In many ways the history of civilization is a history of our relationship with nature and landscape. Christophe Girot sets out to chronicle this intimate connection, drawing on all aspects of mankind's creativity and ingenuity, and bringing together the key stories that have shaped our manmade landscapes. Starting from the dual inclination to clear land for cultivation and to enclose space for protection there emerges a vital and multifaceted narrative that describes our cultural relationship to, and dependence on, the landscape, right up to the present day. Organized chronologically, the chapters consist of a thematic essay that ties together the central developments, as well as a case study illustrated with specially commissioned photographs and meticulously detailed 3D re-creations showing the featured site in its original context. The result of over two decades of teaching experience and academic research at the world's leading landscape institutes and universities, this masterful and hugely ambitious new interpretation of human intervention in the landscape will be essential reading for students and professionals worldwide.
Christophe Girot is Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the highly prestigious Institute of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zurich.
Introduction: Imagining Nature as Landscape * 1. Roots: On the Origins of Landscapes * 2. Hydraulic Civilizations: The Geometry of Water in Landscapes * 3. From Temenos to Physis: Sacred Landscapes in Greece * 4. Of Villas and Woods: Roman and Barbarian Landscapes * 5. The Rule of Faith * 6. Gardens of Perspective: Architectural Landscapes in the Renaissance * 7. The Measure of Reason * 8. Gravity: The Constant of Nature * 9. Combustion and the Exotic: Romantic Landscapes as Escape * 10. Acceleration: Landscapes of the 20th Century * 11. Terrain Vague * 12. Topology: Rediscovering Meaning in the Landscape * Afterword: Towards a Cultural Revolution in Nature