Obituary: Michael Brown

by:YABO     2020-01-01
Michael Brown is one of the most outstanding British landscape designers since World War II.
He designed the landscape environment for the development of many famous metropolitan public housing in his 60 s, and his practice became a recognized leader in the field.
He is a stubborn eccentric man, for his design method is almost messiah-style.
After initial training with architects at the University of Edinburgh, Brown worked for a while at the London County Council architect department.
In 1955, a year after his marriage, he applied for a scholarship in furniture design at the University of Pennsylvania.
Instead of succeeding, he was awarded a landscape design scholarship and was fortunate to learn and teach with Ian McHarg, whose strong ecological approach to landscape planning remains Brown\'s focus
This proves the extraordinary influence of McHarg, who teaches and inspires the best British landscape architects of Brown\'s generation.
Brown also worked with renowned designer Dan Killi in Vermont for a while, where projects included the landscape of the Rockefeller Institute in New York.
Brown wanted to stay, but his wife Joan persuaded him that they should go back to England and educate their three children.
After many attempts to buy a house in Oxfordshire, the family settled in London and Brown began to work as a landscape architect for Eric Lyon.
In 1962, he was alone, first from the back room, and then from the rented corner shop, the designer\'s drawing board was tied to many of the old doors he salvaged. From the mid-
The office is scaled up and tends to specialize in housing landscape design.
In London, the project\'s private span House from Field End in Twickenham (Eric Lyon)
Brunel Manor, Paddington;
Beaver Farm, hornslow;
And the huge scale of Grahame Park Manor on the site of the old Hunton airport.
The huge output of this period ensures that in London, the distance from the brown landscape to here is rarely more than a few miles.
Other notable options include Euston Square Garden and the delightful roof garden of the Royal Northern Academy of Music in Manchester, at the center of a ceramic sculpture designed by his wife.
With the overall planning of the 60-year-old Redditch New Town, Brown was able to develop many of the ideas he first encountered on a larger canvas, and became the first town plan in Britain to be eco-centric.
The waterways are preserved, not destroyed, and a network of green spaces permeates the fabric and the big ground of the building, carefully planting local species to improve the micro-climatic conditions.
His plan is always very detailed and introduces a human scale to the landscape, which is often in stark contrast to the daunting surround of the deck passage housing.
He used winding paths, scattered trees and forests to skillfully shape the brick or grass and create a sense of tranquility --ture.
A small bunker in the office helped envision the effect of the proposed land modelling. By the mid-
Brown, in his 70 s, has 20 employees and is one of the largest practices in the country.
However, with the termination of the public housing program and the restructuring of the London borough, the work began to stop, and he was increasingly focused on broader issues.
He has set up his own conference and field research center to explore new ideas on a range of issues such as ecology, sustainability, yoga, Buddhism and landscape design.
In 1981, he dissolved the partnership without warning, giving himself greater freedom to follow his own interests. He re-
A smaller approach has been established, with most of the work coming from the private sector.
His most notable plan in the later period was at Redland brick headquarters in Hotham, which won the Brick Development Association award in 1987, however, few of his other clients are so tolerant or sympathetic to his ideals.
He found people in their 80 s with keen commercialism, and it was hard to bear with flash clients and their impatient team of project managers, but he liked to give money to new boys.
I remember one time when a large business project was late and the customer threatened the heavy penalty.
Brown called the design team out to check out some of the less satisfying Earth shapes.
He lay on the ground to prove that the slope was 3 inch real
It is easier to see the imperfection from this location.
20 design professionals looked at everything in surprise.
I was very embarrassed at the time, but in hindsight I could only admire the courage of faith and perfectionism, which guided his entire design approach, this means that he is indifferent to the trivial embarrassment that most of us are trying to avoid.
Brown always wore sneakers, grinned and cut a lively and eccentric image.
He was very eager for knowledge and contributed to the open debate.
He remains deeply concerned about the health of the planet and the quality of spiritual life.
Landscape design is a way for him to improve both.
Michael Brown, landscape designer: Born in May 8, 1922;
Married Joan Bruford
Two sons, one daughter.
Dissolution of Marriage);
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