Are you someone who wishes to beautify every building and land around you? Are you interested in designing buildings and skyscrapers with a tinge of nature? Do you look at an empty land and imagine ways to beautify it with your design skills and creative imagination? If you love to sketch, draw and use design software and can visualize exotic buildings and fuse them with the touch of green plants, then a career in Landscape Architecture would surely help you in fulfilling all your wildest imaginations. Read more to find out how you can become a Landscape Architect and what do they do, which software they use in designing and how much they earn.
Landscape Architects plan and design aesthetically beautiful and functional public and private spaces such as parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, public spaces, official or commercial centers, farmhouses, resorts, etc. As a Landscape Architect, your work would range from creating public parks and parkways to site planning for offices or university campuses; from designing residential buildings and complexes to designing civil infrastructures and management of degrading landscapes such as landfills and so on.
Why become a Landscape architect?
Landscape Architects plan and design aesthetically beautiful and functional public and private spaces such as parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, public spaces, official or commercial centers, farmhouses, resorts, etc. Landscape Architects plan and create liveable communities such as designing green neighborhoods, providing efficient and cost-effective sustainable infrastructure solutions, and so on.
The field of Landscape Architecture: A brief
Landscape Architecture is all about the efficient and effective use of land, water, plant types and physical structures so as to provide aesthetically beautiful and sustainable infrastructures. The scope of Landscape Architecture extends to landscaping, landscape gardening, landscape design, landscape planning and landscape contracting etc. A Landscape Architect’s work usually ranges from creating public parks and parkways to site planning for offices or university campuses; from designing residential buildings and complexes to designing civil infrastructures and management of degrading landscapes such as landfills and so on.
You must have seen huge skyscrapers, tall office buildings, spacious residential areas and apartments, exotic resorts and farmhouses in your everyday life. Or you must have seen these stunning properties in films and television. You must be curious to know how these properties and landscapes are designed, how the entire process starting from its design to site planning, and construction to its final execution, take place. Well, surely we are talking about the masters behind these stunner lands: Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers.
Therefore as a Landscape Architect, you would design and plan the overall concept and prepare a master plan. A master plan would include 2D and 3D detailed designs and drawings which would be further used for technical specifications. You would work along with designers, site planners, architects, landscape contractors and other professionals in the entire process.
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So is there a difference between a Landscape Architect and Landscape Designer?
Basically, Landscape design can be understood as a fusion between Landscape Architecture and Garden design i.e. designing and planning outdoor public and private spaces as well as creating layouts for designing gardens within it.
The main focus areas in Landscape Design is enhancing the overall aesthetic beauty of the land or property as well as making sure it is environmentally sustainable.
A Landscape Architect can also work as a Landscape Designer or Garden Designer depending majorly on the education and experience of the professional but both these professionals practice landscape design. Although universities or institutions do not offer professional degrees in Landscape Design, there are a number of design practitioners working independently as freelancers, who possess technical expertise and serve client-specific design solutions to a variety of landscaping and garden design companies.
So to conclude what we have discussed above, a Landscape Architect focuses on the natural components of the outdoor environment which generally ranges from public and private spaces like parks, gardens (rooftop gardens, home gardens, etc.), playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, public spaces, official or commercial centers, and farmhouses, among many others.
As a Landscape Architect, you would use design software such as Autocad, Adobe Photoshop, Sketchup, Revit, CS Design Software, Realtime Landscaping Architect, LANDWorksCAD, etc. to create landscape designs in 3 dimensions. You would also provide design consultation services to clients and take up independent projects, you would also take large-scale projects and work along with architects, landscape managers, planners, designers, contractors, site planners to execute and implement plans as per clients’ requirements.
Popular specialization in Landscape Architect career
- Landscape Architect (Residential): Residential Landscape Architects are involved in the landscape design and site planning of residential landscapes such as private residences. They specialize in creating residential architecture. Some examples of residential architecture are the trump towers in Kolkata, Freedom park life and Revanta in Gurgaon, etc.
