Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas
Parque del Este, 1956 - 1961
Winner of the 2006 J. B. Jackson Book Prize from the Foundation for Landscape Studies
"This wide-ranging study of a single major work, a 200-acre public park in Caracas . . . , places Burle Marx within the context of a Latin American intellectual and creative renaissance."—Choice
For most landscape architects, and designers in general, the name Roberto Burle Marx immediately brings to mind his painterly vision of the landscape as well as his inspired use of the flora of his native Brazil. However, his work has consistently been presented in the design literature as if it existed in a vacuum, disengaged from the historical circumstances that provide both shape and meaning to public landscapes.
In Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas: Parque del Este, 1956-1961, Anita Berrizbeitia goes beyond the common formal analysis of his designs to explore the multiple contexts and cultural conditions that give rise to his uncompromising vision for gardens and landscapes. She charts a middle ground for the interpretation of built landscapes that explores the various ways in which the complex web of political and socioeconomic circumstances and Burle Marx's personal aesthetic intersect in the making of landscapes. Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas is the only in-depth study of this major site, a two-hundred-acre urban park built between 1956 and 1961, and offers an approach for future studies of the Venezuelan and Latin American landscape.
Anita Berrizbeitia is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.