9 Famous Parks Around the Globe to Inspire Landscape Architects

Have you ever wondered which parks are the most stunning in the entire world? By designing breathtaking spaces, landscape architecture can help us connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. Throughout history, parks have contributed to the definition of our cities. In this blog post, we travel the world in search of the top parks that serve as models for landscape architects. Allow our comprehensive guide to inspire you. 

Table of Contents

High Line, New York City, USA

There is nothing quite like going for a stroll along New York City’s High Line. The High Line is without a doubt one of the most well-known tourist destinations in New York City and a masterpiece of landscape design, completed in 2009. It is widely considered to be one of the most cutting-edge public parks in New York City. It was originally conceived as a conversion project in 1980 to turn a disused rail track into the stunning green space that is now. James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro emerged victorious in a competition to get the contract for the project. Visitors have the opportunity to explore an elevated spot with wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and fragrant perennials which provide a reprieve from the hectic city streets. The park also has magnificent views of the Hudson River and the city skyline. Because the elevated space has many access points, a paved path, and flora inspired by the park’s historic forgotten landscape, visitors have the opportunity to take a trip back in time in nature, and experience a unique piece of the city.  

Millennium Park, Chicago, USA

Millennium Park, an urban, cultural space in Chicago’s central business district, is one of the vibrant contributors to the city’s economy. Its high visitor numbers make it an example for other cities and other green spaces. In 2004, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs opened it in the Loop region to celebrate public art and add to the number of green spaces in the city. The Masterplan was developed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) back in 1999. 

Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion and Anish Kapoor‘s sculpture in stainless steel plates “The bean” are notable features. Piet Oudolf is the artist behind the Lurie Garden, a green roof atop a parking garage, an homage to Richard M. Daley’s ideas, the former mayor of Chicago who spotted the disused bus lanes, rail yard, and under-utilized parking lot, realizing the potential of the site. 

The Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Brazil

The Botanical Garden of Curitiba is a remarkable example of innovative park design. The garden is not just a place for recreation but also serves as a research center for botanists. It covers over 150 hectares and features a diverse collection of plants from all over the world, including a large collection of native Brazilian species. The garden is organized into different themed areas, such as a Japanese garden, a palm grove, and a section dedicated to plants used in traditional medicine. In addition to its stunning horticultural displays, the Botanical Garden of Curitiba also features educational exhibits and programs, making it a great place for families to learn about nature and the environment. The garden is surrounded by lush forests, which serve as a natural buffer and help to protect the plants from pollution and other environmental impacts.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK

Originally built for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has now become an integral component of the cultural landscape of East London. Among these locations are the Olympic Swimming Pool, the Olympic Village, and the London Stadium, where the games were played. The ArcelorMittal Orbit, a stunning red looping structure by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, is the tallest public sculpture in the United Kingdom and can be seen from the hill overlooking the park below. The park was designed by the EDAW Consortium, which included EDAW, Allies and Morrison, and Buro Happold, together with Arup and WS Atkins. For the details of the landscape, LDA Design and Hargreaves Associates collaborated on the project to produce the final design. Since the construction of this park, other abandoned spaces in the area have been repurposed to host community events, exhibitions and other cultural actives. 

Tivoli Park, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana’s crowning glory is a quirky central piece of the city that was designed in 1813 by French engineer Jean Blanchard. Spanning over five square kilometres, the park is distinguished by its gorgeous flower beds, unique trees, and several sculptures and fountains. Architect Jože Plečnik, who was responsible for many urban developments of the city, created the beautiful Jakopi Promenade.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris, France

Paris’s 19th arrondissement is home to the city’s exquisite Parc des Buttes Chaumont, where one may take a leisurely stroll on a summer night. Temple Sybille, a replica of Italy’s Temple of Vesta is located on belvedereon an artificial lake, and is the focal point. Access to the belvedere is gained by a suspension bridge that hangs eight metres over the lake. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel is also responsible for designing the bridge. 

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, USA

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is a very large park that has been laid out in the shape of a rectangle. This gives it a highly unusual appearance in the context of the greater urban metropolis. It is a perfect example of California’s complicated connection with its green spaces. Built in the 1870s on top of sand dunes, designer William Hammond Hall created an environment of meadows and woodlands by following a similar design of New York’s Central Park. 

Parc Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Parc Guell is often regarded as Antoni Gaudi’s crowning architectural achievement, since he is widely regarded as one of the most renowned Spanish architects. The park was privately owned and contains various architectural components along with plants. What remains is the wonderful view over Barcelona from the terrace. The colours, the shape of the columned footpath, and the sculptures (such the mosaic salamander) represent the aesthetic plenitude of Gaudi and are characteristic of his naturalist period. During that time, the architect took inspiration from drawing organic forms in order to find his own unique style. 

VondelPark, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Within the heart of Amsterdam is one of the city’s most popular parks. A major tourist destination, the Vondelpark has been slowly sinking since it opened in 1877; it is currently two metres lower than its neighbours. Originally planned by father and son Zocher in a romantic English landscape style, the park’s original layout has recently been restored by the city. It has an open theatre and hosts a number of public events during the year. 

We really hope you liked this post! We have the potential to live healthier, happier lives in our cities by collaborating with landscape architects and other design professionals to construct spaces that can become focal points in city planning. Parks are not just the green lungs of our cities; they are the places where people come together, take rest, exercise, and experience events and culture. 

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