Mind-blowing Landscape architecture by Charles Jencks

, posted in Gardening

By Saif Malik

While wandering on Facebook today, I came across an amazing landscape design image. The design idea and its on-ground furnishing were totally mind-blowing. I felt myself lost in the curves of this design for some moments, and got curious to know this beautiful mind. Eventually, I came to find a living legend of Landscape architecture world, Mr. Charles Jencks.

Charles Alexander Jencks is an American architectural theorist, landscape architect and designer. His books on the history and criticism of modernism and postmodernism are widely read in architectural circles. He designs landscapes and sculpture and writes on cosmogenic art.  He’s also co-founder of Maggie Cancer Caring Centres.
As he says, "To see the world in a Grain of Sand, the poetic insight of William Blake, is to find relationships between the big and small, science and spirituality, the universe and the landscape. This cosmic setting provides the narrative for my content-driven work, the writing and design. I explore metaphors that underlie both growing nature and the laws of nature, parallels that root us personally in the cosmos as firmly as a plant, even while our mind escapes this home."
Find below some of my favorite works from his portfolio.


This design shows a concrete staircase that looks like a waterfall and represents the basic idea of universe. The design ideas called as “The Universe Cascade”, has 25 landings that mark the important shifts in cosmic history. Starting at the top, in the present day, and descending down, visitors are moving through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. The steps finally disappear into the dark water below, which represents the mystery of the origin of the universe. This intriguing work (that looks like it's from a fairy-tale) can be found at The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Scotland, or what has been described as one of the most original and important gardens of the 21st century.

And somewhere, he seems to elaborate basic idea of life by sketching the concept of mitosis/cell division and DNA strands with their similar angles, dimensions and (vesica) shape in his landscape designs; cosmic speculations and postmodernisms etc.








His latest stunning success is Northumberlandia the "Goddess of the North". 





Commissioned by a UK coal-mining company, Jencks has created a giant land goddess sculpture that's 112 feet high and 1,300 feet long or in other words it has been described as a reclining female figure a quarter of a mile long and weighing 1.5 million tons. It is the world's largest human form sculpted into the landscape.

Content sources/References:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Jencks

2. http://www.mymodernmet.com/

3. http://www.charlesjencks.com/

4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

5. http://www.northumberlandia.com/

About author: Saif Malik is a Landscape horticulturist, well equipped with lot of professional exposure and experience. Along with landscaping/gardening work, he's founder, publisher & editor-in-chief of hortist.com.
Email: saif@hortist.com; Twitter: @hortist09; Website URL: http://www.hortist.com

Copyright Hortist, 2013

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Hortist is a sustainable source for landscape horticulture news, solutions and resources, managed by a Landscape horticulturist from Pakistan. Hortist reports on importance of this very unique niche and how it improves the landscape of this world and lives of its inhabitants.