Thursday, 4 July 2019

Exploring Alhambra

Our Design Technician recently undertook a fascinating visit to the Alhambra, a stunning fortified hilltop Moorish complex overlooking Granada in the Andalusia region of southern Spain.

The Alhambra as seen from the Albaicín

The Nasrid Palaces contain a wealth of Moorish architecture and design, and are an absolute highlight of the Alhambra. There is amazing detail in the carving, and you will find four materials used throughout - plaster, wood, ceramic and marble.

 Incredibly detailed tiles with Islamic text

Water is a key element within Islamic landscape architecture in general, and the Alhambra is no exception. Water helps to cool the palace, but is also a symbol of power and prosperity. The Court of the Myrtles contains a large central pond, significantly reducing the temperature within the courtyard.
Court of the Myrtles

At the centre of the Court of the Lions is a white marble fountain with a central basin surrounded by 12 lions, all part of an elaborate water feature, with four channels that run to the colonnaded sides at the cardinal points. 

The fountain is said to represent the heavenly garden of Islam, with the water channels symbolising the four rivers of paradise.

Court of the Lions

To the east of the Alhambra you’ll find Generalife, which has some stunning formal gardens that are a sight to behold when in full bloom in spring/summer.

Court of the Water Channel

View from Generalife to the Alhambra

350 year old Magnolia in Generalife

The Alcazaba, the oldest part of Alhambra, was a military fortress originally constructed in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications. It subsequently fell into ruin but was rebuilt in the mid-13th century. There are stunning views across Granada and beyond from the top of the Alcazaba, as seen below.

Various points other within the Alhambra also offer fantastic views of the surrounding land, with Sacromonte to the north, the Albaicín to the north-west, Sierra Nevada to the south-east.

View of Granada from Alcazaba

#OutAndAbout #ChooseLandscape #LandscapeArchitecture #GardenDesign #Spain #Historic

Monday, 26 November 2018

Revealing the layers of landscape: Archeologies of Essex

Maria Medlycott from Place Services of the Essex County Council

Final speaker of our Landscape Talks series at Writtle University College was Maria Medlycott, the senior historic landscape consultant at Place Services in Chelmsford. In her fascinating talk, Maria talked about the historic landscape analysis process and its usage in the landscape planning and evaluation. As an experienced archaeologist, Maria showed students and staff some of her projects including Hatfield Forest and Coastal Grazing Marsh Project where the detailed historic analysis throughout the centuries revealed insights into the cultural, social, ecological and economical factors that made up the contemporary landscapes we see, appreciate and engage in Essex.

#wucdesign #historicessexlandscapes #landscapearchitecture #chooselandscape

Best Student Portfolio Award winner!

Michael Ekers with his award at the Landscape Institute Awards Ceremony in London

 Michael Ekers of Writtle University College has won the #LIAward for #Student #Portfolio! Michael who is studying MA Landscape Architecture at WUC presented his three years of undergraduate landscape architecture course work to the jury. 
Judges said: 'INDULGE ME demonstrates a great degree of #creativity, both in the topics developed and in the way of #communicating #ideas.'
Congratulations Michael!

#wuclandscape #chooselandscape #studentbestportfolio