GardenDrumFashionable Brown

Capability Brown designed Petworth House (pic Bob Franklin)

Capability Brown designed Petworth House (pic Bob Franklin)

Brown’s back in fashion with Moscow leading the way. Capability Brown’s enduring landscape design influence is unmistakable worldwide. The 18th century garden designer was master of the English landscape style, the approach now being adopted for the redevelopment of Gorky Park in Moscow.

The aim is to recapture Gorky’s heyday, making it an international cultural destination. This is on the back of Moscow’s current buzz and the ambitious project will incorporate Garage, Dasha Zhukova’s hothouse of modern art. LDA Design (responsible for the 2012 Olympic Park site) is working with what could be called a surprising political leaning towards the informal English landscape style by the Russian authorities.

Gorky Park (pic re_file)

Gorky Park (pic re_file)

A Brown-style landscape encompasses freedom of movement across open grassed areas, no allocated places for activities such as walking, eating, music, or riding. It is unceremonious, with nature being encouraged and welcomed into the urban fold in the Gorky redesign. Brown introduced this new freedom to explore possibilities of a site rather than dictate its uses.

This measured approach to landscape design has influenced the work of a generation of British designers who have become much in demand. Capability Brown may never have been out of fashion, but his enduring style is certainly very much at the forefront of international landscapes today.

Read more: Financial Times

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