The Ornament - A Narrative Element and a Resource of Identity in Modern and Contemporary Landscape Architecture

  • Carmina Constanța GHEOGHIŢĂ
  • Liliana Mihaela PETROVICI
Keywords: identity, ornament as decoration, ornament as detail, ornament as structural element, significance, symbol


The application of ornament in the city’s built and landscaped environment has been thesubject of many debates and controversies during the modern and contemporary times. Fightingagainst academicism doctrines, modernist architects propose refining and purifying architectural andlandscaping forms, by minimal usage of different and original means of expression. Thepostmodernism promoters have reinstated the use of ornament as a way of enriching the architecturaland landscaping semantic field with signs and symbols appropriated to people’s common values. Incontemporary globalized culture, decoration remains one of the few elements of local identity thatpreserves cultural signs and symbols. The ornament brings a contribution of symbolic meanings inlandscape architecture, submits additional information that landscaping it cannot transmit and has therole of underlining certain concepts and ideas. Either used as a decorative element on build andlandscaped forms, or as a structural or detailing element with an esthetic role, the ornament is meant tobeautify and enrich the world of meanings of the parks and gardens. It represents a redundant elementof landscape design and architectural communication, which has the purpose of underlining symbolicmeanings and facilitating their transmitting.