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Cultural heritage > The history of park architecture
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THE HISTORY OF PARK ARCHITECTURE

The art of design of - gardens and parks dates since the ancient pre-biblical times and since the very beginning it has a religious, magical and mystical significance.
Alkinoos garden in Homer's Odyssey according to the oldest descriptions was shown as a beautiful orchard or vegetable garden.
Almost all antiquity religions had their mythical park: the Israeli had Eden, Assyrians Eridu, Hindu Ida-Varshu, Etruscans The Holy Forests, and in all of these civilizations the guiding line of prosperity of the heavens was always expressed and included in the park.
In time spatial design develops and becomes a place of pleasure, but also the place of achievement of intellectual and esthetical codes and requests.
Park architecture is a work of man, and only partially of nature, the design is never random and insignificant.
Different historical periods bring differences in the design.

 

ANCIENT PARKS: Gardens of Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome

Parks of Mesopotamia arouse by using irrigation system, and are located between rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The basic inspiration for park design is the square shaped Biblical garden Eden, the symbol of the four rivers of Heaven, the water canals contain in them all fruits of the land.

Hanging (terrace) gardens of Babylon is located along the bank of Euphrates River, and is one of the seven miracles of the Ancient world, constructed for the Assyrian queen Semiramis. The water was brought up to the terraces by hydraulic devices (about 809 - 760 B.C.).


/ Hanging gardens of Babylon /

Persian parks were presented as a miracle of earthly greenery.

Egyptian parks - the appearance of the park is preserved on pictures in tombs, on stone relieves that show gardens of Pharaohs, groves next to temples and gardens next to noblemen's' houses. The shape of the garden is simple with irrigation canals. They date back to 3000 years B.C.

Ancient Greece - In Ancient Greece the gardens were areas planted with fruit trees in peristyle of the house, on public areas, in holy groves and areas surrounding public buildings.

Ancient Rome - Topiaries (opus topiaria) occur for the first time - design of trees and shrubs by clipping them into geometrical shapes, most of all box-trees, myrtle, holm oak, cypress, and laurel. Orthogonal rows of pyramids, prisms, spheres, cones, human figures, divinities, war, mythological and hunting scenes are formed.
For the first time water mirrors, canals and fountains are used in the design: porches, pergolas, arbors in small parks, pavilions and summer deck chairs, nymphaeums .

ISLAMIC GARDENS AND PARKS

The Arabian gardens express the longing for Mohamed's heaven as a place of enjoyment and satisfaction. The main design elements of Islamic gardens and parks are water - the holy motif in the shape of water mirrors, fountains, and pools, it displays the expression of power and prosperity. It serves for creating a pleasant microclimate, colors by using flowers and parti-colored tiles, the smell - usage of aromatic Mediterranean and oriental plants: lavender, myrtle, jasmine, lemon, hyacinth, rose, mimosa…
Isfahan, the capital of Persia, founded in the year 1598, used to be called the city of gardens. The Spanish Arabic park architecture is well preserved. Arabs stayed in Spain from 711 until 1492 therefore the influence in design is very large.
The gardens are marked with courts with a simple geometrical ground plan.

The most famous among them are:
Alhambra, Court of the myrtles - Patio de los Arrayanes, Court of the lions - Patio de los Leones and Court of the cypresses - Patio de los Ciprases in Granada.

The masterpiece of Islamic symbolism is Taj Mahal in Agra, India, mausoleum made of white marble - a monument of love and passion. Shah Jahan, grief-stricken when his third wife Mumtaz Mahal died (during the birth of their fourteenth child), constructs it in her memory.


/ Taj Mahal, Agra /

CHINESE PARKS

Chinese parks are based on the Chinese philosophy of Confucianism and Taoism; they imitate nature and create an illusion of infinite space. They are connected with painting, poetry, literature, sculpture and architecture.
The first park occurs between 11th and 8th century B.C., and it is a fenced natural landscape intended for king's hunting - the Royal park in Beijing. The Chinese park is full of messages and information, gives peace, serves for meditation, conversation and reading poetry.
The basic elements of Chinese park: rocks, architecture, water and plants (flowers and garden furniture).


/ Yuyuan, China /

A Chinese proverb says: A beautiful garden doesn't have to be larger than a cats skin.

 

JAPANESE PARKS

The park art comes from China into Japan in the 6th century, and Zen Buddhism made the most powerful influence on its development. Japanese gardens are characterized by the connection between the house and the garden, which are an inseparable unit. The main elements of the design of Japanese park are stone, water, plant and house.
Stones and rocks are the symbols of nature, and out of planting material undersized slowly growing plant species are used, and also a gardening technique of growing and forming bonsai plants occurs.
Three basic park types are: house gardens, contemplation gardens (Zen-gardens), gardens for tea-ceremonies tee.
Contemplation garden Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, end of the 15th century.
The garden is made of sand and rocks, and the only plant element is the moss on rocks.


/ Ryoan-ji, Kyoto /

The park of emperor's palace Katsura in Kyoto dating the year 1620 is a masterpiece of Japanese park art on an area of 4 ha. Actually, the park is a lake in the shape of a crane, and an island shaped as a turtle, which symbolizes longevity.

