Friday, February 27, 2009

10 Avant-Garden Makers You Should Know

1. Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe
(1900 – 1996) Jellicoe was one of the 20th century’s leading landscape architects with a career spanning almost seventy years. A trained architect, town planner, landscape architect and garden designer, his strongest interest was in landscape and garden design, describing it as “the mother of all arts”.

Christopher Bradley Hole

Architect turned landscape designer, Bradley Hole's widely published garden designs have been highly influential in changing the climate for global attitudes toward contemporary landscape and garden design.

3. Mien Ruys
(1904-98) Ruys exploited the textures of plant material and was one of the first designers to use grasses on a larger scale. She created her own garden at Dedemsvaart (below) where she experimented with bold perennial planting in combination with modern hard landscape design.

Dick Beijer
Beijer's work is characterized by simple, austere and symmetrical designs, whereby free form individual plants underline the clear cut lines. His work includes many unique designs for private clients as well as the Royal Gardens at the De Horsten country estate in Wassenaar and the design of the United Nations building in The Hague.

5. Jacques Wirtz
Wirtz has a strong sense of history, which he combines with innovation and an encyclopedic knowledge of plants. He often uses clipped plants and hedges to form undulating and modular masses setting off sculpture. He has an incredibly moving book of his gardens and landscapes which you can find in The Studio Library.

6. Dieter Kienast
Dieter Kienast ranked among the most renowned landscape architects of Europe n the 90's. In 1998 he wrote " a habitable town needs nature yet this cannot be limited to a concentration of vegetation" and so his landscape architecture gives expression to the fundamental relationship which exists between man and nature.

Kathryn Gustafson
Gustafson’s award-winning landscapes and structures can be found throughout Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Her diverse span of prominent works, ranging from one to 500 acres in size, are known as ground-breaking, contemporary designs that intuitively incorporate the sculptural, sensual qualities that are fundamental to the human experience of landscape.

8. Gilles Clement
Clement is a gardener, landscape designer, botanist, entomologist and writer. He made his name with his uncompromisingly modern designs for the Parc Andre Citroen in Paris (below), created with landscape architect Alain Provost. Clement also has has a passion for plants and the infinite possibilities of association, countering the criticism often levelled at modern designers that they prefer hard elements to soft.

9. Topher Delaney
With an academic background in philosophy, cultural anthropology, and landscape architecture, Delaney’s work crosses disciplinary boundaries. Her work focuses on healing gardens, creating engaging and peaceful spaces for the suffering.

10. Fernando Caruncho
The Catalan landscape architect Fernando Caruncho runs his own office in Madrid and, since 1980, has designed and created a great number of gardens, mainly in Spain. Caruncho has carefully studied the history of oriental and occidental garden architecture and translates a number of archetypal elements of Moorish and Arabic gardens into contemporary designs.


  1. And.... What about you Mr.

    Why you are not in the list?

  2. Great post Christian - I love top 10s!

    Honestly, pretty much everything I know about landscape design is from your blog! You make it interesting and visual which is what I love.

  3. What a post! You have hit the nail on the head here Christian. What a diverse group of designers...well thought out....i love it.

  4. great article, very thorough.

  5. Great blog, keep it up.

  6. Where is Roberto Burle Marx?

  7. Interesting post.

    I'm sure this will allow LA's and students of LA endless hours of arguing over the top10.

    Any top 10 gets to this,

    Great food for thought.