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our apartment

bike rou tes (90 day s)

ABSTRACT Enclosure is the most provocative characteristic of the designed world; no other feature of the landscape can create such intrigue. Both the nervous trepidation from an old forest or the awe from a grove of sequoias can be attributed to the quality of enclosure. Size and function will vary between spaces, but enclosure can generally be classified by the following categories: - A place to make people feel more comfortable / safe - A place to provide people the space to see others - A place that evokes an emotional response from people All three of these seem to connect people in different ways. The first allows someone to foster a relationship with themself, the second to connect them with other people, and the third to initiate a connection with the landscape itself. It soon became clear that these categories aligned with another important aspect of enclosure as well: scale. In fact, the function and scale of enclosure go hand in hand with each other: - small scale (intimate space): individual security - medium scale (social space): seeing other people - large scale (monumental space): emotional response Many factors influence how successful an enclosed space can be. In the case of intimate spaces, a series of 17 gardens were studied to determine which of the analyzed variables had the most significant impact on creating a successful enclosure. Social and monumental spaces use enclosure in different ways as well, and are interpreted here through case studies of other significant public spaces in the city of Copenhagen.

This project was carried out with multiple goals in mind. I was to engage in Danish society to learn from this new culture of design, and also, through my immersion in an unfamiliar lifestyle, hopefully return home with a seasoned spirit and a mindset more open to new ideas. I aimed to design a useful document that was both interesting and informative for my peers, would challenge my own graphic skills, and hopefully inspire future students who will undertake the off-campus semester. The subject of enclosure was chosen primarily because I couldn’t think of anything better at the time. But by the end of the project, I had developed a profound appreciation for the topic. Enclosure is an integral part of any landscape. And whether you’re a landscape architect studying the intricacies of the designed world, or a simple plebeian who likes the outdoors, I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed making it; with any luck, it won’t take you nearly as long as it took me.





C o n t e n ts I N T R O DU CT I ON


wh a t is en clo s u re 3 scales - 3 functions



va lby pa rken


bo ta n is k h a ve


a ma lien bo rg / a ma lieh a ven


th e la s t pa rt




t h e e l e m e n ts o f e n c lo s u r e

the human scale

enclosure as sculpture

INTRODUCTION what is enclosure The beauty of enclosed space lies in its apparent comprehensibility. The topic is covered in the first year of undergraduate courses alongside other conceptual design principles like mass and form. However, the subtleties of enclosure can hardly be understood without an intricate knowledge of the nature of human beings, often only gathered over decades of experience. This duality between elemental principles and nuanced design is one of just many sides to this fascinating subject. Just as a space can be interpreted as dark or light, expansive or compact, determining part of a landscape to be “enclosed� is more of a relative description rather than a defining characterization. Perhaps it would be better to begin at the opposite extreme, and explore what can be dismissed with certainty as not enclosure.

A flat empty plane is at the end of the spectrum of what we might call a landscape, just about as far from enclosure as it gets. Building lower into the earth just encloses the user in the ground, so instead, let us explore upwards by adding some vertical elements, and noting their effect on the enclosed space. You may assume, as I had, that overhead structures are the most critical ingredient to making a space feel enclosed. Essentially, enclosure is about hiding yourself from the potential views of others, so if a certain percentage of your own vision is blocked, I erroneously concluded that it would indicate how enclosed a space is. Pretty quickly I realized that even if everything above the horizon line is hidden from my view (standing under a tent or umbrella, say), it didn’t enclose me at all; in fact, it made me feel more exposed than ever. This finding presented an important distinction when discussing enclosure: the difference between physical and visual enclosure.


Overhead structures enclose a user visually, but may still leave them feeling exposed to their surroundings.

Vertical walls divide space into distinct rooms, and by protecting their back, a user is more at ease while looking outwards.

Physical vs Visual Enclosure Although I mistakenly believed otherwise, overhead structures aren’t necessary to create a sense of enclosure. They may provide shading, but walls and other vertical features tend to be much more effective in enclosing a comfortable space. After all, feelings of comfortability largely correlate with the perceived safety of a space, regardless of a user’s actual physical isolation from their surroundings. Creating enclosure does not necessarily imply the immediate creation of the feeling of enclosure. Someone who regularly visits a spot may be more comfortable in a familiar place, and the feeling of enclosure may be heightened for them. As a more hyperbolic example, try standing in Times Square and putting a tarp over your head. You’re 100% enclosed- but do you feel that way? This brings up another point, that enclosure that is poorly designed can have negative effects that are just as profound.

Solid walls create visual enclosure, but a transparent barrier can still present physical enclosure, preventing physical access without blocking visual sightlines 1970

Good / Bad Enclosure To see what bad enclosure can look like, consider Bryant Park 50 years ago. High hedges and walls around the park enclosed parkgoers from the busy street, but also fostered a culture of drug-use and crime. On the other hand, a good example of enclosure can be seen in Bryant Park today. The space was lowered to street level, and although it is now visible from the sidewalk, the space still feels enclosed by low vegetation, fencing, and tree canopy. Along with other additions like programming and moveable furniture, it creates an incredibly active park enclosure right in the center of midtown Manhattan.

