The Landscape Guide

16.7 Brown parks

Contents list

Brown space should be wholesome and satisfying. When one's sense of smell returns after a headcold, the aroma of freshly dug earth can be restorative, the outdoor equivalent of coffee. From earth we came, unto earth we shall return. A great attraction of walking through agricultural land is the earth itself. Urban space can also be brown, especially when the predominant materials are soil, wood, brick and stone, as in town forests and the historic cores of old towns. Concrete, aluminium and steel do not contribute to brownness. Rocks should be visible and touchable. They are the most elemental things we have. Just imagine a whole world of mown grass and concrete: it would be a crematorium. Forsaking the world of their ancestors, the architectural revolutionaries of modernism dreamed of white architecture and green space, where leaves would be swept up and incinerated.

Medieval : Bruges

Modernist: Bauhaus