This month’s review of influential designers takes a look at American Landscape Architect, Thomas Church with a career spanning close to 50 years. Establishing a practice in the bay area of San Francisco California in 1930, Church had significant influence both locally and internationally right up and well beyond his retirement in 1977. He received significant professional recognition and respect for his ability to design innovative yet sensible gardens.
One of Church’s books, Gardens are for people is described by Church himself as a garden tour with comment in passing. Showcasing many designs this book is a walk-through of some of the most influential landscape architecture of our time.
Church’s focus was on what people wanted from their garden and how he could help them obtain it.
He had an innate ability to finesse the romantic notions of landscape architecture into practical reality and a particular ability to relate form to the site. His role as a landscape architect was not to inflict his grand ideas onto a space but rather to understand, interpret and integrate his universal design principals. His plans reflect the personality and practical needs of the homeowner, as well as a realistic response to the logistical demands of the site.
Church was one of the early landscape architects to view the garden as a logical extension of the house which was recognised through much collaboration with architects of his time.
His elegant simplicity focused on details which always sat comfortably within a given space.
Strong geometric shapes that flow and invite you into the garden were always proportionate and reflected how a garden was intended to be used. Churches work has been referenced by many over the years and in garden designs by Sophie Greive, Landscape Architect at Think Outside Gardens, and these designs are recognisable in many of our projects.
Please enjoy some of the great images of gardens designed by Thomas Church which are showcased in Gardens are for People, Third edition.