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How do I become a landscape architect?


How do I become a landscape architect?

Landscape Architects are The Placemakers, the people creating the places in which we work, live and play. 

And yet it is a relatively unknown profession that most don’t discover until studying to be an architect.  With nations like Singapore implementing a landscape strategy to be a 'city in a garden' and cities like Hamburg declaring they will be car-less to give priority to green spaces to address climate change, it is an exciting time to become a landscape architect.

Yasmin Alzadjally, 26, is a landscape architect with Grant Associates, the UK landscape architects based in Bath responsible for master planning Singapore’s $1bn Gardens by the Bay which has received more visitors than the Taj Mahal in its opening year.  The firm's focus is to connect people with nature through creative landscape architecture which fuses imagination, technology and sustainability.  

Yasmin, 26, qualified with a first class masters in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh University/College of Art.  Whilst on a placement with Grant Associates she was offered a full time position and has been with the firm now for 3.5 years working on global projects like Institute of Technical Education in Singapore, Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpar, Cartoon City in China as well as UK projects like Paddington Green and Wimbledon Tennis Club in London.  

For Yasmin "Landscape architecture is about creating an affinity with the landscape.  As a landscape architect you are a bridge between the person and the space and you can change their experience of a building and a space. It is all about the setting, if that doesn’t work it will not be a successful place.”

Multi-discipline and strong on collaboration
What is fascinating about landscape architecture is the number of spaces and disciplines it covers and the collaborations involved with architects, engineers, experts in biodiversity.  "At Grant Associates we always look at the ecology, how it affects people. There are so many more factors involved with landscape architecture that makes it more interesting and creative pushing you to continually learn new things - ecology, engineering, architecture, art are all involved and I might be working on an airport, a hospital, a school or a new city in China and then the opportunity of a lifetime – Wimbledon.”  

Improving places that people live
Yasmin loves truly wild sites but also sites that are not at all pretty that she can work on to make the space better for people to live in. Church Street, Paddington Green in London is a great example where she was involved in retrofitting a key part of London for climate change. "We took spaces that were overlooked and turned them in to green spaces, allotments and the people were crying out for these spaces that they never thought were possible. It means that they become proud of where they are from and this builds a stronger community."

No compromise or selling out
"What I love about Grant Associates is that I’ve never had to sell myself out. If you don’t agree with something there is the freedom to say so and as a firm we don’t design anything we wouldn’t love to be in. You never have to compromise and that is refreshing."

Take a look at Grant Associates projects:
Gardens by the Bay
Have a walk round with this short film