussed with developer and turns them into plans on digital page. Throughout design phases architect will consider factors such as cost, purpose and characteristics of site itself. When designing location is vital; they must take into account original site while protecting vegetation and natural resources while meeting developer's objectives.

Architect relies on experience of several professionals when building design; they consult civil engineers, hydrologists, geotechnical engineers environmental scientists and foresters (structural engineers rarely consulted as architect only works outside building).Preliminary design phase consists of investigating restrictions and requirements of project; they analyze current characteristics of site such as walkways buildings existing public services as well as environmental factors such as climates microclimates moisture retention existing plants soil erosion deferring areas rather than focusing on specific calculations details. This phase consists of developing multiple sketches high-level design concepts; architects are starting create plan with....