Bryant Park



the importance of enclosure

Enclosed spaces evoke powerful emotions A soaring grove of redwoods will give one a sense of awe, but a dark alleyway can instill dread. There are scarcely any other elements of the landscape that are equally compelling as enclosure. By varying the materials and forms of these spaces, the designer has the incredible power to psychologically influence people’s mindset, for better or for worse. There is a balance to everything however; for a lack of enclosed space is often a boring lifeless flatland, and on the other hand, enclosure taken to an extreme can be a frightening claustrophobic hellscape. But if designed thoughtfully, enclosed spaces can transform the entire character of a landscape, potentially impacting communities on a city-wide scale.


Enclosed spaces are instinctively comfortable Prospect refuge theory identifies the tendency for humans to be drawn to a very specific edge condition - one where they can observe others (prospect) without being seen themselves (refuge). It has obvious evolutionary purposes for primitive survival, but also affects how we use the landscape today; it is more comfortable to lounge around the outside of a public space, with your back protected, with a view out towards the central gathering area where all the action is happening.

Designing enclosure is challenging Drawing in a plan is a good way to overview the entire site at once, but it inevitably favors a 2-dimensional space best experienced from above. Human beings, however, are very 3-dimensional creatures and seem to prefer spaces that have some variability in topography and vertical features. It is a deceptively fundamental concept, but if an enclosure is designed in the wrong scale through simple negligence or naiveté, the character of the landscape can be spoiled. Jan Gehl, an architect based in Copenhagen, notes that the city of Brasília seems to have fantastic planning; they spent billions creating a city that looks like an eagle when viewed from above, with giant housing blocks spread along each outstretched wing. But alas, there was no money left to give every citizen a helicopter so they could enjoy it. The city wasn’t designed for human use, and there was no sense of enclosure at the right scale. If I, as a designer, don’t learn from those mistakes made in the past, as cliché as it is, I can’t expect to create a future that is any different. Luckily, there are things to be learned from both good and bad precedents, and the follies of the past can be corrected once they are identified as such.

One of the criticisms of Brasília, the planned capital city of Brazil, is its sprawling blocks of housing developments, not at the human scale.

A strategic position on a hillside may have given our primitive ancestors a survival advantage in the past, and the same mechanism allows us to people-watch more comfortably from the protection of a sidewalk cafe.

The modest residential buildings of Copenhagen, on the other hand, are build in a scale more friendly to its residents.


3 Scales - 3 Functions Enclosed spaces can be understood in greater capacity if organized into categories. The two most defining aspects to enclosure are firstly, how big the space is, and secondly, what it is used for. As it turns out, both of these traits directly impact one another and can be explored as one in the same. The three classifications, of both scale and function, can be described as intimate, social, and monumental. When observed in the landscape, they may not fall perfectly within one of these three categories - these descriptions are better thought of as a tool used to understand enclosure, although they could certainly help in designing it too. And when creating enclosure, it is rare that only a single enclosed space is considered at once; often, many are constructed in series to create a more diverse landscape. These spaces don’t always exist completely separate from each other either. Often there is overlap, with many smaller intimate enclosures comprising a larger social space.

In an interesting design decision, the gardens of Valbyparken are all built with a hedge around their perimeters, separating each of the 17 enclosures into very precise rooms. (intimate space)

Botanisk Have, Copenhagen University’s botanic garden, uses vegetation to enclose smaller spaces which in turn, comprise a larger landscape-scale enclosure. (social space)

Although the central plaza of Amaliehaven is an unmistakably monumental place, it includes many smaller intimate spaces along its length. (monumental space)


size of space



(approx. diameter)

5 - 10 meters

FUNCTION: Intimate enclosures provide space for people who just need a little seclusion from the outside world. Whether to do schoolwork, relax without distractions, or get a little hanky panky with a significant other, sometimes people prefer a level of seclusion from others. To be comfortable in an intimate space, it must provide security to the user, in which they feel protected from the elements, the prying eyes of strangers, and any other potential threats that may be startling.



A space this size will feel comfortable when occupied by only one or two people. The dimensions were approximated based on the average size of the valby park gardens and the distribution of people found within them. Although it seems intuitive, a smaller space does not necessarily equate to a more comfortable intimate enclosure. A number of this type of enclosed space are often found in close proximity to one another.

10 - 35 meters

FUNCTION: Social enclosures are often experienced from two vantage points. In the average park, there will be a central lawn with space to spread a blanket, but also benches around the perimeter for seating. This allows individuals to participate as a spectator from the edge of the enclosure, as well as providing space for groups to sit in the center. Even if only talking to one other person, there is still a subconscious draw for people to be around others, or “where the action is.” This can be looked at as a form of theater, where the roles of audience and actors are publicly intermingled.



Theaters are often designed with a 35-meter maximum viewing distance from the most distant seats[1]. This seems to be the farthest away you can be from someone and still be able to read the facial expressions from the performers. And when you’re looking to share a space with someone else, this dimension also seems appropriate to carry over to the realm of outdoor spaces.

