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Collaboration will lead to poetic reading of a site


I want to add to Chris Rankin's letter (AJ 19.12.02) upon the relationship between architect and landscape architect. While sharing the common word architect, the two professions are wholly distinct but mutually complementary.

At a philosophical level, to build something is to destroy something. The justification for destroying something depends upon the worthiness of what is gained. What is lost needs to be quantified in terms of physical loss: which might be urban space, mature trees, or wildlife habitat. But, equally, the loss can be less tangible and concerns the sense of place and identity, the emotional quality of space.

I believe it is only through collaboration that these two professions, who share this same word and objective, can satisfactorily quantify the physical and emotional loss and address this wholly in the design solution.

Such collaboration leads to a more poetic reading of a site and might, in part, address Will Alsop's comments (AJ 19.12.02) that: 'Much of the architecture that surrounds us is ugly. By this I mean that it is truly ugly, because it does not only fail visually but also it contains no concept or sense of enquiry.' But then much of the architecture around us does not involve that creative process between architect and landscape architect.

Colin Burden, director, Plincke Landscape, London

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