METU - Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture
An introductory lecture and practical design course to assist the future architects and planners to comprehend the social and physical relationship between built structures and their natural environments; to familiarise them with sequential and spatial organisations and scales of outdoors functions; and to introduce natural and man-made landscape materials with their use.

"In facing the growing urgency of environmental issues confronting human societies, we must do more than sustain the earth; we must heal, enhance and manage the life-sustaining processes of the planet and ensure the integrity and strength of the global landscape which connects them." American Society of Landscape Architects Declaration on Environment and Development - January 1993



and Assignments

1 st week Introduction of the course syllabus and the required assignments.

Definitions of -scape (view / vision), landscape and landscape architecture : (enclosure of land within the eyes of mind).
Discussion on the operation of outdoor spaces for various human needs with specific environmental and natural considerations

"A landscape is not simply an area of earth's surface, a square on a map irrespective of human existence but our vision of that area. We ourselves, as the seeing eye, are included in the concept and our reactions are an essential part of the combination.

Man is an animal who consciously creates landscapes: the only species, which deliberately alters the design of its environment for no reason than to give itself aesthetic pleasure."
The nature of landscape design, Nan Fairbrother, New York, 1974.

Project I.
Plant Identification Study
Sketch Techniques

Field Trip
METU Campus
Bring sketchpads / clip boards / papers and various pencils / pens.

2 nd week

Natural and Man Made Elements of Landscape
A. Natural Environmental Resources:
. Atmosphere : Volume / Air / Moisture
. Earth : Base / Ground / Soil / Moisture / Minerals
. Water : Surface / Underground (oceans, lakes, rivers, springs, falls, marshlands, wetlands, clouds)
. Topography : Altitude / Landforms (canyons, caves, mountains, hills, plateaus, plains, valleys, cliffs)
. Climate (seasons, zones and regions) : Temperature / Light / Moisture / Wind
. Flora (vegetation) : Ground Covers / Grasses / Vines (climbers and creepers) / Herbs / Bulbs & Rhizomes / Cacti / Perennials / Shrubs / Trees
. Fauna : Pollination & Seed Distribution / Grazing / Mineral Circulation / Visual Aspect of the Richness of Life
. Ecosystems

"To be wholly alive a man must know storms, he must feel the ocean as his home or the air as his habitation. He must smell the things of earth, hear the sounds of living things and taste the rich abundance of the soil and sea." James Michener

Project I.
Plant Identification Study
Sketch Techniques

Field Trip
METU Campus
Bring sketchpads / clip boards / papers and various pencils / pens.

3 rd week

Project I. Plant Identification Study

Bring sketchpads / papers / clip boards, various pencils / pens and camera.

Field Trip
Ankara University
School of Agriculture Nursery

4 th week

Data Gathering
A. Physical Analysis:
. Environmental and Ecological Factors : Natural potentials / Natural history / Noise / View / Pollution
. Climate : Wind Patterns / Solar Pattern / Rain and Snow Falls / Frost Level / Temperature
. Site Inventory : Base maps (topology, topography, vegetation, geology, orientation)

B. Social Cultural Information
. Usage : User Needs / Using Times / Density pattern
. User Profile : History / Culture / Tradition / Economy

"Nature is the basis, but man is the goal." George Santayana

"Therefore, let us build houses that restore to man the life-giving, life-enhancing elements of nature. This means an architecture that begins with the nature of the site. Which means taking the first great step toward assuring a worthy architecture, for in the rightness of a house on the land we sense a fitness we call beauty." Frank L. Wright

Project II.
An Urban Park
Design Problem Definition
Study Groups Organization


5 th week

Project II. An Urban Park
Data Gathering
Site Visit

Preliminary Submission
Project I.

6 th week

Grading Study (Topography) : Spot Elevations / Cut and Fill

"The ultimate principle of landscape architecture is merely the application and adjustment of one system to another, where contrasting subjects are brought into harmonious relationship resulting in a superior unity called order." Stanley White

Project II.
Site Model Building

Bring model building materials pertinent with the project

7 th week

Basics of Landscape Design : Geometry / Form / Space / Axis

"A creation in space is an interweaving of parts of space." Moholy-Nagy

Project II.


8 th week

Natural and Man Made Elements of Landscape
B. Human Aspects :

I. Physical Human Aspects
. Man Made Components : Buildings / Walls / Pavements / Stairways / Furniture / Parking Structures / Drainage and Irrigation Elements
. Ergonomics / Accessibility
It is often seen in the practical world of landscape architecture that a landscape implementation is separated into two fields of practices as hardscape and softscape.

Project II.


9 th week

Natural and Man Made Elements of Landscape
B. Human Aspects :

II. Social Aspects
. Function : Human as Goal in Design
. Aesthetics
. Culture : Vernacular Culture / Tradition / Custom / History
. Economy
. Exhibition / Education
. Recreation
. Transportation
. Tourism
Sometimes it is as simple as what nature would do without us.

"The first stage toward doing something is to know what is wrong." Ian Nairn

Too much design is the greatest pitfall in which we usually get lost during our journey in the tranquilizing interwoven paths of design adventure.

Final Submission
Project I.

10 th week

Studio Work

By what and where we plant or maintain what is existing and by the way we control or modify its growth, we can create and alter the characters of our landscapes.

Project II.


11 th week

Studio Work

"In the creation of healthy environment nature?s collaboration is not only important but also indispensable." Eliel Saarinen

Project II.


12 th week

Presentation and Colloquium

"Obstacles are the things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal." E Joseph Cossman

Final Submission
Project II.

13 th week

Ecology : Ecosystems and Natural Resources

Nothing is wasted in the wondrous systems of nature except what human produce

14 th week

Jury week

"Be thankful for problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job." Unknown

Content and Method
The semester starts with lecture series based on the fundamentals of landscape architecture and its elements supported with visual material for the first several weeks. Lectures cover only the first hour of the class series. The following two hours are practical works performed either outside in the campus landscape or in the studio. Through out the semester, the classes gradually transform from lectures to visual presentations and to practical studies. Eventually, the semester is completed with two end products, a Landscape Plants GuideBook, and a Complete Design Project of an Urban Park.

For the plant study, approximately 40 local landscape plants-shrubs and trees-are introduced. The plants are studied on site focusing onto their identification clues, architecturally critical esthetical and basic botanical features during the first weeks, while the plants still bear foliage. Their color changes, fall colors, winter calligraphic or evergreen qualities and remaining fruits and pods are also observed through out the semester. In the content of studies, the students are instructed to research and to sketch the plants and eventually are expected to compile their study materials into individual plant books. Selected one or two books to be printed and published in the case of financial matters are sorted.

The design project of an Urban Park is conducted in the studio hours along with the lectures and plant material studies and further intensified towards the end of semester. This practice allows the students to utilise their plant knowledge into design process by taking into account the specific architectural and botanical qualities of the plants. They are assigned to choose a particular site from the options provided by the instructor to develop a design problem and pertinent solution program representing the users' specific qualities.

Comprehension of grading and topographic studies is also targeted in the content of this semester. For this purpose, the design project possesses a topographic problem solving challenge opportunity in its specific setting.

Several painstaking model making assignments and many sketch problems are parts of the practices of this class as well as the many joyful walks and creative desk criticism sessions.

Other Courses
Advanced Studio
Book of Plants
Links Home Landscape Architecture Photography Resume

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