35 - 100 meters

FUNCTION: Some enclosed spaces are built without promoting person-to-person interaction, but rather a connection of the person-t0-landscape experience. It is here in these spaces where a person can appreciate landscape as sculpture; a form of art that can instill profound emotions of awe, and inspire through purely the capacity of the enclosure itself.

100 meters tends to be the maximum viewing distance at a sport stadium or concert venue. Without enlarging screens, it is still possible to clearly see physical movement of other people at that distance. Additionally, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of enclosure at these extreme distances without incorporating topography or large architectural structures.


1 2 3 4 5







15 11

13 14 09




the circle gardens at Valby Park Just outside the bustling main city lies an expansive green space along the coast, complete with playgrounds, ballfields, and an assortment of small themed gardens. These circular parklets are all sized similarly, and because they all exist adjacent to one another, a fortunate chance is afforded to study them without the variables of location and scale to interfere. There are 17 gardens in total, all between 21m and 37m in diameter. Each was identified by a sign at the entrance, presenting (in Danish) the name of the garden plus a description. A plan-view drawing of each space was also included, a very helpful feature of park signage that was common in other parks around Copenhagen as well. These particular spaces were built in 1996 as part of Copenhagen’s designation by the EU as the European Capital of Culture.

My first visit to the park was exploratory; I was still scoping out potential sites. The second visit comprised of recording my initial impressions, and trying to instinctively find a place to sit in each garden that would be the most comfortable. This self-analysis would later be paired with observations of others who used the space, although there were never more than two parties in the same garden at once (not including me). The easy part was deducing which gardens I liked most; the human brain is subconsciously drawn to the most inviting spaces. It was more difficult to deduce why I felt a certain way about each garden. Breaking down each space into its elementary forms and characteristics was a strategy to help myself better understand enclosure, as much as it is one to help explain it to others.

Intentions: A heavy portion of this project is dedicated to intimate enclosures because when people are by themselves, the nuances of their surroundings matter more: both from a behavioral perspective of security, but also realistically, when you’re around others, your attention will focused on socializing. The greater number of people who gather together, the more a space has to be functional to accommodate them. However, very small groups or individuals have specific needs that demand more sensitive design. Each garden was examined individually for traits that may impact the comfort and security of the space. The following pages of diagrams are intended to diagrammatically illustrate each of these traits, and visually compare them within the context of each garden. All of these factors are then analyzed as variables to determine if there are certain elements that are especially influential to the overall enclosure.

The collection of gardens ank an axial pedestrian path, a walkway lined with columnar poplars and oaks, which stretches for a kilometer all the way to the sea. Each of the 17 individual entrances are all located along a separate pathway that winds between the hedges.


Gardens 11, 12, and 13 captured by drone photographer Kristian Lildholdt Hansen. A drought over the summer of 2018 resulted in 35% agricultural losses throughout the country, forcing twice as many companies and individuals into bankruptcy as last year[2]. The grass also faired poorly.



and how to understand them

an explanation of verdicts:



Enclosing features provide protection from the elements as well as privacy and security for anyone inside the garden. There are appropriate places to sit or stay, and the entrance is at least partially visible from those spots. Good balance exists between enclosing features and open space, and there may be a focal interest point like a water feature. Man-made components are tastefully balanced with plant materials, of which there is ample variation in density, scale, and visual permeability.

The space is at the lower end of what can even be described as enclosure. It can be understood with only a glance inside, and once the garden is seen and the layout familiarized, a conclusion is quickly formed by any passersby that the space is too dull to explore further.

EXCESSIVE ENCLOSURE The garden is enclosed to a disproportionate extent, where it becomes difficult to navigate or even understand ones surroundings. Perhaps the vegetation is too dense, or erratically organized. People may walk through to check it out, but often won’t stay too long.

00 - EXAMPLE GARDEN [English translation] verdict:

GOOD - the trees do a good job of defining the space, and the entrance is visible and not too close to any seating spots.

sightline plan an isovist diagram of what is perceptible from a fixed place in the garden direct sightline what can be directly observed peripheral perception what is still visible, but may be partially obscured by vegetation MOST POPULAR SEATING SPOT OTHER SEATING LOCATIONS

dense / open space diagrammatic spatial comparison of enclosing mass and the open spaces they generate

A short description will elaborate on the theme of the garden and what the designer’s intentions were. Some were built to display collections of fruit trees or rose species, some to imitate a specific ecosystem, and others to recognize certain cultures or demographics. Here, I will also address my own thoughts of how the space functioned as enclosure. The garden pictured in this example doesn’t actually exist.

[ call-outs for specific elements in each garden ] this plant speaks better Danish than me [ a defining feature will sometimes be identified ]


enclosing forms translucent or opaque forms the area being enclosed





EXCESSIVE - vegetation is too dense, sightlines cannot reach

[fruit garden]

to back corners of garden, and resulting space is too small.

