FutureArc February 2019

Page 16

FEATURES

INTERVIEW

LIONEL FANSHAWE DIRECTOR, TERRA FIRMA

With experience in all areas of the landscape architecture industry, Lionel Fanshawe, director of Hampshirebased terra firma has built the company into one of the leading consultancies in the UK Could you tell us a little about your background? On leaving school I first began training as a navigating officer in the merchant navy. I did it for a year and though I enjoyed it, felt this isn’t going to be me forever and needed a more creative outlet. So, I came out of that and thought long and hard. I got a portfolio together, got the place at university then deferred it and went travelling around the world and got that out of my system… to an extent!

P16 Interview Lionel Fanshawe, terra firma

P21 Green Space For community integration

P24 Regeneration Bracknell

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What inspired you personally to become a landscape architect? It’s important to think both locally and globally, it comes with the territory – my father was in the Navy and my early childhood was spent as much overseas as it was at home here in the Hampshire countryside. If you’d asked him what he would have done if he hadn’t been in the Navy, he would have said a farmer, and I understand that. Both worlds may seem at odds but the interaction with nature is primal in both cases. The differences, variety and contradictions are what I find most interesting in environments and indeed people. The fact one can deal with all this

on one field of work is essentially what drew me to landscape architecture. It does give the variety I was looking for with the combination of art, the sciences and in some way trying to contribute to creating a better future. I think I did experience some kind of heightened awareness of my surroundings from living in such diverse environments. It was really pronounced arriving back from living in Bahrain to find myself in such green surroundings with so much topography and seasonal change. How did your career progress? I studied at Leeds and part of my year out in industry was spent at the office of Robert Zion in the US. Zion and Breen’s work was largely in the civic realm and includes such gems as Paley Park in New York and the Cincinnati Waterfront and was always approached with

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