When I signed up to go to Clover Elementary to plant plants in a small garden the class of 499 I thought that it wasn’t going to be too hard of a task. However, I was in for a surprise. Since there was another day were there were volunteers and they were going to work with the land to prepare for the planting I thought that everything was going to be ready for Saturday when I was going to volunteer. When I learned that we were supposed to dig to make mounds and a basin I thought to myself ok its fine it doesn’t look that hard. As I started digging I started to feel the rough terrain as the shovel hit the surface. I could see everybody else working in different parts and having a hard time as well. I didn’t expect this soil to be so tough. At first we were using shovels and it made it difficult to progress. I felt the contractions of my muscles as I used the shovel. Then the pick ax came and it was less difficult, but it still made my arms suffer because as I put force into the movement of the pick ax the force would rebound up back to my arms and it hurt at the time. Although, it was challenging I still kept working because I would see the rest of the group keep going. Also we worked as a team because we would alternate every time one of us would get tired. In the end it was a great feeling of accomplishment when I saw this rugged terrain unfold into beautiful landscape that the kids at this school could enjoy. So this was a worthy experience that I had never experienced before and I liked it very much.
This is Jacob Javits Plaza designed by Martha Schwartz a Landscape Architect. She is a person that likes to incorporate different materials and color that resemble nature, but are not quite the real thing. She uses bright colors and for her art and landscape is indistinguishable. In this particular project she uses a bright color green that makes the winding bench definitely differ from the ground. The mounds in between the benches give a pop feature to the place. This space was meant to be used as a form of waiting room for the federal building and a place where the employees can sit and enjoy their lunch. The site used to be home to the Tilted Arc sculpture of Richard Serra and this design of Martha was made intentionally to oppose Serra’s artwork. The benches idea was influenced by Olmstead’s traditional park design and she was also inspired by French parterres the idea of trimmed hedges to define a path. She sees the landscape in this site to be furniture requiring to be repainted instead of trimmed. So her influences for this project are from art and landscape. Although she did follow the design methods of Olmstead and others she made it into her own way as she likes to express whimsy and humor so she made the benches in this crazy snake like benches. Many landscape architects criticize her work because she builds and they say the purpose of landscape architecture is to preserve the land, but she argues that she likes to make a long lasting installation that people will take care of.
Contemporary LA 2008 publisher Ralf Daab
Image from detail-online.com
The contrast between dark and light shows depth and mystery and once
you pass through a whole new world will be revealed on the other side.
Xurret System, Barcelona Abalos and Herreros ( Urban Landscape Architecture 2006 by Loft Publicaions)
Image from clippings.com
Its maleable look gives off the sense of comfort and triggers the
desire to use this object to get that feeling of comfortability.
Poets Garden ( Visionary Gardens Modern Landscapes by Ernst Cramer)
image from girot.arch.ethz.ch
The triangular mounds next to a defined edge marked with the pool
showcase a radical change from low to high ground mimicking nature
in its own way.
Post #4: As I neared the entrance of the park I noticed all the vegetation and green life this place has. When you start to stroll around the park you notice right away this location is very large and astounding. There are cement paths and dirt paths that lead all around the park. Next to the entrance of the park there are kiosks for family to gather and playgrounds for the kids to play. The playground there was the largest playground I’ve ever seen. I observed for a moment the social life in that section of the park and I found that there is diversity in the people’s behavior. In that day some were celebrating their son’s birthday in one of the kiosks while others where just relaxing having fun. Also this part of the park works well with relaxing especially in the hot days because there is plenty of shade. Apart from the kiosks there are an abundance of tall trees that give plenty of shade
There are two lakes towards the center of the park and there is a street that divides them. There is a whole different life that happens here. There are a lot of birds that roam the lakes throughout the day. Mostly there are ducks and other smaller semi aquatic birds. When I was there I saw that people come to the lakes and feed the ducks and other birds that are there. So in a sense they are connecting with wildlife that is there sharing this landscape with them. The people that hang around the lakes are I’d say calmer and more interactive with nature. You can fish in the lakes and that aspect contributes to the calmness. All in all what I learned from this experience is that people behave differently in each environment and are guided by their surroundings.
When I went to Fairmount Park in Riverside I had a great different experience. I had been to many parks and this one was not like any that I had ever been to. This park has a considerably large with many attractions to it. It is located right next the 60 freeway. When I got there and went to go park you could see a lot of trees and lawn around the landscape. Once you get to the middle of the park there are two lakes one that is a medium size and the other a way larger scale and they are separated by a road. Next to the smaller lake there are kiosks and a large playground for kids. This may sound like a regular park, but I think it’s very interesting in that you can fish in the lakes and there are an abundance of ducks and swans in the lake. Around the larger lake there is a path were you can walks and or run. Although this park has a richness of plant life from tall trees, lawn and other small plants on its perimeter there are houses in the southern hilly part of the park. There are many people that come to this park so there is a lot of social life on this park. There are families that gather to have a relaxing time or even celebrated their kid’s birthday. There are also people that come here alone to exercise, ride their bike or just take a walk around the park to admire its beauty and feed the ducks in the lake. When I was walking around the park I felt relaxed and had a good time admiring the green and the smell of all the trees and plants. I felt like I was on a trail on the mountain even though I wasn’t.