7 Landscape Architecture Trends for 2018

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If there is any industry that exemplifies evolution in design it is architecture. Building designers are constantly trying new ideas and experimenting with combining art with function, which leads to a consistent flow of trends in the world of architecture. Though there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to architectural landscaping, it is worth it to consider these trending ideas when renovating an existing space or designing a new one.

Here are the top 7 landscape architecture trends for 2018.

1. Combine Functional Art with Sculptured Seating

As touched on previously, a common goal of landscape architecture is incorporating art with practicality. An appealing way of achieving this is to design seating that adds a touch of grandeur while also functioning as a comfortable place to lounge. The Moonstone benches featured in this park not only fits perfectly within the surrounding trees, thanks to its elemental appearance, but also begs for a closer look from passersby. Though the design is overall fairly simplistic, it is exceptionally pleasing to the eye and can work in even the most extravagant of outdoor landscapes.

2. Waterfront Seating Creates a Contemplative Setting

Waterfront settings tend to be a natural point of interest for people. Gathering along piers simply to look out towards the horizon and reflect creates a sense of calmness. The attraction of waterfront spaces, like the above pier, is the ideal spot for some well-designed seating. These reclined wooden seats offer a space for visitors to not just sit but to lean back, fully relax, and perhaps soak up a little sun. The added planters are a nice touch as a space to showcase bold flowers or, as seen here, a little touch of greenery.

3. Rethink the Traditional Designs of Shelters

Far too many urban areas are cluttered with dated, dirty bus stations and shelters. As cities are being redesigned there will be a growing interest in constructing more open, attractive overhead shelters. The above shelter is a perfect example of just how creative such a structure can be. The deep black of the overhead covers pops, especially in combination with the white bench and cube seating. There is plenty of space for people to either sit or stand while the lack of walls prevents a claustrophobic feeling. Recessed lighting within the ceiling is very sleek and effective for nighttime safety.

4. Construct Unique Pathways in Plazas

Plazas a hub of activity but the walkways tend to be simple concrete, something far from creative or appealing. Construction of more unique pathways aids in foot traffic and adds visual interest to the area. The bold path featured above combines staggered slabs of varying lengths illuminated by the glow of recessed lighting. Incorporated as part of a water feature, this path will surely gain attention and give this plaza a touch of urbanity.

5. Visually Striking Benches with Practical Purposes

Benches will forever be a popular choice of seating for parks and playgrounds, but this doesn’t mean they have to be plain. An interesting twist on the classic wood bench is featured above as surprisingly practical seating for a playground. This design offers a place for sitting but also a tabletop-like side that is ideal for placing toys, lunchboxes or even your laptop. In a pinch it may also be used for seating as well. This combination bench idea is just one example of how creative bench design will become more commonly seen.

6. Unexpected Pops of Colors Brightest the Atmosphere

Certain aspects of interior design translate well to outdoor architecture, especially the use of bold color. Too many landscapes are dulled with natural tones of brown, greens and other neutral shades. Selecting certain features within the space, such as the example of a bench and trash receptacle above, to paint a bright shade really draws in the eye. This bright mustard shade is a fun change, matching well into the park and playground landscape. Remember, less is more when it comes to these bright shades, but certainly don’t feel shy about creating a little drama.

7. Freshen Green Spaces with Structural Touches

Many cities are focusing on bringing more green space back into their urban sprawls as it offers great advantages for both people and the environment. A theme that works well for these areas is to combine touches of architectural structure within the planted areas. Situated close to buildings, the featured landscaping is completed with a lush lawn, a variety of planted shrubs, and some small trees. The designer of this area created container-like structures around the trees which create a tidy, manicured appearance.

As you can tell by the above trends, when it comes to landscape design in 2018 many are focusing on expanding green spaces and turning otherwise utilitarian features, such as seating, into imaginative works of art. The end result are spaces that are inviting, comfortable, and beckon creativity.    

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