54 color, 103 b/w illustrations
France's leading landscape architect, Bernard Lassus, inaugurates a major new series with "The Landscape Approach."
The series, Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture, edited by John Dixon Hunt, will introduce innovative work in landscape architecture.
Understanding the work of Lassus is essential for anyone seriously interested in contemporary landscape design, and the essays in this book cover Lassus' most important projects, including the Butterfly Bridge at Istres, the Garden of Returns in Rochefort-sur-Mer, and the Tuileries in Paris.
As the introduction states, "Lassus reminds us that it is not always necessary to modify an existing landscape, to plant trees, modify the topography, enlarge or change the course of a riverbed to effect landscape change. It is more than sufficient to offer other ways of seeing, reading, or hearing an existing one. Introducing a small red tractor into a bucolic rural scene might suffice to modify the meaning and hence the perception of the physical scene."
This is a difficult but rewarding book: as the introduction continues, "Bernard Lassus' observation of the difference of experience of place between a person who knows a place well and one who is seeing it for the first time is acknowledgment of an obvious fact totally ignored in contemporary landscape design."
Forthcoming titles in the series are "The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds, 1720-1800" by Mark Laird, and John Dixon Hunt's "Greater Perfections: The Theory of Garden Practice."
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Originally published on December 3, 1998