The primary entrance leads through a gateway of trees, and opens up to a small clearing with 4 benches. The entrance was still visible from two of the benches. Upon further exploration, a few more seating options were discovered, as well as a secondary entrance near the back. As seen in the density diagram, the two main spaces only comprise a small percentage of the garden’s footprint. Although it’s one of the largest gardens, due to the density of trees, it still feels cramped.

this secondary entrance is used just as often, even though it exits to a lawn rather than a pathway.

lots of trees, and planted somewhat randomly: difficult to understand the layout of this garden on a first impression

central gathering space is separated by second layer of hedge, shrinking enclosure



GOOD - but barely. Sightline over hedge allows prospecting

[garden’s ground]

opportunities to bleed into the garden’s exterior environment.

Originally planned to exhibit groundcover plants, most of the garden was replaced in 2016 with a rose collection. The wall in the rear of the garden creates a sense of mystery of what could be hidden away, and though there isn’t space to sit back there, it would probably be too cramped anyway. The benches are arranged in a central location, with the wall shielding the rear. And though I assumed a shorter hedge would equate to a lesser enclosure, this garden proved otherwise.

ivy-covered wall hides secondary garden space

The low hedge here actually shifts the boundaries of the entire enclosure; anyone walking down the path is in full view before they even reach the entrance of the garden. I could observe people in my peripheral vision without the anxiety of anyone getting too close or potentially sneaking up on me while I focused on my sketchbook.

low hedge allows seated individuals to see people walking by


1 verdict:

GOOD - presence of water is relaxing, back is protected, and no worries of disturbance since there was only one bench.

03 - VANDHAVEN [water garden] The purpose of the reflecting pool is for artistic purposes rather than ecological ones- the reflection changes as the viewer walks around the garden. The water depth was only 15cm, and the still water overturned another one of my prior assumptions that the water must be active with wildlife, fountains, or waterfalls for it to keep a visitor’s attention. I felt very comfortable in this garden.

the only bench in the garden a ring of trees encloses the periphery, allowing users to look into the clearing from the “safety” of the vegetation central reflecting pool water level is actually 15cm above grade - the retaining walls holding the water were built up, and there are two steps up to the level of the traversing boardwalk.


DEFICIENT - bench doesn’t have a back, there is nothing to look at, and hedge layers make space too small and dull.

04 - DEN STEDSEGRØNNE SKULPTURHAVE [the evergreen sculpture garden] Almost all of the plants are evergreen, and even the hedges, which would normally be formed by European Beech, are replaced with Thuja and Yew. Don’t really know where the sculpture part of the garden comes into play though. The concentric rings might have been interesting to walk through 20 years ago when it was first planted, but the isles have grown in and don’t look very interesting nor inviting. Sitting on the solitary bench feels like waiting outside a doctor’s office.

evergreen trees retain enclosure year-round rings of vegetation effectively shrink the usable space of the enclosure

the single bench in the center of the space feels vulnerable this hedge was 3m tall- much higher than those of the other gardens


05 - DEN ISLAMISKE HAVE [the Islamic garden]


GOOD - uniform enclosure provided around entire perimeter,

ample seating, and vegetation creates gateway into the garden.

Upon entering this space, a visitor walks beneath a vine-covered pergola, an inviting gateway into the garden. Once through, it really feels as though you have crossed a threshold into another landscape. The overhead vegetation is the predominant enclosing feature - it wraps around the entire perimeter, providing shade and an alcove to sit within.

site elements used Islamic-inspired themes encompassing pergola covered in wisteria vines 7 additional benches radially arranged around garden and protected by pergola two large benches accommodate big groups tall hedge blends with overhead vegetation upon reaching height of pergola

06 - DEMONSTRATIONSHAVEN [demonstration garden]


EXCESSIVE - space is too subdivided, making it more

favorable to walk through this garden, rather than stay in it.

The offset axis through the garden allows flowing connectivity, and the dual entrances don’t necessarily detract from the experience. However, most of the space is taken up by additional smaller gardens, with only a small space left to function as an enclosure. This garden’s purpose is to display plants in interesting ways, but doesn’t effectively create space for people.

seating area is recessed from main pathway, and enclosed by trees overhead

interesting hedge labyrinth, but dead end is kind of anticlimactic 7 tiny gardens inside the main garden, viewed like an exhibit


1 verdict:

GOOD - but almost excessive. Because of the wild texture, it is difficult to understand it at first, but the size of the garden allows it to accommodate the extra vegetation.

07 - SKOVHAVEN [forest garden] Most of the other gardens were heavily maintained, but this space was the only one left to be taken over by nature. The trees were a little gnarly, the paths were made from compacted earth and leaves, and the grass was long and interspersed with other plants. The outer hedge was partially comprised of woven branches, allowing glimpses through it at some points, though the space still felt completely removed from the surrounding park.

texture of pathways makes them seem almost “undesigned” wild trees and shrubs grow together to form thick barriers of vegetation, blocking sightlines and also dampening sound gazebo has picnic bench inside

very soft edges between grass and planting bed - difficult to determine where pathway ends and vegetation begins


EXCESSIVE - besides having no places to sit, the amount of

08 - DAFO® -HAVEN [Danish Research garden]

enclosed space is barely existent: just a collection of corridors. Dafo stands for Dansk Forskning, a Danish agriculture company that breeds plant varieties that perform well around the country. Many of these species fill the dense planting beds, centered around an arbor in the center of the garden. It’s not particularly interesting; the homogeneity of mass doesn’t really point towards a specific place to stay. I didn’t see anyone else go in here, likely because you could see over the hedge and kind of get a gist of what was inside, without needing to venture in further.

inner plants are hedged to 2m high outer hedge is 1m high - can easily see everything in garden a ring of trees enclose a central arbor, but space isn’t big enough to stay for very long


09 - KØKKENHAVEN [kitchen garden]


DEFICIENT - entrances are very wide, and the proportion between dense to open sittable space is lacking.

