Articles

A landscape for learning

TLDRoffon

The future looks bright for landscape architecture students as they survey London from the teaching roofs of their stunning Stockwell Street home.

This year Greenwich celebrates 50 years' teaching and research in landscape architecture. After five decades of outstanding achievement it now enjoys a state-of-the-art building, healthy graduate employment and rising recruitment.

The University is one of the country's biggest centres in outdoor design, offering nine landscape programmes from Diploma to PhD, including the popular BA Hons and MLA (Master of Landscape Architecture) degrees.

The growth in demand is no surprise, says academic leader Ed Wall, from the Department of Architecture & Landscape. "We work in an outstanding building, set in a World Heritage Site of immense beauty in London, which is one of the most diverse urban landscapes," he says.

"Our students are taught by landscape architects from top practices such as Gustafson Porter, Field Operations and Arup. Last year all our BA graduates found employment within six months.

"We are leading research on so many fronts, from climate change mitigation to issues of public space."

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces, ranging from the small, such as a courtyard, to the vast, like an entire city.

Its practitioners are tasked with imagining future cities as well as resolving problems such as flooding, transport links and even issues of local identity in the face of new developments.

"Students are increasingly aware of the importance of landscape design," says Ed. "So many social and environmental issues converge on open space, from the quality of life for residents to the impact of concreting over green spaces."

Stockwell Street

The University's award-winning Stockwell Street building is purpose-built to teach landscape architecture.

The Landscape Institute described it as "not only a superb piece of design but also a valuable resource for students".

Stockwell Street
The award-winning Stockwell Street building

It has 14 green roofs including a flower meadow, a wetland and dedicated facilities to study algae and aquaponics. Together they cover an area of about 12 tennis courts, possibly making it Europe's largest roof-top classroom.

Leading research and development

All staff carry out research, from Duncan Goodwin's work on the environmental and social benefits of green infrastructure and urban trees, to HonorĂ© van Rijswijk's investigation into 'small urbanism' – how small-scale developments can be a catalyst for urban regeneration when public budgets are tight.

Current applications include Duncan's research with partner college Hadlow into the conditions urban trees need to flourish, and a partnership with the Deptford community to turn Sayes Court, a derelict park which was once a glorious garden designed by 17th century diarist John Evelyn, into a horticulture centre.

The department is home to the Advanced Landscape & Urbanism Research Group, which has a reputation for successfully-funded research, publications and international collaborations.

Its work builds on contributions of former staff such as Geoffrey Jellicoe, who founded the Landscape Institute, and Tom Turner, known for his garden histories and prolific journalism.

Our students are taught by landscape architects from top practices such as Gustafson Porter, Field Operations and Arup. Last year all our BA graduates found employment within six months.

Notable alumni

Sarah Eberle
Sarah Eberle, featured as part of Greenwich Portraits

Today's students benefit from the continuing involvement of successful former graduates.

These include top landscape designer Sarah Eberle. who won gold for the 12th time at this year's Chelsea Flower Show, and is featured as part of the university's Greenwich Portraits series.

Landscape architect Marti Franch Batllori, who has his own studio in Barcelona, is a graduate of the university's MA programme.

He won the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize at the seventh European Biennial of Landscape Architecture for the Cap de Creus cape project. It reclaimed a section of coast on the Iberian Peninsula which had been spoiled by holiday developments.

James Basson won Show Garden Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2015 for his design, A Perfumier's Garden in Grasse by L'Occitane, pictured at top of page.

Other alumni with internationally renowned practices include Arabella Lennox Boyd and Thomasso del Buono.

Learn more about Landscape Architecture.

Landscape architecture


You'll study a range of approaches to landscape design, from public spaces and waterfronts to town planning, urban development and regional strategies. As well as design studio work, you'll learn about the history and theory of landscapes, ecology, conservation, and digital communication.