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Elements of Landscape Design: Land forms

Elements of Landscape Designing

Land Forms

Plant material



Land Forms
Landform is synonymous with topography and refers to the 3-
dimensional relief of the earths surface.

Significance of Landform

Aesthetic Character, Spatial Sensation and Views, Drainage,

Micro Climate, Functional Use of the Land, Expression of
Landform, Landform types by forms, Functional uses of Landform
Expression of Landscape

Contour lines, spot elevations, hatches, value and color, model,

ratio and percentage method.
Landform Types by form

Level Landform, Convex Landform, Ridge,, Concave Landform,

Functional Uses of Landform

Spatial Definition, Control views, Influence movement, Affect

Microclimate, aesthetic uses.

Significance of Land Forms
Types of Land forms
Macro Landforms(Regional Scale) Micro Landforms (Site Scale)

Plains Berms and mounds

Prairies and Grass lands Slopes

Valleys Level Areas

Mountains and rolling hills Steps and ramps

As all design elements must at some point relate to the ground plane, Landform acts a thread that units all the elements
and spaces into a continuum.

Organising and orienting according to Land Forms

Base Map
Base Map is the as is ground surface of the site.

It is the foundation for the placement of other

design elements and functions.

It usually shows:

Contour Lines

Property Lines

Existing Structures


Sometimes the vegetation

As a designer, the early steps of Site

Planning should be done as an overlay on
this base plan, developing the functional
diagram taking in account the effect of order,
scale and proportions of the site.
Aesthetic Character of Land form
Spatial Sensation and Views
Natural Drainage of the Site and Designing

Controlling Surface Run off and Soil Erosion

Functional Use of Land
Land use planning is Effected by the land

Spaces are designed either sprawled or

linear according to the land form

Road networks and utilities are designed

according to the landform
Expression of Land Form

Contour Intervals

Rules of Contours

Grading plan and the

Concept of Cut and Fill


Value & Color

Contour Map
Contour representation of Land forms
Rules of Contours
Existing Contours drawn in dotted line

Proposed Contours drawn in continuous

lines. Any Changes in existing plan is called
as Grading

Contours always close in themselves

The never intersect / split

Contours travel along walls/built structure.

Grading Plan
Grading is an integral part of landscape design.
Objective is to

To establish proper drainage

To modify site in order to accomodate

buildings, roads, parking areas, recreational
fiels etc.

To create aesthetically pleasing ground

Other Expression of Land forms

Value and Color


Ratio & Percentages of Slopes and its uses

(less than 1%, 1%-5%, 5%-10%, 10%-15%,
15% and above)
Land form by Type & Components
Level Land From




Level Land forms
Level Land form
Convex Land forms
A line joining the highest point of a hill.

Provides various vantage points with wide

angle views
Ridges function as a water shed regions
Concave Landforms and valleys
Functional Uses of Landforms
Spatial Definition

Control Views

Affect Micro Climate

Influences Movement

Aesthetic Uses
Spatial Definition
Spatial Definition
Control Views
Control Views
Influence Movement
Affect Micro climate
Aesthetic Uses