The Art of Pergola Design (4), and More

In the previous post several objectives were mentioned for the next drawing of the(I’ll call it) plaza/pergola area:

This questioning and working through logistics led to me being asked if I could tweak this drawing some.

  • Could I show it with brick columns?
  • Could I show it with the overhead in white? Leading to what material could this be made out of?
  • Could I show different style paving?
  • The next drawing would also need to be good enough to show to some other folks not in the room . . . ah ha, now we were really getting somewhere.

Based on the above request this is what I came up with:

Plaza rendering with pergola

[Plaza area with pergola and wall seating.]

Brick columns, white overhead, cleaner paving, etc. I took this photo before I added labeling to drawing, a drawing where very little labeling was required. What they asked me to render seems pretty “cut&dry”.

My guess is that will not go in here, but will eventually go back in further. Look down the main walk and at the end you will see where I rendered in some paving and steps-this is to show the possibility of a plaza there.

Another building is to be added behind and this(plaza) would be the ideal way to connect them via the ground plane. This also seems a more convenient way to design a “collecting point” for those living in the 3 buildings.

We shall see; heck, they may want the space up front as I have drawn it and one in between the buildings . . . all it takes is the time, the inclination, and the funding to make it happen.

The decision now is for the powers to be to decide on what type of atmosphere they want to create. then make that happen. My drawings(conceptuals) are part of that decision making process.

I’m curious and at the same time have been around long enough to know that if my idea is rejected to not take it personally-this drawing was met with great enthusiasm at the time of presentation, but others are now involved in the final yes/no.


It just occurred to me:

This is a lesson for young designers to take away. To do the best you can, (1.)*use your skills, the (2.)*site(requirements) and the (3.)*clients needs/wants and come up with the best solution. Present them rationally and professionally, explaining which design principles were used(and why they were used), and how you came to your solution.

Your work will be judged on your work, not on a personality issue. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, be nice, be professional, and be likable-not an ass-kisser, but likable. You’ll find people like to listen to likable people a lot more than folks they don’t like. If you are likable, you’ve paid attention to the Design Triangle, and your presentation is thoughtful, rational, and logical you’ll go pretty far.


*I’ve written about this several times on this Blog about the Desgin Triangle, or the Accord Triangle:

  1. The Designer: What he/she brings to the table; their experience, their skills, their time in life(how have you lived?, what have you seen?, where have you been?), your “collective” education.
  2. The Site: its requirements, what’s it for? who’s it for? How will it be used? sun, soil, light, water, etc.
  3. The Client: their needs, their wants and wishes, hopes, dreams, . . . and desires. But it starts with need and goes from there.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

1 comment

  1. This is a great site for information on Landscape Design. I have a quick question. Let me give you a little background. I am presently attending night classes for landscape design and soon will be completing the program. I would like to build on the skills I have learned in the program, but really not clear on what my options are.

    I am very motivated to learn and willing to work very hard. This summer I plan to work in a garden center to become more knowledgeable about plant material . Though that is a start, I feel that there is probably more that I can do but not sure what the might be.

    So if you were to give some suggestions, insights, or ideas to a new graduate on ways they could develop their professional skills and how to become a great landscape designer what would they be.

    Thank you so much, appreciate any suggestions you may have.


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