HS2 Landscape Architect
What is an HS2 Landscape Architect?
A Landscape Architect at HS2 is responsible for designing and integrating the landscape and outdoor spaces along the new railway. It’s about much more than just planting trees – a Landscape Architect needs to think about the complex relationship between people and the spaces they use, to make sure that the landscape provides the most benefit to the people, environments and the economy along the railway line.
A Landscape Architect also has to make sure that the landscape is in keeping with HS2’s overall Design Vision. This is essentially a guide for landscape architects, engineers, and other designers at HS2, to make sure that all aspects of the new railway fit together in terms of design. The Landscape Architect will need to reach new heights of creativity and innovation in their design work to enhance the lives of the people who live near and use the new railway – so it is a massive responsibility!
So tell me more about how to be an HS2 Landscape Architect
Different Landscape Architects will have different areas of interest. Some have a more scientific background, some are ecologists and specialise in wildlife and habitats, and some work with urban landscapes to tie together public space, people and environment. Because the profession is so broad, there are no essential subjects you need to study to gain entry to Landscape Institute accredited university courses. However, subjects such as Geography, Art, Maths, Design and Technology, Sciences, and ICT are all useful subjects to lead you to a career in Landscape Architecture. Most universities will want to see that you are an enthusiastic person who is passionate about the environment and society.
Becoming an HS2 Landscape Architect: What does it take?
To become a Landscape Architect on a major project like HS2, you have to have excellent social skills to be able to talk to different communities and people from all walks of life. Your design work will need to work for everyone who lives near or uses the new railway, so being able to talk openly with the general public about how they use and associate with their landscape and outdoor spaces is key in getting the design right.
As with most design-based roles, you also need to have top-notch technical skills and a creative flair. You need to be able to portray your ideas well through drawings and sketches, and have a good understanding of how to use computer design programmes.
Finally, it is really important to be able to work collaboratively with different teams, to make sure all design elements of the project fit together.
Learning and development courses and training to build your career
To be a Landscape Architect, you would usually need to have gone to university to study Landscape Design. Universities across the UK have both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in the subject.
Once you have begun your career, it’s a good idea to become a member of the Landscape Institute and work towards professional chartership. This is essentially a final stamp of approval that you are qualified for the job. The Landscape Institute also offers lots of training and development opportunities for its members – you can have a look at their website for more information.