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The Course of Landscape Architecture

A History of our Designs on the Natural World, from Prehistory to the Present

Christophe Girot


A history of our designs on the natural world, from the prehistory to the present – the first significant overview in over a generation


In many ways the history of civilization is a history of our relationship with nature and landscape. Christophe Girot chronicles this intimate connection, drawing on all aspects of mankind’s creativity and ingenuity, and bringing together the key stories that have shaped our manmade landscapes.

Starting from the need to clear land for cultivation and to enclose space for protection – the forest clearing and the walled garden – there emerges a vital and multifaceted narrative that describes our cultural relationship to, and dependence on, the landscape, right up to the present day.

Organized chronologically, each chapter includes a thematic essay that ties together the central developments and a case study illustrated with specially commissioned photographs and meticulously detailed 3D re-creations showing the featured site in its original context.

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'This book will become essential to our discipline, encouraging not only those in academia to experience landscape architecture as a multilayered profession'

'This is a book that one can dip into with pleasure, and will delight all those with an interest in architecture, archaeology, and social history'
Current World Archaeology

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.0 x 25.0 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 2 May 2016

ISBN: 9780500342978

Contents List

Introduction: Imagining Nature as Landscape • 1. Roots: On the Origins of Landscapes • 2. Hydraulic Civilizations: The Geometry of Water in Landscapes • 3. From Temenos to Physis: Sacred Landscapes in Greece • 4. Of Villas and Woods: Roman and Barbarian Landscapes • 5. The Rule of Faith • 6. Gardens of Perspective: Architectural Landscapes in the Renaissance • 7. The Measure of Reason • 8. Gravity: The Constant of Nature • 9. Combustion and the Exotic: Romantic Landscapes as Escape • 10. Acceleration: Landscapes of the 20th Century • 11. Terrain Vague • 12. Topology: Rediscovering Meaning in the Landscape • Afterword: Towards a Cultural Revolution in Nature

About the Author

Christophe Girot is Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the highly prestigious Institute of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zurich.

List of Contributors

Philip Ursprung

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