What Is A Landscape Architect?
What Is A Landscape Architect?
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We thought a good place to start would be to examine what a Landscape Architect does. I know many of us in this field will be nodding in agreement that it is a profession where the title Landscape Architect, simply does not educate the general public as to the extent of services a Landscape Architect can perform. We have been to more networking events than I care to remember, where the conversation began with “interesting, a Landscape Architect”. “Can you help me with the deer eating my Hostas?” or “My yard could definitely use an overhaul”. While we have done, and most certainly will continue to do, high end residential projects, the majority of our work, as is the case with most landscape architectural firms, is focused on solving a broad range of planning, site design and site engineering issues. Landscape Architects can assist with site selection and master planning, do feasibility studies and environmental assessments, SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Act) determination, get necessary Federal, State, County and Local agency approvals, including DEC permitting, all while bringing to fruition an amazingly creative, integrated and sustainable project.
A recent project for one of our college clients is a perfect example. They needed to redesign their current traffic configuration to reduce possible car-bus-pedestrian conflicts and ease a congested parking lot. However, the design needed to also embrace their Sustainable Master Plan. It was a Landscape Architect, in this case us, with a project team in house to coordinate with other professionals. AOLA were hired to analyze and plan the layout best suited to the site. This involves consulting with a traffic engineer to evaluate road alignments and geometry, preparing and providing contract documents for bidders, construction review for contract compliance, and yes putting together the planting list that LA’s are most known for!
As Wikipedia so diligently puts it “Landscape Architecture is a multi-disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of: botany, horticulture, the fine arts, architecture, industrial design, geology and the earth sciences, environmental psychology, geography, and ecology. The activities of a Landscape Architect can range from the creation of public spaces and parkways, to site planning for campuses and corporate office parks, from the design of residential estates to the design of civil infrastructure and the management of large wilderness areas or reclamation of degraded landscapes such as mines or landfills”..
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