Historical Ground investigates how contemporary landscape architecture invokes and displays the history of a site. In the light of modernism’s neglect of history, these essays by John Dixon Hunt explore how, in fact, designers do attach importance to how a location manifests its past.
The process involves, on the one hand, registering how geography, topography and climate determine design and, on the other, how history discovered or even created for a site can structure its design and its reception. History can be evident, exploited, invented or feigned – it can be original or a new history which becomes part of how we view a place.
Landscapes discussed in this book come from across Europe and the United States, highlighting the work of designers who have drawn from site history in their design, or have purposefully created their own historical account of the location. The author explores not just the historical past, but how new ground can be given a life and a future.
John Dixon Hunt is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of more than a dozen books and edits the Taylor & Francis journal Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes and is the series editor of the Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture.