Form Composition

Form composition can be defined as the process of converting the approximate area outlines of the functional diagram to specific forms to create visual order. Form composition is a critical step of the design process because it directly af­fects the aesthetics of a space. Whereas functional diagrams establish an invisible framework that is only indi­rectly seen or felt, a design theme provides an order that can be directly seen. Most people are not able to determine whether or not a design works well functionally without studying or living with it for a period of time. On the other hand, people react almost immediately to the forms they see within the design. A consistent visual theme An inconsistent visual
provides visual order theme breaks qparf – irrfo
unrelated parte. As pointed out in Chapter 9, this consistency of forms is one of the es­sential means for providing order in a landscape design. Without a consistent design theme, a design is apt to break apart into a number of visually un­related parts (right side of Figure 10-3). Although these two aspects are sepa­rated in this book to clarify explanation, they are usually considered and studied jointly while a design solution is being developed. This chapter presents the purpose of form composition, fundamental principles on which form composition is based, different form compositional themes and their potential uses, the relationship of form composition to existing structures, and a process for developing form composition studies for a residential project. selected based on (1) the intended style of garden design (Italian Renaissance, English, Colonial, Victorian, Japanese, California, Post-Modernism, etc.), (2) a desired garden character (informal, structured, organic, passive, casual, wooded, flowing), and (3) characteristics of the site. A visual theme provides a sense of consistency and harmony because it is created by the repetition of particular forms throughout the design. The gen­eral edge or outline of each space in the functional diagram is given a definite loca­tion and shape during form composition. Collectively, all three of these planes of spatial enclosure can establish a distinct char­acter or personality that is actually experienced. Often, a quick subjective approval or disapproval of the design is based on the visual structure created by the composition of forms. Figure 10-3
A consistent visual theme should be used in form composition to establish order. Some typical examples of edges of spaces in the outdoor environment include edges between the following:
• Planting bed and lawn
• Terrace and lawn
• Entrance walk and planting bed
• Driveway and entrance walk
• Steps and adjoining pavement
• Deck and terrace
In addition to establishing the exact edges of forms of a design, form composition also creates a visual theme. These are illus­trated in Figure 10-2.

Updated: 31.10.2014 — 05:02