skip to main content
Landscape Architecture - An Introduction

Landscape Architecture - An Introduction

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Christina Gestra


Join Landscape Architecture and through practical and theoretical study, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of designing urban landscapes whilst taking on a design project of your own.

Through talks, group workshops, external walking tours and an independent design project, you will gain an insight to the processes and language of analysing and designing landscape architecture.

Along the way you will develop skills including design development, site survey and analysis, planning, scale drawing and presentation skills. As part of the project you will also be introduced to some relevant technical aspects including access, lighting and materials. There will be a small amount of independent research and study required at the outset of the course.

Topics covered

  • Urban Landscapes – case studies
  • Context
  • External visits
  • Design Development
  • Site survey and analysis
  • Technical considerations
Course outcomes
You will have established an understanding of what the role of a Landscape Architect entails, along with a good base knowledge of the range and extent of scales, contexts and styles landscape architects generally work within. You will have visited a series of notable landscape spaces across London and also experienced and worked upon your own design project.

Who should attend
Anyone wishing to gain a base knowledge of landscape architecture, as well as design professionals in related areas/disciplines or those considering studying Landscape Architecture as a profession. Anyone with an interest in urban design and the design of public open spaces, landscapes and the context of the built environment; and those intrigued by the idea of place-making and what makes a good city or urban space. Students only require an interest in the subject matter and a general enthusiasm to learn.


View PDF to explore progression: Interior Design: Your Journey [188kb]

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 (to record places and spaces visited)
  • Sketch book/course diary (A size/format/weight that you feel happy to carry on the days that include visits)
  • Clutch pencil and/or 0.1 black fine line pen (student’s preference)
  • Tape measure (at least 3m in length)
  • A printed image of your choice of an inspiring or favourite landscape
Recommended reading:
  • The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment from Prehistory to the Present by Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe
  • The Concise Townscape by Gordon Cullen
  • Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space by by Jahn Gehl
  • Topos – International landscape review – magazine publication - any issue relevant to the students interests.

Most materials needed for the 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