Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence / Edition 6

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Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence, Sixth Edition, covers the fundamentals of residential design. The text provides a thorough, how-to explanation of each of the steps of the design process–from initial contact with the client to a completed master plan. The text's numerous illustrations and useful case study examples offer a rich learning experience for students. Whether you are just starting your design career or are a current practitioner, this valuable resource is sure to enhance your skills and knowledge.

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Editorial Reviews

Covers the basic principles, concepts, and procedures for preparing site plans and associated documents involved in residential site design. The new edition of this text, first published in 1991, has added significant chapters on environmentally and architecturally responsive design. Of note are the abundant and integrally incorporated b&w illustrations and site designs at various stages of completion. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132376198
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 3/17/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 238,007
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


1: The Typical Residential Site

2: Outdoor Rooms

3: Sustainable Design


4: Design Process Overview

5: Meeting the Clients

6: Site Measuring and Base Map Preparation

7: Site and Design Program

8: Functional Diagrams

9: Preliminary Design and Design Principles

10: Form Composition

11: Spatial Composition

12: Material Composition and Master Plan


13: Special Projects

14: Case Studies in Alternative Design Solutions

15: Rendering Landscape Design Drawings in Color

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The planning and design of a residential site is an exciting and challenging endeavor for the design professional. It is exciting because the designer works closely with the clients on a personal basis, deals with the design in a detailed and artistic manner, and typically has the opportunity to see a design that has been created on paper become a three-dimensional reality in a rather short period of time. Residential site design is challenging because it directly affects the quality of life of the people who live with the design each day. Well-executed residential site design can positively influence the quality of life by eliminating functional conflicts on the site, providing proper recreational and leisure amenities, and creating an environment that is visually and functionally pleasurable.

Yet, despite the potential significance of residential site design, it is an endeavor that is commonly done inadequately, inappropriately, and, in some cases, incorrectly. A drive or a walk along a typical suburban street reveals a host of problems and offenses to the eye. Highly manicured foundation planting, overgrown plant material, inadequately sized driveways, poorly conceived approach walks and entrances, and shapeless lawn areas are just a few common problems. The areas in the back of homes are no less guilty of poor layout and visual chaos.

There are numerous interrelated reasons for these typical problems with residential sites. The list includes a lack of homeowner appreciation for good design, traditional acceptance of outdated standards concerning site development for a residence, inappropriate maintenance techniques, and financial limitations. Also on the list is a lack ofunderstanding and training in the fundamentals of design by some of those who plan and implement residential sites.

Many individuals who are currently designing and installing residential sites are doing so as a result of on-the-job training with little or no formal design education. Furthermore, those trained as landscape architects are more often involved with larger, more complex design projects or are generally perceived as unaffordable by the average homeowner.

Consequently, the purpose of this book is to furnish the reader with the quality fundamentals of residential site design. It is written by designers/ educators and presents basic principles, concepts, and procedures for preparing site plans and associated documents for residential sites. This book is primarily intended for readers who are beginning their design careers as well as for those currently practicing residential design who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Chapter 1 discusses the attributes and inadequacies of typical residential site design practices. Chapter 2 presents the overall design premise that this book is based upon, that of the "outdoor room." Chapter 3 presents and illustrates techniques for designing a residential site in an environmentally responsible manner. Chapter 4 outlines a design process used by a designer to conceive, formulate, prepare, and present design solutions for a residential site. The considerations and procedures for initially accepting a project and working with clients are discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 describes the tasks of site measurement and documentation, as well as the preparation of base drawings. Chapter 7 explains the development of a site analysis and design program, while Chapter 8 illustrates the process and development of functional diagrams, which provide organizational structure fort proposed designs. In Chapter 9 the thoughts and processes of preliminary design are explained along with a description of basic design principles used in this phase. Chapter 10 provides the reader with the principles of form composition for establishing a design theme, while Chapter 11 presents ideas for spatial composition. Chapter 12 discusses the process and considerations involved in preparing the master plan. Chapter 13, a new chapter, provides guidelines for designing for specialty sites: the corner site, the wooded site, the sloped site and the townhouse garden.

While other books also address the subject of residential site design, including some of the topics previously outlined, this book is unique in that it clearly illustrates and discusses the actual procedures and underlying principles used by experienced residential site designers. The chapters on functional diagrams and form composition should be especially helpful to the reader. These subjects are most critical in creating functionally and visually successful design solutions; yet they are typically the subjects given little or no attention. The development of alternative design studies, at various levels in the design, is also a unique feature of the book. In addition, information has been included to assist designers to become more sensitive to the environment. These subjects, as well as others in the book, are presented in a "how-to" manner so the reader can easily apply the concepts.

This book also approaches residential site design with the underlying thought that the site associated with a home should be conceived as a series of outdoor rooms. These outdoor rooms are the basic structure of a good design and possess functions similar to those inside. In many instances, outdoor rooms serve as both literal and figurative extensions of indoor living. This book discusses what outdoor rooms are, how they can be created, how they can be designed into a site, and how to select and compose materials to furnish them.

Residential site design is not treated in this book as cosmetic decoration applied to a site only to enhance the appearance of the house. While both house and site should be considered together, good site design is more than "horticultural makeup," strategically placed around the exterior of a home to provide a pretty setting. Similarly, this book does not consider residential site design to be "landscaping" or the simple arranging of plant materials around a house. Indeed, plant materials fulfill numerous prominent roles in design, but they are not the only, nor necessarily the most important, elements used by designers to create exterior space. This book is primarily a design book and so the reader does not find a plant list nor other specific information on the growth and characteristics of plant materials.

Some of the thoughts and principles in this book represent commonly accepted design knowledge and are used as a matter of standard practice by experienced designers. Other ideas have evolved from the classroom where we have spent over 40 combined years teaching college students, nurserymen, and landscape contractors. We have discovered a number of concepts and teaching techniques that are felt to be essential in teaching and learning residential site design. Finally, there are a number of thoughts in this book that have resulted from our own practices in the area of residential site design. We are both registered landscape architects and have designed over 100 residential sites, a variety of them winning local, state, and national design awards. Norman K. Booth
James E. Hiss

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Recommend - Very practical

    Very practical, hands-on textbook illustrating the step by step mentodology to designing residential landscapes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

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    Posted December 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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