The rows of plants produce raspberries, tomatoes, currants and lavender, all ripening at different times of the year. But there is another layer of timing involved in the design: pine trees incorporated into the outer hedge continue to grow every year and will eventually shade the garden, turning the space into something other than today’s kitchen garden. It’s one of the smaller gardens in the park, and although it includes a grassy lawn to lay down, there isn’t any seating. Probably isn’t big enough for more than 1 group at a time.

pine trees growing in hedge will eventually shade out garden hedge is tall on one side (3m) and below eye level on the other (1.5m)

rows of plants that can be eaten or used in the kitchen lawn space is only place to sit

10 - STAUDEHAVEN [perennial shrub garden]


EXCESSIVE - the space is too subdivided, difficult to understand how to move through, and unsecured due to multiple entrances.

The splayed petal layout of the garden looks nice from above, but I didn’t get the same impression from looking at it in person. Although it is the biggest garden, the space is subdivided into a number of smaller rooms- all of which are filled with plants, not leaving much space for people to stay there. Plus, the maze of pathways and set of 3 entrances ensures that there is always some part of the garden that is unseen, which may cause subconscious uneasiness.

backs of benches aren’t protected, and there isn’t much to look at from them

main lawn slowly turning into meadow three entrances don’t offer much perceived security hedges shrink in height as they spiral inwards


1 verdict:

EXCESSIVE - High hedges, dead end corridors, and tight quarters that induce claustrophobia for its users.

11 - DAHLIAHAVEN [dahlia garden] A garden made to display a collection of dahlia varieties. It’s set up as a showcase, and doesn’t really appeal to human inhabitance. The 2m high central hedges seem to be set up for 3 entrances, though only one exists. This setup essentially wastes a good quarter of the entire garden, and the remaining rooms are confusing in themselves. Certainly stop and smell the flowers, but you probably won’t be stopping here for long.

this corridor doesn’t lead anywhere Here would be a better place for the bench, where the back is protected by a higher hedge, and a user can still peripherally observe the garden quadrant. It would also afford views over the outer hedge and of anyone entering the garden. high hedges (2m) block sightlines between rooms can see into garden over low hedges (1m)


DEFICIENT - hedge is too low to produce enclosed space, and

the area around the grove of trees is taken up by a water feature.

12 - BØRNENES ÅRTUSINDSKIFTEHAVE [children’s millennium change garden] This landscape is just a collection of things. A flat plane with an assortment of objects placed onto it (a tree grove, a bridge, a flower bed, a chair and table). The arc of trees nearly creates a nice enclosure, but the adjacent space is filled with a pond during most of the summer and can’t be occupied. However, it’s a garden for kids, so they’ll be splashing around it in anyway. It’s a shame they let a class of 3rd graders design this garden; they never follow the rules.

pool filled with water in the summer stepping stone pathway through trees, but no place to stop

only place to sit, although I’m sure most parents just want a spot from which to watch their children, rather than to marvel at the enclosure of the garden


13 - DEN FÆLLES MINDEHAVE [the reminder garden]


GOOD - trees create gateway into garden, vegetation is interesting, and seating area is protected and has view to entrance.

The theme of this garden was a little difficult to decipher from the translation, but through symbolism taken from cemeteries, it seems to act as a reminder of the cyclical nature of life and death. Although the meaning behind the space might be depressing, the garden itself is actually quite enjoyable. After spending a few seconds inside, you’ve already taken it all in, but sitting in the back with a view over the planting beds is still a pleasant spot to relax.

by the afternoon, the shade from the trees covers the seating area

a thick canopy covers the threshold through the hedge, forming an interesting gateway to the garden

inner vegetation is low enough to see over, but varies enough to be interesting


14 - DEN DYNAMISKE STAUDEHAVE [the summer flowering garden]

DEFICIENT - the hedge and planting does separate users from the rest of the park, but the enclosing elements are lacking.

The outer hedge is lower than many of the taller perennials in this garden, and many people were seen glancing inside to see the colorful arrangements. Not often did they venture inside though. The benches are set far enough apart to seat multiple people in their own personal space, but with a high planting bed just feet in front of you, it wasn’t the most interesting garden to sit in. However, the collection of flowering plants is still impressive - there are a few dozen species, some of which are varieties created in the USA.

location of garden is right next to the main path through Valby Park, which invites many looks from strangers who can see over the low hedge lawn space where it might be nice to lay out a blanket dozens of flowering plant varieties survived the summer drought and still looked incredible throughout the season


1 verdict:


GOOD - Space is a bit too small for more than one person to

occupy it comfortably, but it’s shaded and includes a gateway.

