Tim Richardson’s book Avant Gardeners looks at fifty exciting and innovative landscape architects and garden designers from around the world. Multiple projects from each designer are profiled, accompanied by photographs and plans. Interspersed between these profiles are meaty essays dealing with concept, history, nature, conceptualist attitudes and even psychotopia. These essays provide a great pitstop to delve into ideas that author Tim Richardson considers thoroughly and links back to the work within the book.
Three practices wave the Aussie flag – William Martin, Vladimir Sitta and Taylor Cullity Lethlean – and there is a distinctly Australian experience within each work. William Martin plays with Australian mythology, inventing a style he calls Bunyip Classicism; Vladimir Sitta’s work with Terragram incorporates “baking-hot ‘pits’ designed to echo the inhospitable terrain of the country’s interior;” and Taylor Cullity Lethlean finds inspiration from the Australian landscape and the patterns, the forms, the materials and the colours that come with it, as well as the use of that Outback terracotta colour we know and love.
Tim Richardson, Thames & Hudson, paperback, 2009, 352 pages. RRP $75.
Published online: 8 Apr 2016
Words: Cassie Hansen
Landscape Architecture Australia, November 2011