Ural State University of Architecture and Art

ISSN 1990-4126



PhD (Architecture), Professor, Head of Chair of Design.
Razumovsky Moscow State University of Technology and Management,

Russia, Moscow


Dormidontova Victoria V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №2 (38) June, 2012

At the turn of the 21st century, the functionalist and modernist ideas of the early 20th century
have combined with naturalism, resulting in an exquisite formal expression of the garden
space in minimalism. The new style is successfully spreading across gardens in Europe and
America. The range of compositional methods available in this style makes it possible to lay
out both small residence gardens and monumental multifunctional urban spaces.
The works of Andrea Cochran demonstrate high artistic control of the material. The model
garden experiences of G. Guevrekian and M. Ruys in the early 20th century has been enriched
with installations by M. Schwartz and Ch. Breadly-Hole. Whereas the works of Schwartz
present a continuation and development of American modernism, Ch. Breadly-Hole channelled
traditional naturalistic British garden design into minimalism. French gardens, too, have
simple plans resembling suprematist works. However, their spaces are filled with a lot of elements
with artistic features that are not always in harmony, and materials are passive compositionally
and emotionally. In Germany, the new style found wide use in urban landscape
design: plazas, squares, riverbanks, and courtyards of office buildings and hotels.
Compositional analysis, covering a broad range of gardens created in different countries and
in different manners, scales, tones and decorative arrangements, has allowed the author to
ident i fy the compositional techniques of the style. The garden and park compositions of the
turn of the 21st century present a new type of space – without any axes and hierarchy of centres
or visual systemic organization of traffic. These open balanced spaces rest on contrasting
combinations of simple geometric shapes (square, circle, triangle, line, point) and linear
diagonal elements. Their compositions demonstrate references to and build on modernist
graphic and architectural works of the 1920-1930s.

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Dormidontova V.V. MINIMALISM IN LANDSCAPE AND GARDENING ART [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2012. – №2(38). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2012_2/17 

Dormidontova Victoria V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №1 (37) March, 2012

In national textbooks, the history of art styles since the mid-19th century is being replaced with history of functional and typological development of landscape architecture. Late 20th – early 21st century projects described in solitary articles in periodicals are perceived as void of a historical context and compositional continuity and do not provide an integral stylistic characteristic of the present time. Foreign landscape and gardening art historians consider developments in the history of landscape architecture at the turn of the 21st century and explore, in parallel, the phenomena of searching for new forms of garden such as naturalism, Arts and Crafts gardens, modernism, postmodernism, minimalism, and hi-tech.

This article characterizes the chronological period under consideration as an inter-style space when a new style, just emerging and trying itself out in different forms, and the old outgoing style seeking renewal coexist in parallel. Style emergence and fading processes are gradual and long term, exceeding, as a rule, the bounds of one century. Postmodernism, inheriting eclecticism, is defined as the fading line. Modernism, minimalism and hi-tech are considered as different sides and stages in the evolution of the new style.

Literature review and field studies of gardens reveal three stages in the evolution of the new style. At the 1st stage, in the 1920-1930s, the influence of abstract painting defined a garden lay-out that was free from axes and symmetry and was based on dynamic arrangements of simple geometric shapes and planes. At the 2nd stage, in the 1930-1940s, an open, freely flowing space was born, which embodied the new concept of architecture put forward by Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. At the 3rd stage, in the 1940-1980s, techniques were developed for decorating the architectural space of a garden by taking advantage of the best expressive properties of a material – planting, cobbling, etc. The new style thus reached its fully developed form.

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Dormidontova V.V. STAGES IN THE EVOLUTION OF 21st CENTURY GARDEN [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2012. – №1(37). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2012_1/19 

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