The Value of Landscape Essence

  • Maria da Conceição Marques Freire


A new approach to interpreting the landscape is examined by accepting its complexity through inductive reasoning. While attempting to identify the essence of the landscape in the city and municipality of Óbidos, Portugal, several architectural recommendations of Venturi (2004) have been adapted as a framework for understanding this landscape. These will then guide the process of landscape transformation through:

using the concepts of closed and contained spaces and the concept of fluid space;

recognising the existence of interstitial open spaces;

using those elements which are common to the distinct typologies of space;

defining the components that should be respected and those that can be respected;

observing landscape as a whole , while emphasising the relationship between the parts and the whole; and

rejecting simplification in the landscape transformation process.valuing the ambiguity incorporating the complexity

Underlying this approach is the belief that the process of transformation must be based on the essence of each landscape. This implies the use of elements and structures of the landscape which are related to ecological, morphological and cultural systems. These elements and structures represent points of reference which should be considered in the process of landscape transformation.