[the disability-friendly garden] Although most of the other gardens are also accessible, this one includes wide pathways, space to park a wheelchair next to benches, low fruit trees within reach, and a pattern in the hardscape for those with visual impairments to follow. It also serves as a reminder for others that not all landscapes are accessible to everyone. The layout of the garden is shared between a few others and seems to be successful, comprising of an overhead gateway at the entrance, enclosing elements, and seating around the outside (‘round the outside).

green roof provides protection from rain and is the only gazebo structure in the park that doesn’t have a step into the shelter

wide pathways accommodate wheelchair use, in addition to visually opening up the space wisteria vines cover entrance pergola, a similar feature to other gardens in creating a gateway through the outer hedge


EXCESSIVE - but is a special case. There is no outer hedge, and it was

16 - H.C. ANDERSENS ORIENTALSKE HAVE [H.C.Andersen’s Oriental Garden]

designed as a path to walk through rather than to stay in the same place. This garden stands out from the rest. Not only are the plant materials and layout distinctly Asian, but there is no outer hedge and instead uses vegetation and woven walls to separate the space. It makes up for this lack of privacy by its location next to the woods; most foot traffic outside of the garden is focused to just one side. Many of the small trees are also pruned to resemble bonsai, and the gazebo roof is reminiscent of that from a pagoda.

a pathway made of stepping stones and wooden beams winds around the perimeter.

a small pond in the center can be seen from everywhere within the garden seating area is set back from pathway, allowing sightlines to both entrances and into the pond area




GOOD - multiple spaces are provided, but retain privacy between them, in addition to having varied and interesting vegetation.

[acidic earth garden] This garden was purposefully constructed with the malicious intent of bringing the nice round number of gardens from 16 up to a total of 17, forever exiling it to the next page. But in a surprise twist, this space turned out to be the best enclosure of them all. It was built around a theme like all the rest: in this case, a collection of plants that thrive in acidic soil (ie. lots of rhododendron, azalea and some ferns).

Unlike most of the other gardens though, it was not laid out in a structured “museum�-esque format. Instead, the plants are tastefully arranged and do an incredible job of dividing up the garden into rooms, granting enough privacy between them but still allowing sightlines to the entrance area. Well deserving of its own page after all.

rear room includes a rock bubbler fountain for ambiance three rooms enclosed under single overhead element: the canopy of two large maple trees taller vegetation is placed along hedge, and shorter groundcover grows near the center wooden pegs on which to sit or lean against


20 years ago, the foliage of the trees was at eye level. This vegetative density divided up the garden into smaller enclosures. Since then, the canopy has reached 4+ meters, enveloping the entire garden with shade, and encompassing the entire garden within a single space.



scan this QR code with a smartphone to see garden #17 in a 360° image.


My favorite spot in the entire park was sitting here on the ground in garden 17, leaning up against this particular wooden peg. In the cool mornings, it was bathed in warm sunlight, but fell into shade in the heat of the afternoon. Two incredibly elegant lace-leaf maples shaded the grass, keeping it green and lush throughout the drought-ravaged summer, and letting beautifully dappled rays through its feathery foliage. I also had a clear view of the entrance through a gap in the vegetation, and could peripherally keep tabs on anyone who dared enter, all without taking an eye off my sketchbook. Since anyone wishing to reach me would have had to take a slightly circuitous route around the planting bed anyway, I felt another layer of security (however arbitrary) as well.


1 Frugthaven

2 Havens bund

[ 5 Den Islamiske Have on pg. 7 ]

6 Demonstrationshaven

7 Skovhaven

10 Staudehaven

11 Dahliahaven

14 Den Dynamiske Staudehave

15 Den Handicapvenlige Have

3 Vandhaven

4 Den stedsegrønne skulpturhave

8 Dafo® -haven

9 Køkkenhaven

12 Børnenes årtusindskiftehave

13 Den fælles mindehave

16 H.C. Andersens Orientalske Have

17 Surbundshaven





5 6



9 10

11 12


14 15

16 25



= kinda

d re ve co ts en en rd m ga ele of ng is % si en 50 clo _ en rd n ge ga io fu by of vis re % al 50 er h _ ct ip r y pe p e sil os in ea pr is ed ut erv yo s la ob _ d/ ity o o ge ur st ed ec er r h er r s nd te ov ne u ou en in _ e ity s ur be d ec ’t in r s an te c eh ou a b ed re ect e a ot th pr , g_ is ea in es ar at ch g se en in en b at se se be om an t fr c e en e_ c n em nc tra el old tra en ad sh en he t he re er th ov ce y_ ran wa nt te e ga at



