Why you need a landscape architect

Within architecture practices, a crucial yet essential role is often overlooked in the creation of remarkable spaces—the landscape architect.

These designers play a pivotal role not only within the built, but the natural environment respectively. Landscape architects use their expertise to create, conserve and regenerate landscapes, for the benefit of people and nature.

The design of ‘open space’, an umbrella term for everything that falls outside of a building, is within the realm of a landscape architect, however, this profession is far less acknowledged within public culture and educational systems alike.

At the heart of landscape architecture lies a combination of art and science. The art provides a vision; creating shapes, lines and textures whilst the science overlays the understanding of natural processes, plants, topography, climate and ecology, to name a few. Unlike traditional architecture which solely focuses on the building itself, landscape architects advocate for a holistic approach that prioritises social, environmental, ecological and cultural balance.

Access to green space(s) has emerged as a critical determinant of public health and happiness. Studies have consistently shown that proximity to nature correlates with reduced stress levels, improved mental health, and enhanced overall quality of life. By combining urban environments with nature, landscape architects manage to promote physical activity, social cohesion, and increased well-being.

The significance of landscape architecture extends beyond just the initial needs of the project's end user. Through planning and innovative design, they strive to enhance the natural environment. The relatively new introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) ensures that every project yields a net positive impact on the environment, leaving it in a measurably better state than it was in beforehand.

As urban development expands and requires more space, predictably, natural habitats are impacted, local wildlife populations face more challenges, and loss of biodiversity is at risk. Within architecture practices, landscape architects work directly with the ecologists on a project, helping to address the urgent need for wildlife restoration and conservation.

One way landscape architect teams focus on mitigating these detrimental effects is by designing green spaces for native flora and fauna, which fits seamlessly with the overall project design. By incorporating native planting, creating habitat corridors, and implementing sustainable drainage systems(SuDS), they create interconnected ecosystems that support wildlife and foster coexistence between humans and nature.

In conclusion, the role of landscape architects within architectural firms is indispensable, and the value added to projects is immense. By embracing the principles of good quality landscape design, landscape architects strive to achieve harmony between built environments and the natural world, ensuring that every project leaves a positive stamp on the future.

The integration of landscape architecture into architectural practices ensures that our built environments harmonise with nature, meaning that we can provide the best value to our clients. Landscape architects currently are contributing, and will continue to contribute to the creation, restoration and conservation of outdoor spaces, safeguarding the natural world for people, and the planet.

In a world facing growing social inequality and the well-documented climate crisis, landscape architects have the power to design solutions that can make a crucial difference.

To see some of the work done by the Roberts Limbrick landscape architecture team, follow this link: Landscape architecture | Roberts Limbrick

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