Thursday, August 22, 2013

Library Inspiration: Ferruccio Vitale Landscape Architect

Another book on my nightstand is an oldie but a goodie about the landscape architect Ferruccio Vitale. This is yet another inspiring tome which I think should be in every design library.
Vitale was the son of an architect in Florence, Italy, but moved to the United States in his 20s to practice landscape architecture and eventually become a giant in his field.
The most fascinating thing about this book is the transience of landscape architecture: many of these spaces no longer exist or are in greatly altered forms. So while some of the images may be of low quality in the book, the fact that they exist 100 years later is pretty amazing; a snapshot of these amazing gardens stuck in time in grainy b&w.
One of the projects is currently in danger of being lost; the grounds of Insifada seen above. The Long Island estate is currently in danger of being torn down by developers as it was recently sold by the Jesuits after they could no longer afford the upkeep.
Many of the most interesting projects for me are located in the back of the book are in the section on civic projects. These are close to home for me in DC such as the grounds of Meridian Hill Park seen above.  I've blogged about the park in the past (here and here).
As with many architectural projects not all of the work was completed as planned but Vitale did make his mark on the National Mall. Definitely add Ferruccio Vitale to your design library, you won't be disappointed!


Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by to comment on Loi's luncheon post Stefan. I hope all is well with you and that youre enjoying the summer. I hate that it is about to end! Hope we run into each other again soon! I need to get to Meridian Hill someday.
xo Nancy

Divine Theatre said...

Ooooh! Two of my greatest loves, books and gardens! Thanks for the insight!
What I love about black and white photography is that the serene pallet allows me to see the lines more clearly. When I am planning a project I copy my inspiration photos in black and white so I am not distracted.



Woodside Park said...

I have never wandered into Meridian Hill Park - just driven around it. Looks so grand! Is that the same as Malcolm X Park? Will put this book on my shopping list :)

Deana Sidney said...

That bridge photo is pure magic... a bit Hollywoodish too. I think I need to investigate this book!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

The National Mall has gone through some amazing transformations, and it's really amazing that its beautification and upkeep has not been a greater priority all along!