Index of landscape typology

[“Spherical Gas Tanks” from the Landscape/Typology series of Bernd and Hilla Becher]

Viewed typologically, landscape architectural practice has historically been concerned with a narrow range of landscapes- the municipal park, the promenade, the national park, the playground, the residential yard, the corporate campus, the university campus, the plaza, the square, the street.  Of these it is the municipal park which has the most currency and has become a sort of default rhetorical device to argue for designed landscapes in myriad situations:  post-industrial sites, waterfronts, superfund sites, vacant lots, vague terrains created by teleological structures, and slivers created by tower setbacks in city centers, to name a few.  However, like all devices, the park has a history, and it implicates a whole range of associations, aesthetic conventions and historical actors.

Ultimately the number of typologies landscape architecture generally works within is fewer even than when the profession started.  In the late 1860’s Olmsted was already developing new terms such as the front and the parade to describe the large public landscapes being designed.  The situation today is an impoverishment of our own language.  This index is a working, annotated list to develop the range of landscapes that we are either already looking at, historically worked in, or might turn our eyes to in the future.



feed lot//

storage yard//

municipal park//


national forest//

national park//


military storage depot//

parking lot//

domestic yard//

rooftop terrace//

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