If we design a building aesthetically good and also decorate it beautifully from inside, yet if its surrounding outside area is rubbish, then the beauty of the building will be considered reduced. As such the building must have a beautiful surrounding. This is achieved by landscape development.
Landscaping is an art of planning the drives, walks, lawns, shrubs, gardens, flower-beds etc. so as to form a beautiful setting for a building. The main purpose of landscaping is to create a joyful environment round the building and give the occupants a healthy breath, good appearance and natural beauty.
A hundred years ago, the landscape architect was merely a gardener. But the art gradually evolved. Landscape architecture is a specialised branch of architecture which is in foetal stage in India. Just as the architect deals with the buildings, so for the landscape architect deals with the natural sciences like hydrology, soil mechanics, and geology are also necessary for any aspiring landscape architect so that by understanding these he can better relate the development potentials of the environment.
Two main components of the environment have to be considered; the man-made component, which involves man’s intervention like the construction of roads, bridges, buildings along with all the necessary infrastructure; and the natural environment like space, water, trees, rocks and the earth. As such the landscape architect has to consider not the spaces alone but rather the environment’s potenial, how best to harmonize inner spaces with those outside.
Landscape architecture is therefore not limited to design of gardens and parks but it takes into account the entire area of the city and countryside, characteristics of physical features, topography etc.
If a town is located on the banks of a river, stream , pool, with greenery or such other natural features, care should be taken to lay thereon, the pleasure walks, boulevards, open spaces, planted with beautiful flowering trees. If a country is located along the hill-side, it can be planned in the layout as a rock-garden. Even though there are no such natural features, the landscape architect can create beauty and loveliness artificially by providing a fragrant avenue of flowering trees amidst spacious and beautiful lawns.
There is even greater need of planned landscape for factories and industries. Most factories are nothing more than the glorified shed, erected. The architect puts up the structure, sees that facade 100K and quits. It is the landscape architect who can provide aesthetically satisfactory solutions by providing beautiful parks, playgrounds, attractive location of services, stores, network of roads planted with flowering trees etc. Factories planned in this manner have shown improved morale and much cheerfulness among the workers.
One may ask whether landscaping is ever possible or even relevant in present days of land shortages and high-rise buildings or sky-scrapers? No doubt it is possible to create a beautiful landscape around the building within the limits of available space, no matter how small. It is actually a question of how you plan your house, how you organize your space etc. Even in case of multi-storied or high-rise buildings, the open terrace of each apartment can be utilised on the lines of Hanging Gardens at Babylon. These type of terrace gardens are becoming much more popular in high-rise buildings of metro-politan cities. If you design, keeping this in mind, you can achieve with in-expensive landscaping, a pleasing and cheerful environment which is seen to be utmost necessary nowadays in big cities to overcome the large scale and density of over-growing sky-scrapers.