The history of landscape architecture in the seventies is part of a larger topic which covers the history of Hungarian landscape architecture from the 50-s to the end of Socialist era. The strong political pressure which was so typical in all fields of life in these periods, was determining in landscape architecture as well.
The era has not been researched yet, since it hasn’t been enough long ago to be considered as a history. The parks built at this time are disappearing due to park renovations, alterations or functional changes. These works are not protected yet; the officials of historic preservation do not consider dealing with them as a major task. We, landscape architects see in our practice these landscapes, which are facing to be renovated or altered. We have to determine if the given work should be demolished and a new fashionable landscape should be built instead of it, or it represents such a value, which deserves to be preserved, independent from the present fashion and trends. As there is no comprehensive scientific work dealing with landscape architecture of the 70-s, we can use only our instincts to decide, how valuable the given landscape is. On the other hand it is easy to realize that the open space- system of Budapest would be more uniform less diverse, if these designs would disappear.
Deep knowledge of the era could help both in making the above mentioned decision, and in understanding the recent trends and fashions. The majority of the current active landscape architects were young children in the seventies, so visual culture of these professionals is primarily determined by the works of this era.
After a life totally isolated and oriented only towards the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 50’s, the Hungarian architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture could „breathe” more free after the 1956 Revolution. The older generation of landscape architects (e.g. Professor Imre Ormos, the founder of landscape architecture in Hungary) still remembered the landscape style of the 40’s. From the 60’s each significant landscape architectural office was subscribed for the most respected professional periodical of western Europe, „Landschaft Architectur”, so the most outstanding achievements of western landscape architects and the new trends of that time were well known in Hungary, behind the iron curtain, too. In my opinion it could be considered as an important impact on the new design style of Hungarian landscape architecture, which was earlier influenced by the style of the 40-s and of the soviet social realistic examples.
The period of the 70-s was basically determined by the state-planned economy, but the unique political-economical feature of the early 70s, - the „new economical mechanism”- added new color in the political and economical life of the country.
The era cannot be understood without understanding the system and working methods of state owned planning offices, landscape construction and maintenance companies. It is important to get known the characteristic landscape designers and most important works of the period. Finally we have collect the design elements, materials, products and plants typical for the landscape design of the seventies.
Bakay, Eszter Karlócainé
"Trends of Landscape Architecture in Hungary in the ‘70s,"
Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning: Vol. 3:
1, Article 75.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/fabos/vol3/iss1/75
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