- Landscape Architect (Leisure & Hospitality): Leisure and Hospitality Architects are involved in the landscape design and site planning of various luxury and leisure resorts and farmhouses. Some examples of Leisure and hospitality are DLF golf & sports complex, Stellar Gymkhana, Infinity resorts or Bay Island resorts, etc.
- Landscape Architect (Institutional & Learning): Institutional Landscape Architects are involved in the landscape design and planning of schools and university campuses. For example, Oracle Landscape, a landscape architecture landscape design and planner, is involved in Site planning, Landscape design as well as Construction documentation for the Pearl Academy of Fashion Design in Rajasthan.
- Landscape Designer: Landscape Designers are involved in the integration of landscape planning and landscape design of a property or land. They specialize in the aesthetical, horticultural and environmentally sustainable components of landscape design i.e. they focus on beautifying a landscape using the garden design components in designing and planning.
- Garden Designer: Garden designers are professionals involved in the process of designing and creating plans for landscapes and gardens within it. They are skilled specialists in the field of landscape designing and garden design. They study and survey the site, plan and prepare drawings as per client requirements, and evaluate and identify the most suitable methods and concepts in landscape & garden design.
What does landscape architect do?
As a Landscape Architect, you would be engaged in one or more of the following roles and responsibilities:
- You would meet with clients, and building architects to understand the requirements of a project
- You would prepare site plans, specifications, or cost estimates for land development.
- You would analyze data on conditions such as site location, drainage, or structure location for environmental reports or landscaping plans.
- You would design, plan, and supervise the construction of landscapes, gardens etc.
- You would be responsible for the safety, usefulness, and aesthetics of their designs.
- You would also design landscapes that satisfy their clients’ needs while conforming to the laws and regulations of the areas in which the designs will be built.
- You would discuss the objectives, requirements and budget of a project.
- You would consult with other professionals about the design of an environment.
- You will use Design Software such as Autocad, Adobe Photoshop, Sketchup, Revit, CS Design Software, Realtime Landscaping Architect, LANDWorksCAD, KeySCAPE, PRO Landscape, VizTerra, VirtualProperty Architect, Earthscapes software, etc.
- You will be involved in performing site analyses that include the assessment of current plants, soil conditions, lighting, the view, and the architectural style of the house.
- You will work in collaboration with clients, landscape designers, landscape architects, garden designers, architects, general contractors, artisans, etc.
How to become a Landscape architect – eligibility criteria
After completing higher secondary education you can go for a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) followed by a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) in Landscape Architecture. After completing a master’s degree you can also become a member of the Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLA) and then start working as a Landscape Architect.
After completing higher secondary education you can go for a Bachelor of Planning (B.Plan). After completing graduation you must look for internship opportunities at various Landscaping & gardening design companies and work as a Landscape Designer
After completing higher secondary education you can you can go for a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) followed by a Master of Planning (M.Plan.) in Urban Design. After completing your master’s degree you can then start working as Landscape Architect
To become a Landscape Architect in India, one needs to complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture or a related field from a recognized institute. The fees for these courses may vary depending on the institute, location, and duration of the course.
Here are some examples of institutes offering courses in Landscape Architecture in India and their approximate fees:
- School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.Arch.) – INR 2,32,500 per year (for Indian nationals) and INR 3,67,500 per year (for foreign nationals)
- Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University, Ahmedabad – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.Arch.) – INR 2,25,000 per year
- Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Noida – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.Arch.) – INR 1,90,000 per year
- National Institute of Technology, Calicut – Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) – INR 51,100 per semester
- School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada – Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) – INR 84,000 per year
As a Landscape Architect/ Landscape Designer you may find work in
- Architectural/ landscape design/ site planning/ urban design firms such as Oracle Landscape, Roha landscapes, CoBOL Architects & Planners LLP, Kplusdesign, Swati Dike, Kishore Pradhan Architecture and Landscape, Design Cell, JRA Design, HoK Studio, Green Space Alliance (GSA)
- Landscaping and gardening design companies such as Garden World, Fourscape, Homify, FourLeaf Landscape, Cherry Garden and Landscapers, Studio Machaan, and Green Valley Landscape Pvt. Ltd, Green My Life, Grotech, Samak Landscapes, Ecoscapes, etc.
