Creating Functional Spaces with Landscape Design

Landscape design is a blend of beauty and practicality where outdoor spaces are manipulated to serve the needs of users. And this is something that should improve the surrounding landscape. These principles should be carried out whether a residential garden or an urban park is designed.

It is important that the landscape designer understands the preferences, needs and activities of the users that inhabit the space. The landscape designers will carry out thorough assessments when they are creating landscape on a large scale or for a public area when it comes to identifying the users. They will identify the activities that these users will be engaged in the outdoor environment as well as their demographic profiles. And when it comes to residential landscape design, there will be many client meetings so that the designer and the client can collaborate and achieve the desired objective of the project. There are many needs for outdoor spaces whether it is creating gathering spaces for social interactions, creating a retreat to relax and unwind or come up with recreational opportunities for families. The beginning of effective landscape design starts with a comprehensive analysis of the site. This allows the designer to identify and assess the natural features at the site, climatic conditions, topography and existing infrastructure.

The landscape designers will identify the limitations

And the potential of the site during the site assessment and this is what informs the design. Strategic planning ensures that circulation patterns are organised leading to the creation of functional zones that support different activities. Elements such as focal points, pathways and seating areas can be integrated into the design to improve circulation, accessibility and usability of the landscape. A critical part of landscape design is functional zoning where the outdoor spaces are divided into distinct areas depending on their use. Some of the common examples of these zones are passive relaxation zones, active recreation zones, utility zones and circulation pathways. The designers can create connections between different zones so that they flow into one another smoothly. But each zone will be clearly defined. This can help contribute to intuitive navigation for users so that the overall functionality of the space can be enhanced.

A functional landscape design will be a blend of natural elements and built structures

Some of the architectural features incorporated in these outdoor environments are seating areas, pergolas and pavilions and the natural elements include water features, shrubs and trees. The form and function of the landscape can be enhanced by balancing all of these elements. And the designers are able to incorporate elements that provide comfort, shade and shelter in the design so that inviting spaces can be created all year round sustainable design practices will be followed such as the use of water efficient irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting and native plantings. This can help contribute to an ecologically sensitive landscape. By utilizing these practices, the environmental impact of the design can be minimised and natural resources can be conserved.

Hester Griffith
the authorHester Griffith