Case study

Chartered landscape architect — Andrew Pringle

Andrew enjoys the exciting projects and opportunities for travel that a career in landscape architecture offers

How did you get your job in landscape architecture?

I undertook an MA in Landscape Architecture at The University of Edinburgh and after graduation secured a job with Townshend Landscape Architects.

I now work for .

What's a typical day like as a landscape architect?

It depends to some on degree on what kind of project I'm working on.

As an example, I'm currently working on a project focused on the ex-Athletes' Village at the Olympic Park in Stratford, and last year I worked on the restoration of Ebury Square Gardens, a traditional Victorian square in Westminster.

These schemes are developed from the earliest concept sketch and taken through to working on site alongside the project team.

Ebury Square was one of the first projects that I worked on from inception all the way through to completion. From the outset, this involved a large amount of community consultation to make sure the square was developed in line with what the local residents wanted. Getting the planting right within the space was critical and a lot of work went into selecting the appropriate species to create interest all year round, as well as promoting biodiversity. The finished gardens are now well used by the public.

What do you enjoy about your job?

It's great to have direct involvement with the community and it's satisfying to see the positive impact our design has made. This is an opportunity that very few professions have, which is a privilege.

Another positive of the profession is that the skills you develop as a landscape architect are transferrable to any location across the world, offering almost limitless opportunities to travel. With landscape architecture I've been on exciting projects, from Benin in West Africa, to Irkutsk in Siberia.

What are the challenges?

Landscape architecture encompasses a wide array of space, each requiring a different approach. Every project is different, which is one of the professions strengths, yet it is also a major challenge to try and balance the expectations of your client, the public and the environment all at the same time.

What are your career ambitions?

To gain further experience through new projects.

What advice can you give to others?

Don't be afraid to try. Give something a go - whether you do it well or badly you'll learn from your mistakes. Design is a process and things evolve over time. It can often be daunting when a new project comes in and you’re not quite sure where to start but the sooner you dive into putting ideas to paper the easier it becomes.

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