- Universities/ institutions registered under the Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLA) such as Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad; Dr. Bhanuben College Of Architecture for Women (BNCA), Pune; School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University (SAP), Chennai; School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi; School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), Bhopal; Dr. M.G.R Educational and Research Institute University, etc.
- Work independently: After completing graduation or a higher degree in Landscape Architecture and gaining a minimum of 5 or more years of work experience in the relevant field, many Landscape Architects consider working independently. They could start their own firm and work on client-specific projects and establish their own brand.
Salary of Landscape Architect
At an Entry level, as an Assistant Landscape Architect or Intern, you may earn around Rs. 20,000 to 30,000 per month.
At the junior level, with an experience of around 2-4 years, you may earn around Rs. 30,000 – 45,000 per month.
At the middle level, with an experience of around 5-10 years, you may earn around Rs. 55,000 – 90,000 per month or even more.
At the senior level with 15+ years of experience, you may earn around Rs. 80,000 – 2,40,000 per month or even more.
As an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, you may around Rs. 45,000 to 55,000 per month.
As an Associate Professor, your monthly earnings could range between Rs. 1,00,000 to 2,10,000 per month.
As a Professor, your monthly earnings could range between Rs. 1,80,000-2,25,000 per month.
As Head of the Architectural Department, you may earn around Rs. 2,25,000 to 2,40,000 per month.
If you start working independently or set up your own firm after having 2-10 or more years of experience, initially you may not earn very high. You may earn as low as Rs. 1,00,000 for a project at a housing society building complex. You may not also get many projects in a year. But as you grow your practice and add more projects into your portfolio, your earning may grow. A large-scale project, say, one involving landscaping of a corporate company’s campus (office complex), may get you a project value of 2 crore+. Out of such a project value, you may take home a cool profit of 30-40 lac. You do a couple of such projects and some other smaller projects in a year, and you may look at a net earning of 1 crore+ in a year. However, remember, this is when you are reputed and you or your firm is very well-known among the real estate developers and construction companies.
Career Progression in Landscape Architect Career
After completing a Bachelor’s degree you may start as an Architectural intern/ Trainee Landscape Architect or Assistant Landscape Architect in a company or organization, you may be promoted to Senior Landscape Architect. Later you may be promoted to as Senior Project Architect or Chief Landscape Architect. In most companies and organizations the title of Landscape Architect may remain the same but the job role and responsibilities may vary as per seniority and years of expertise.
After completing a master’s level degree in Landscape Architecture you may start as Assistant Professor and then as Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture. You may further progress as a Professor and later on as Head of the Landscape Architectural Department.
After having acquired sufficient years of experience, say, 8-15 years, many Landscape Architects turn to work as independent or self-employed Landscape architects or open their own firms. They take up projects from prospective clients and deliver work as per client requirements.
What does industry trends say – Future Prospects
According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Real Estate market is estimated to grow to Rs.65,000 crore by the year 2040 from Rs.12,000 crore in the year 2019. It is expected that the real estate sector will reach a market size of US$1 trillion by the year 2030 and will be approximately contribute to 13% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There is an estimated growth in the demand for office and residential spaces in the country and is expected to increase more in the upcoming years. In order to meet the growing need for managing multiple projects across metropolitan cities, real estate developers are creating more employment opportunities for varied sectors including architecture. Therefore a career in Landscape Architecture is expected to be in demand in the years to come as well.
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