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Landscape Architecture - Interpreting London

Landscape Architecture - Interpreting London

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Christina Gestra


Guided by an experienced Landscape Architect who has been involved in many of London’s iconic landscape and public realm schemes, Landscapes of London will introduce you to a diverse range of environments that will both educate and inspire.

During the course, you will learn how to critically analyse and experience open spaces. And understand the rationale and wider context behind certain designs. We will discuss function, design and use, as well as considering the connection to the broader cityscape. You will discover the emotional relevance of spaces in relation to learning, health and well-being and investigate the wider issues of community needs and recreation.

Further consideration will be given to what a contemporary open space should be, what it should offer and how this is interpreted by designers. Whether you are a spatial designer seeking new inspiration, or someone who is just interested in understanding more about the design of the city and the landscape spaces between buildings - this course will open your eyes afresh and encourage you to really look at and analyse, the spaces you inhabit or move through each day.

Topics covered

  • Guided tours of a range of open spaces across London
  • Informative commentary - providing relevant design background, information and context
  • An Introduction to landscape site survey
  • Basics of environmental psychology
  • Ability to critically analyse spatial design
Course outcomes
By the end of the course you will have visited a range of notable landscapes and have learned how to visually analyse and discuss an external landscape open space.

Who should attend
This course is perfect for anyone who has an interest in open space, landscape or garden design. A good compliment to ‘Landscape Architecture - An introduction’.

All Levels Welcome

Tutor Description

Christina has worked as a Landscape architect since 1998 within a broad range of practices, sectors and roles both within the UK and the Netherlands (Mecanoo Architects). Amidst working directly for design practices she has also been involved with and worked for the Architectural Biennale in Venice (throughout autumn 2006) and has lectured part time in spatial design for the University of the Arts London since 2007.

Christina studied Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art in the mid 1990‘s and achieved her Part IV professional practice qualifications and consequent chartered member status of the Landscape Institute in 2003. She has worked on many well-known landscape and public realm schemes across the capital including ‘More London / the GLA site’ (Townshend Landscape Architects with Foster & Partners), the early stages of Granary Square and Kings Cross Masterplan (Townshend Landscape Architects), and many more. She is very enthusiastic and passionate about her profession and field, and always keen to raise awareness and understanding of the discipline.


Please bring the following materials with you on the first day:

  • Camera or camera phone
  • Small sketchbook or notebook and pen/pencil
  • Tape measure - not essential
  • Comfortable shoes and an umbrella

Please note that most of the materials needed for short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates