The Burle Marx legacy: the work of one of the greatest garden and landscape architects of the twentieth century - indisputably!

_project: Burle Marx Education Center
_architecture: Arquitetos Associados
_location: Inhotim, Minas Gerais, Brazil

When Frederick Law Olmsted created the field of landscape architecture in the late 1800s, he was promoting the creation of healthier cities and more liveable neighbourhoods. In light of the ever growing global urbanization, the sustainability and quality of urban lifestyles are increasingly defined by the landscapes that link communities and neighbourhoods.

Today, no landscape architect can match the work of Roberto Burle Marx. He was the one who transformed landscape design in Brazil and across the world. Innovator pioneer, he was indisputably one of the greatest garden and landscape architects of the twentieth century. His distinctive design aesthetic, which incorporates strong, abstract patterns and local flora, continues to have an impact on garden and landscape projects all around the world to this day.

Burle Marx was more than a landscape architect who revolutionized the garden aesthetic. He was also a painter, print maker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician. His passion for art, in all forms, strengthened his ability to design landscapes. But his love of plants was practically unrivalled. The artistic process was the link that connected all of the arts that Marx practiced. By learning different artistic forms, he was able to learn from the creative process in different ways. Burle Marx was a painter working in landscape. The patterns he created with paving and bed shapes and his architectural forms dominate his work.

His gardens are very much relevant today. His bold approach does not sacrifice variety but rather embraces plant diversity. We can see his influence in the work of some of the most accomplished landscape architects practicing today. There is still much to learn from his synthesis of art, architecture, and love of plants to create gardens that inspire and celebrate contemporary culture.

He’ll be forever known as the man who elevated Landscape to Art.


_written by Daniela Moreira Silva
_film by Architecture Hunter
_cover image by Architecture Hunter
_drawings by Arquitetos Associados:

  1. Main Level Floor Plan
  2. Rooftop Floor Plan
  3. Sections
  4. Auditorium Detail
  5. Southeast Facade

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