Embracing Islamic Landscape Design


Embracing Islamic Landscape Design


One of my colleagues recently visited Edmonton and wasted no time in visiting the new Aga Khan Garden at the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens.  With nearly a decade of planning and 18 months of construction, the Aga Khan Garden, recently opened to the public.  This spectacular garden is unlike anything in North America – 4.8 hectares of modern architectural beauty inspired by Mughal traditions, designed for the Edmonton region’s climate and topography.

There are clean lines with dazzling water features and perfect symmetry, the use of limestone, marble and other stone work captures the beauty of this garden.  It was interesting all the gardens are of a rectangular nature, but the planting lines are curved and use a blend of grasses and flowering plants to give it a lovely movement In the breeze.

Generally the traditional Islamic garden is water and shade, not surprisingly since Islam came from and generally spread in a hot and arid climate. Unlike English gardens, which are often designed for walking, Islamic gardens are intended for rest and contemplation, thus there are many areas for viewing and sitting.