 

MEDIEVAL GARDENS, 9th - end of 15th century

The closed divine gardens, inapproachable places fenced with high walls hortus conclusus.
The useful gardens of herb gardens (artifacts) for growing medicinal plants and nutritional plants are of smaller dimensions and most often settled inside the walls of monasteries or towns. Meditation gardens, so called monastery cloister. Pleasure gardens were formed for stay and entertainment, located next to a fortified castle, fortress, surrounded by a wall and towers. By the end of 15th century they appear in parks around castles with unavoidable topiaries and labyrinths for noblemen and poets' entertainment. After the Crusades, until that time unknown species of flowers and decorative shrubs arrive from the Middle East.

RENAISSANCE PARKS, 14th - 16th century

Nastaje u ambijentu renesansne Italije, temelj je europske perivojne umjetnosti.
Perivoj postaje proširenje kuće i prostor stanovanja na otvorenom, pojavljuje se osna simetrija, dubina prostora i usmjeravanje vizura. Uređenje partera je geometrijsko s okomitim alejama i vizurama prema fontanama, skulpturama, paviljonima. Perivoji su smješteni na padini s nekoliko terasa međusobno povezanih stubama i rampama.
Voda je dominantni element u obliku kaskada, vodenih zrcala, vodenih lanaca.
Od biljnih vrsta upotrebljavaju se zimzelene vrste sporog rasta koje se mogu lako oblikovati: čempres, crnika, tisa, lovor, mirta i šimšir. Zanemaruju se prirodni oblici te se na ovaj način iskazuje prevlast nad prirodom, cvjetnim vrstama se koristi u intimnom skrivenom vrtu (giardino segreto).
Prvi put se javlja zanimanje krajobrazni arhitekt.
Najpoznatiji među njima, Pirro Ligori, projektirao je najimpresivniji perivoj renesanse - vrtove Ville d'Este u Tivoliju u drugoj polovici 16. st.

They are formed in the ambient of renaissance Italy, and are the basis of European park art.
The park becomes an extension of the house and a living area in the open, axial symmetry appears, spatial depth and guiding of views. Design of the ground floor is geometrical with vertical alleys and views toward fountains, sculptures, and pavilions. The parks are located on a slope with several terraces, which are connected by steps and ramps.
Water is the dominant element shaped as cascades, water mirrors, and water chains.
Out of plant species slow growing evergreens are used, which can be easily shaped: cypress , Holm oak, larch, laurels, myrtle and box-tree. Natural shapes are ignored and in this way domination over nature is expressed, and flowering species are used in an intimate hidden garden (giardino segreto).
For the first time the profession landscape architect appears
The most famous among them, Pirro Ligori, designed the most impressive park of the renaissance - the gardens of Ville d'Este in Tivoli in the second half of 16th century.

 


/ Ville d'Este, Tivoli /

 

FRENCH BAROQUE, end of 16th - 18th century

The French baroque parks are a part of landscape composition with strict forms and geometrical shapes.
The park fuses with the landscape, the sky, reflections on the water and alleys that lead away in the distance. The whole park can be encompassed in a glance; they are designed for grand events and luxurious ceremonies. The whole park occupies large areas up to several hundred hectares.
André Le Nôtre was a member of a famous family of gardeners, he was a painter and an architect and the main creator of the largest baroque parks.
The park of castle Vaux-le-Vicomte was the first great work of Le Nôtrea, which became a model and inspiration of the whole century.
In Versailles it is visible that park architecture is a reflection of very complex social-political situations and a status symbol for showing off the power of an individual.


/ Versailles, Paris /

 

ENGLISH LANDSCAPE PARKS, 18th - 19th century

Strict forms and simple geometry in space are completely abandoned; there is no more uniformity, symmetry and unnatural shapes. The style of landscape design was developed under the influence of the Enlightenment, man and nature are not on the opposite sides, such as they were in the renaissance design, all that is natural is perfect and beautiful, the man does not subject the nature to himself, but learns from it.
The composition of parks and the basic elements of design are landscape, vegetation, water and rocks.
Valleys, hills and flat areas exchange. The water appears in the form of creeks, lakes, ponds, cascades, and is an unavoidable element of design.
Mr. William Kent is considered the first creator of the landscape style.

There are four basic elements of design: terrain, vegetation, water and rocks.

 

ARK ARCHITECTURE OF THE 19 th - 20 th century

The first public city parks for recreation and education appear. They are the integral part of city structure.
England - in the year 1845 issued the Law on raising public parks, the first in Europe.

The most famous public parks: Hyde Park, Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes
Germany - park next to the castle Neuschwanstein and Prince Hermann von Pückler's park in Muska, Laxenburg in Austria and Central Park in the north America.

There are two basic concepts when designing a park - environmental and artistic.
Artistic approach - a more strong design since 1980's.
Environmental concept - observing biological and environmental criteria, minimalism in design, no creativity.
The result of environmental concept - faceless landscape area that has a recreational, environmental and microclimatic function, but without any architectural, artistic or urbane functional response in the city area, a search for identity.

 
 
 
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HR-10000 Zagreb, phone: ++385 (0)1 2320 460, fax: ++385 (0)1 2320 461
e-mail: park-maksimir@park-maksimir.hr