Landscapes of the Imagination
Designing the European Tradition of Garden and Landscape Architecture 1600-2000
Text by Erik de Jong, Christian Bertram, Michel Lafaille.
A garden is not an object but a process, as the artist and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay once observed, and one particular fascination of landscape architecture is its very real negotiation of that rocky terrain between conception and cultivation. The labors of the former, however, are not often seen by the public that experiences its material outcome. Published on the occasion of the 2008 Landscape Architecture Triennial for the exhibition at Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn, Landscapes of the Imagination presents landscape architecture as a design discipline, recognizing it as a dialogue with an especially unruly and impermanent form. A selection of 40 original designs and sketches from the rich European heritage of garden and landscape architecture forms the core of this book. Spanning from 1600-2000, these include designs by such familiar luminaries as Le Nôtre, Humphrey Repton, Peter Joseph Lenné, Ernst Cramer, Gunnar Asplund and Bernard Tschumi, as well as less famed designers--including one seventeenth century amateur/commissioner. These sketches, virtually unknown among the general public or even professional circles, emphasize garden and landscape architecture as a highly skilled conceptual art. Reference materials (engravings, photographs and text) offer the reader some insight into the design of these landscapes and elucidate the process of composition. Six plans are documented in their current state in a photographic essay.