= yes

02 - Haven’s Bund


03 - Vandhaven 05 - Den Islamiske Have


07 - Skovhaven 13 - Den fælles mindehave


15 - Den handicapvenlige have 17 - Surbundshave


EXCESSIVE ENCLOSURE 01 - Frugthaven 06 - Demonstrationshaven


~ ~

08 - Dafo® -haven 10 - Staudehaven 11 - Dahliahaven


16 - H.C. Andersen’s Orientalske Have

DEFICIENT ENCLOSURE 04 - Den stedsegrønne skulpturhave 09 - Køkkenhaven


12 - Børnenes årtusindskiftehave 14 - Den dynamiske staudehave


INTIMATE ENCLOSURE - VARIABLE ANALYSIS how the variables were selected There are hundreds of ways to compare all 17 gardens, but some variables are more influential to the success of the enclosure than others. But due to budget cuts, the list had to be narrowed down to fit on a single page. Plus, it makes comprehension of the data a little easier. Firstly, variables that didn’t have to do with enclosure, or didn’t end up correlating with anything were excluded. EXamPlEs: size of the garden boundary, percentage of hardscape/softscape, orientation of entrance, plant variety. Secondly, variables were also excluded if they could be more accurately described by a more encompassing or underlying characteristic. EXamPlE: a measured variable like “number of entrances” does influence enclosure, but not in and of itself. It is merely a subfactor in how protected one feels in the garden, summed up within the “inner security” variable. The variables were also phrased in such a way to have the tick-marks appear under the good enclosure section. (a variable title could have been “entrance is not visible” instead of “entrance is visible” and the tick-marks would have been reversed). This was to also ease in the interpretation of the data.

other notes Some of the variables overwhelmingly appeared to describe the excessive enclosures and not the deficient enclosures, or vice versa. It may appear to be significant that the variable of entrance appears in every single one of the deficient enclosures, but it’s really just a incidental result of the process. Naturally, the more enclosed a space is, the less likely one is to see the entrance from where they are seated. Each of these 7 variables can’t be analyzed separately, and won’t imply a better enclosure unless all are reflected concurrently. The comfortability of each garden surely varies between the tastes of different people, but likely not to an extent that would drastically change the results that were found. Human comfort is ingrained much deeper into the human psyche than other preferences like those for food or art or fashion, so although I could have created an extensive and representative survey, I think my own human tendencies towards general comfort are representative enough of the population to accurately portray which elements of enclosure function best. It was comforting to see some of my favorite gardens (#5,13,17) validated by marking in all of the categories, and I was also interested to see my least favorite ones (#8,11) mark so poorly. It seemed to substantiate the fact that most people subconsciously already know what enclosures are best. Though hopefully here, the reasons for such thoughts will be revealed.


1 gateway_ there is an overhead element at the entrance threshold Unlike many of the other variables, gateways aren’t more exclusive to excessive nor deficient enclosures. However, none of the deficient enclosures had one. This seems to be a simple and effective strategy to solidify the idea of a separate room within the landscape.

entrance_ from the seating area, the entrance can be seen This is related to inner security (below), since it allows one to feel more protected if they are able to see where potential danger may arise. Prehistorically, this mechanism may have saved us from surprise lion attacks, and nowadays saves us from unwanted social interactions.

seating_ the area behind benches is protected The only category where good enclosures swept. And due to almost all of the other gardens lacking this feature, it strongly suggests that protecting the backs of seating is one of the most critical aspects to creating a successful intimate enclosure.

outer security_ the outer hedge can’t be seen over Many gardens complied with this category, but were marked with a tilde (~) due to hedges that were exactly at eye level, changed in height around the perimeter, or included high vegetation inside that also shielded sightlines into the garden.

inner security_ the layout is easily understood/observed This variable can also be interpreted as the extent to which the garden is subdivided. In some cases, the severity of this disjuncture may result in just a matrix of tiny spaces that cease to function as a single intimate enclosure.

prospect_ at least 50 % of the garden can be seen in peripheral vision Although counterintuitive, many intimate spaces seem to function better when they enclose a larger space. Even if that space is inaccessible or covered in vegetation, it is still part of the enclosure, and may give the impression of security, regardless of its actual advantages.

refuge_ at least 50 % of the garden is covered by enclosing elements The balance between the two sides of prospect refuge theory peaks when the measure of refuge is maximized without impeding the extent of prospecting potential. A successful intimate enclosure allows one to see without being seen themself.


INTIMATE ENCLOSURE - VARIABLE ANALYSIS why I relied on my own judgment and not the observation of others By the end of my studies, most of the data involving the observation of other people in intimate enclosures hadn’t proven very useful. The miscalculation on my part stemmed from a wish to study people who are actively seeking out places to conceal themselves from other people. And of those that I had monitored, I doubt most would be representative of the population of intimate space-seeking individuals. Many walked in and then out in a 15 second impulse of curiosity, some stopped only to use a bench to tie their shoes, and one guy just needed a spot to eat his lunch while he talked on the phone. In a few gardens, I didn’t see a single soul throughout the whole summer. It is entirely plausible that their vacancy was simply due to poor design, but a counterargument would contend that they were built as a celebration of Danish culture, not specifically as an intimate enclosure to relax inside. And without debating whether a space can balance multiple functions and if the entire profession is worthwhile, I instead turned to the second source of data: myself. Enclosure plays to the primitive subconscious of our psyche- people can form an opinion about a space nearly instantaneously. It is a reflex, and is ingrained into me as much as anyone else. Thus, I should be able to essentially research myself, as long as I focus on what my primitive instincts are feeling and turn off the rational part of my brain (this happens to me quite often actually). A human’s instincts are perhaps their least unique characteristic, and chances are, any biases that come from my own personal preferences will also be shared by a significant portion of the population as well. Even so, my verdict of each space must be classified as subjective, but every one of the variables that influence the verdict can still be thought of as an objective trait of the garden.


