25 Apr 2011


Whilst working on my 3rd year final project I have been experimenting with a variety of graphic communication styles. There are many ways to represent a masterplan, every practice has their own style, but there tend to be similarities between some of them. Masterplan styles range from very diagrammatic to photo realistic. Below I have chosen some masterplans, at a variety of scales, that I have come across whilst trying to set my own style, all of these have been represented in an interesting or individual way.

Project: BGU University Entrance Square, Israel
Landscape Architects: Chyutin Architects

Area: 0.5 ha

This masterplan is for quite a small area, an entrance square to a University. The plan is simple & easy to read, the lack of textures makes this even more so (even though I tend to avoid using flat colours myself). Chyutin Architects have managed to use colours from similar colour palettes, creating a very tonal look, where all the colours compliment each other & are distinguishable, but do not contrast to much. I think you can tell this drawing was done by Architects as opposed to Landscape Architects due to the choice in style, however it has worked very well for them in my opinion. Surprisingly it is hard to keep things simple & make them look good.

Project: Valencia Parque Central, Spain
Landscape Architects: Gustafson Porter
Area: 23 ha

This Gustafson Porter Masterplan is more realistic, in a sense that the trees, grass, water & other elements have a texture to them, making them less diagrammatic. Despite this the colours are very vibrant, more so than they naturally would be, reducing the photo-realism of the plan, but distinguishing it as a design proposal not aerial photograph. I like this style of masterplan, it is very informative & all aspects of the project are clearly visible.

Project: Tianjin Qiaoyuan Park, China
Landscape Architect: Turenscape (Beijing Turen Design Institute)
Area: 22 ha

Turenscape have used a very diagrammatic method of drawing their masterplan. The colours used are an exaggerated representation of the elements they are displaying, as opposed to being a true representation of the colour. The context map surrounding the plan has been greatly darkened to draw all attention to the main design, although this is effective, the dark grey is also slightly distracting, perhaps just too dark.

Project: Madrid RIO, Madrid, Spain
Landscape Architect: West 8

Area: 80 ha

This masterplan is on a larger scale, spread along a long linear site. The detail at this scale is minimal (or not clearly visible), but zoomed in plans would be shown to compliment the overall plan. The faded colours & very faint surrounding context make this masterplan very appealing to look at. It intrigues me & encourages me to want to look closer into the project & see the finer details of the design.

Project: Sa Riera Park, Palma de Mall
orca, Spain
Landscape Architect: Ravetllat Ribas
Area: 11.6 ha

The images below show a masterplan of the same site & design but at two different scales, illustrating the differences between plans at differing scales. The top image is a closer look at the plan without a surrounding context, & is purely for purposes of showing the proposed planting scheme. Each tree has been represented by a coloured dot, & each tree species is shown in a different colour. This way of showing a planting scheme is very effective.

The second masterplan is at a smaller scale but with its surrounding context & other phases of the project in darker grey tones. The plan, like above, shows trees as coloured dots, but because of the scale they are harder to distinguish between. The colours used are an exaggerated representation of the features/plants they are illustrating. This is not my favourite style of masterplan as I find it harder to read the information; there is too much colour in a small space, & all of it quite contrasting. Tonal colour schemes are far more appealing & easier on the eye.

Images courtesy of World Landscape Architect & Landezine

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