raymondjungles

Hosted By:

Raymond Jungles

FASLA

Mar 4

2012

1111 Lincoln Road by Landscape Architecture firm Raymond Jungles Inc., image © Steven Brooke Photography.

Considering the landscape an integral part of an overall architectural solution, we identify regional context and a sense of place as the primary objectives. To us, unity, harmony and human experience are the driving force.

Which architects best prioritize the human experience in their work? How are people responding?


Thaisa gave the final word

When asked this question I am reminded of the incredible experience of being in ryue nishizawa’s teshima art museum. this space was entirely about the physical experience, the aesthetic. Colleagues fell to the ground to inch along to follow the droplets of water, while others explored the edges and played with the way sound traveled. The light coming through the absence in the roof created a magic that one could sense as fragrance. It was truly a remarkable human experience.
On a less dramatic note, I find the work of SAANA to be about human experience- it is about a human scale and a sense of place. The ferry terminal at naoshima engaged me and my colleagues in ways surprising for a transporation hub- the mirrored pillars and the framed views of the sea. The lightness with which the roof floated inspired all of us to walk lightly. It is such responses that inspire me.
On a totally different scale, I think of the work of Greene and Greene in Pasadena California- the blacker house where one is nestled in the architecture and its craft. Another place where everyone I see wants to rub the walls and handrails with their bare hands, and to walk barefoot. The ceiling nestle one instead of mere shelter.
And finally the work of Miller Hull here in the PNW. I have only been in their public spaces, but these spaces nestle, comfort,and inspire. They offer a human experience and aesthetic that is felt through the body- a sense of scale, material, light, shade, and color. The experience starts with seeing the building from the street and pulls one through to the center and outward. It is a remarkable feeling to deeply know that the place is meant as a human experience, not merely to function as a space or otherwise.

Wednesday, March 7 at 8:27pm

He is a consummate showman with a passion for artful natural (tropical) planting and a pedigree that goes back to Burle Marx (what WAS he doing on Roberto’s knee all those years we all want to know). You see a lot of Burle Marx work just didn’t borrow from the neighbours/surrounding landscape the way the Japanese do, but he was a consummate showman. And a great horticulturalist, like Ray.

Sense of place is something more profound that great architects have in spades and landscapers rarely develop. Their job is often to soften the architectural mistakes and hope to create some poetry.

Great gardens should be theatrical plus culturally and geographically referenced, I reckon. So much new money in New Asia, where I work, tries to cram Philip Johnson glass houses on suburban blocks and when you remind them that Mies’ Barcelona pavilion and Johnson’s iconic glass house are sort of ‘nestled into’ parklands they don’t want to here.

Another factor is the arrogance of today’s architects who rarely want to share top billing with talented landscape artists (look at the new Getty Museum debacle); most New Asian architects now think they can do it themselves but they can’t. Landscape design at the high end is a dying art in many Asian cities — the clients and the architects just want formulaic shtick : vertical gardens like green lettraset .

Landscapers in most countries have been relegated to filling in architects planter boxes.

The price for peace is eternal vigilance.

Bring on more showmen like Jungles who can lead by example and inspire the horticulturally timid.

Monday, March 5 at 11:31am

Thaisa gave the Final Word

When asked this question I am reminded of the incredible experience of being in ryue nishizawa’s teshima art museum. this space was entirely about the physical experience, the aesthetic. Colleagues fell to the ground to inch along to follow the droplets of water, while others explored the edges and played with the way sound traveled. The light coming through the absence in the roof created a magic that one could sense as fragrance. It was truly a remarkable human experience.
On a less dramatic note, I find the work of SAANA to be about human experience- it is about a human scale and a sense of place. The ferry terminal at naoshima engaged me and my colleagues in ways surprising for a transporation hub- the mirrored pillars and the framed views of the sea. The lightness with which the roof floated inspired all of us to walk lightly. It is such responses that inspire me.
On a totally different scale, I think of the work of Greene and Greene in Pasadena California- the blacker house where one is nestled in the architecture and its craft. Another place where everyone I see wants to rub the walls and handrails with their bare hands, and to walk barefoot. The ceiling nestle one instead of mere shelter.
And finally the work of Miller Hull here in the PNW. I have only been in their public spaces, but these spaces nestle, comfort,and inspire. They offer a human experience and aesthetic that is felt through the body- a sense of scale, material, light, shade, and color. The experience starts with seeing the building from the street and pulls one through to the center and outward. It is a remarkable feeling to deeply know that the place is meant as a human experience, not merely to function as a space or otherwise.

Wednesday, March 7 at 8:27pm

    emily leibin ko

    Emily Leibin Ko

    Communications Manager, The Glass House / Designer

    Thaisa, your comments about the experience of being in the Teshima Art Museum (a place I hope to visit one day, it sounds amazing!) remind me of a comment from Philip Johnson:

    all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the person in that space. – Philip Johnson

    I think that the interactions you describe at the Teshima Art Museum and Blacker House, where people not only want to walk through the space, but touch it with their bare hands and feet, listen to it and smell it, are extraordinary.

    Perhaps landscapes and gardens are so engaging because they evoke similar reactions? The materials used – plants, soil, water, stone, etc. or the sounds of wind brushing though trees or moving water – invite visitors to use more of their senses than just sight – especially smell, sound and touch!

    Wednesday, March 14 at 2:36pm

I realize as I hit the submit button- I took the question literally- as in which architects, not landscape architects. Of those I mentioned, certainly Miller Hull comes closest as architects to engaging landscape, but if I were to consider landscape architects, it would be a much larger, longer, harder, more complex answer.

Wednesday, March 7 at 8:29pm

Made,
First, thank you for the kind words. Regarding being a consummate showman, that would be you, my friend. Our world is gardens, and I agree with your statement that they should be “theatrical plus culturally and geographically referenced.” I developed my initial topic and question to get more architects engaged in the role that landscape plays in creating the sense of place. I disagree with your comment that “sense of place is something more profound that great architects have in spades and landscapers rarely develop.” O.C. Simonds, one of the founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects, stated that his fundamental philosophy was that a designer’s mission was to work with, and enhance the spirit of place, thereby “opening the eyes of those who fail to see such beauty as already exists.” You can find his full biography at The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) website http://www.tclf.org. Most good landscape architects see this as a primary goal. Regarding the reluctance of many architects wanting to share top billing, this is also addressed on TCLF website in Charles Birnbaum’s article titled “Is Landscape Architecture no longer “The Good Wife”? Eternal vigilance is, as Burle Marx would say, our moral obligation.

The Teshima Art Museum sounds like a place I must visit! The photos are very poetic. One of my most fond memories of Japan was following the movement of rain water through the temple gardens of Kyoto. This aspect of the human experience was well considered by the designers. The ferry terminal at Nakashima appears to aspire to be a minimal intrusion on the landscape, thus giving what is outside of the structure’s volume, more importance than the structure itself. Fine examples of the power or architecture to uplift the human spirit. Thanks, Thaisa. I was recently made aware of the work of Steven Holl for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I marveled at the importance placed on the integration of the landscape and structure. Light, being one of the greatest tools designers work with, seems to have been the primary focus.

Emily,

Thank you for the quote by Philip Johnson. Regarding the design professions, we all endeavor to create comforting, stimulating environments for human use. Dan Kiley once proposed the elimination of specific titles for designers. He felt that there was too much compartmentalization. While there are many great designs that various professionals have authored, the intended audience is our fellow human race. That is why collaboration amongst designers and working as a team is producing results that are advancing human knowledge and experience.

Friday, March 16 at 8:52am

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