London school of landscape design

London school of landscape design

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London school of landscape design

The London School of Landscape Design was founded in 1954 by an act of Parliament in response to the growing need for trained landscape architects in Britain. The school has grown to become the most prestigious landscape architectural training institute in the UK, with a current enrolment of 80 undergraduate students. It operates at the Royal Holloway, University of London.

The school is widely credited with bringing a distinctively British style of landscape design to Britain. Its alumni include a number of important landscape architects and garden designers, including Thomas Mawson, Peter Barber, and Peter Barber’s son Julian Barber.



The idea for the school was discussed by a number of London’s leading architects and landscape designers, including Sir Edwin Lutyens, in the 1930s. From this initial idea it grew into the modern landscape design curriculum established by Sir John Summerson in 1954. In that year, a private bill was introduced into the House of Commons by John Wilton MP. The proposed School of Landscape Design would be incorporated within the University of London and open to university students. The bill was passed in the House of Commons on 10 December 1954, but not the Lords. After this setback, another private bill was introduced into the House of Commons, which became law on 9 July 1955.

In the early days of the school, students were required to do a minimum of four years’ work as an apprentice, during which time they would be paid £6 per week. However, the university refused to offer the position of lecturer to Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, and the course curriculum was developed without a paid lecturer. The course structure has remained largely unchanged since its inception, with most subjects requiring an additional three years’ work as a student after graduation. The first master's course, with a focus on landscape architecture, opened in February 1956 and was taught by a staff committee made up of Sir Edwin Lutyens and Lady Lutyens. Lady Lutyens taught subjects including horticulture and plant management, garden design, garden education, conservation of gardens, and landscape design. The course was open to students who had completed an approved three-year apprentice period. Students were expected to undertake a project to be completed during the last year of their degree.

With the passing of the 1958 Education Act, the university was deemed to be an educational establishment. It had authority to confer degree certificates, and to award the LL.D. degree, but it did not have the power to grant degrees and so could not offer LL.B. degrees. However, landscape architecture students were able to complete their LL.B. degrees via correspondence.

The school was founded at a time of considerable social change. In the 1950s a generation was born into an affluent and educated middle class and was entering a new social, sexual, and cultural climate. Landscape architecture was growing in influence and the curriculum needed to reflect the developing profession. The staff had a key role in shaping the school's approach to education and practice.

The school was placed in East London in order to be more accessible and it had its first intake of students in September 1959. Students had to be admitted directly to the M.Sc. course after working through three years as an apprentice, and the first three-year programme was completed by April 1963. The college merged with Chelsea College in 1971.

In 1965, the university was given independent status and the Landscape Architecture department was separated from the School of Architecture and Town Planning, becoming the first of its kind in the country. The landscape architecture department was also given the title of University of the Year by the Construction Industry Development Council (CIUDC).

Later that year, it was revealed that an additional £2.9 million (about £150,000 today) had been spent in the department. The first master's degrees were conferred and over 200 students had registered. It was also clear to the council that a second department of landscape architecture was needed. The department moved into the Grosvenor House buildings on the north bank of the River Thames in June 1966.

The first PhD was conferred in 1968. A third department of landscape architecture was added in the 1990s. In 2008, the university was conferred Carnegie Foundation Research University status.


Category:1955 establishments in England

Category:British landscape architects

Category:Educational institutions established in 1955

Kategorie: Universiteite in Londen

Kategorie: Skole van die Universiteit van Londen

Kategorie: akademiese tydskriftitels

Kategorie: Kunskole in Engeland

Kategorie: Chelsea, Londen

Kategorie: Schools of the University of the Arts London

Kategorie: akademiese tydskriftitels


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