In recent times, there has been a spurt in infrastructure development and housing projects with emphasis on healthy, secure and enjoyable living conditions. More and more planned townships are coming up in metropolitan cities and their suburbs, and this has in turn given rise to a genuine need for quality landscape architects.
You need Landscape architecture is a fine blend of art, science and creativity. An inherent eye and sensitivity for nature’s beauty, a humanistic approach to design, keeping in mind the needs of the people as well as environment, and possessing the technical competence to translate a design into completed structure is what one requires to pursue a career in landscape architecture.
On the job The job of the landscape architect includes planning and designing of huge public spaces like campuses, commercial centers, corporate parks, waterfront beautification projects, transportation facilities, resorts etc as well as designing the open spaces around your homes, creating plans for recreational parks, pools, and private ponds or water fountains. According to Kashmira Sawant, a landscape architect with Creative Gardens, “The landscape architect has knowledge and respect for nature and environment, and this is reflected in the fact that they use natural resources wisely without endangering the environment. They have to determine the site layout, soil condition, weather condition and other such factors and accordingly plan and design the landscape, bearing in mind that the end result has to be beautiful yet functional.” Another area of work, which necessitates the presence of a landscape architect, is the restoration and preservation of heritage sites, and historical nature parks and monuments.
Qualification Though the basic requirement for a landscape architect is a four-year graduate programme in Architecture leading to the BArch, a Master’s in Landscape Architecture is preferred. The School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and The Center for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, are two institutions that offer a Master’s programme in Landscape Architecture. In addition the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has a two-year Post Graduate programme in City Planning and Doctoral programme in Architecture and Regional Planning.
Employment and scope The scope is tremendous for landscape architects, as currently the Government has initiated a host of development projects including the commissioning of the metro railway project, skywalks, expanding of highways, flyovers, bridges etc. in order to improve the infrastructure facilities in India.
Employment opportunities are multifold. One can work in private, public and academic organisations. Private sector opportunities are found in landscape architectural, engineering and planning departments of large construction houses. Public sector employment opportunities are found in town planning, planning and designing of highways, waterways, bridges and roads and preservation of historic and heritage sites. Teaching is another option. But the best and most lucrative one is to start one’s own consulting firm, after an initial stint of two to four years training or apprenticeship with an established and renowned firm of architects.
Institute index Apart from the above mentioned institutes, JJ School of Architecture, also offers B Architecture, at the post graduate and doctoral level in Landscape Architecture.