controlling variables Overall, I tried to consider all of the possible variables that would influence different spaces, and attempted to control as many as possible. I foresaw location and size as perhaps the most influential, so it was fortunate that I found a spot with more than a dozen of the same sized gardens in the same location. Plus, they were all constructed around the same time, and over the last 20 years they have matured enough so that the variable of novelty likely would not factor in. One of the more interesting variables was that of time, and whether certain gardens would be more popular during different times of day or year. The short answer is no: they are equally unpopular throughout the year. Even during the annual Grøn festival, with thousands of visitors flocking to the adjacent lawn, there were scarcely any people actually in the gardens. Some fences were set up as a precaution, but most people preferred to set up their blankets out in the open among other groups, rather than secluded inside the hedged gardens. This shouldn’t be thought of as a failure of the intimate enclosures to entice people, but rather as a testament to the resolve of people to find resting spots around others. This concept is explored further in the following section: social EnclosurE.


A view looking west towards Garden #5 Den Islamiske Have. Thousands of concert-goers filled Valbyparken in late July for the Grøn festival, and instead of packing into the circle gardens, everyone preferred to set up blankets out in the open next to other groups of people. This is a good example of the interplay between intimate and social enclosure.


A strong parallel can be drawn between the traditional theater and social enclosures in the landscape. Generally, a social enclosure is also focused in a single direction, usually towards the primary entrance, pathway, or a vista. Individuals and groups of people both come to this landscape to socialize, watch others, and find satisfaction in just being around other people. The size of a theater is also a good approximation of the appropriate dimensions for a social enclosure.


Whereas a theater directs attention with focused lighting and action on stage (in addition to forward-facing seats of course), a social landscape will have enclosing vegetation or architecture in the rear of the space that serves a similar purpose; this subconsciously indicates security from that direction, and most people will be more comfortable facing away from those elements. Subtly sloping topography will also encourage the facing of a certain way.

2 SOCIAL ENCLOSURE the theater of life

Although scale is one of the defining features between the three types of enclosure, the translation between them isn’t as simple as changing its size. By enlarging an intimate-sized space, it won’t spontaneously become a social space; it will likely end up as just a bad intimate space. The purpose of the enclosure has shifted from protecting oneself from others, to opening up the space to include others. In terms of prospect refuge theory, a smaller intimate space requires balance in order for a user to feel secure by themselves. However, social enclosure relies much less on refuge a reason for which likely stems from the same concept of safety in numbers. To an extent, a public space will always feel more secure when there are other people around, even if they are strangers. By blurring the boundary of the enclosure, it can seem as though the space is more populated than it truly is, even if the actual footprint of the enclosed area might not be much bigger than that of an intimate enclosure. The same technique is used in architecture through the use of glazing and including wide thresholds between rooms.

Intimate enclosure purposefully secludes users from their environment in a way that limits most of the space to inside the enclosing elements.

Social enclosure instead opens outwards, assimilating its environment into the enclosed space. In this way, a social enclosure can be created from the same footprint as an intimate enclosure, simply by changing the geometry of the enclosing elements.


1 2

8 5

7 35



University of Copenhagen Botanic Gardens Built up in the center of Copenhagen during the 1870’s, this expansive garden houses the country’s largest collection of plant species, many of which are stored within the greenhouses, inspired by the Crystal Palace glasshouse in Hyde Park, England. The entrance to the garden takes visitors down a pathway which winds around a lake, bringing people along lawn spaces where they can sit and relax. It is here where I found one of the best examples of social enclosure in the city. Dozens of people come to the garden to lounge on this sloping lawn, talk with friends, eat lunch, or simply watch other people go by. That is, until evening, when security would walk around politely informing everyone that they had to go home now.


landscape elements 6


entrance and bike parking


flower and gift shop


university building


upper walkway to woods trails


lower walkway to greenhouses


lawn on hillside




scan this QR code with a smartphone to see Botanisk Have in a 360° image.



features of social enclosure

Just like Valby Park, the public spaces around the botanic gardens provide a variety of types of enclosure. Two primary pathways flank the lawn on both the top and bottom of the slope, but the sides are protected by dense patches of woods. Between the trees are three distinct areas, each part of the same enclosed space, but with certain features that cater to many different types of people and groups with certain needs. On a rainy weekday morning, I managed to gather field measurements and pictures without having to step over any park-goers lounging on the grass. And over many days of observation and deliberation, it seemed that there was a reason why this garden always seemed to be one of the most popular spots to hang out. It became evident that a handful of elements captured its success and are likely shared among other social enclosures throughout the city; these factors are listed here:

entrance and access

There are multiple ways of entering the space. Here, the two places of entry comprise half of the entire perimeter. Routes of circulation will usually border or even bisect a social space, and the visual connection between people on and off this pathway is what convinces people to stay.


There is an extensive landscape over which users of the social enclosure may look over. In this case, there isn’t a vista or anything, although you can see over the lake from high enough up on the hillside. The lawn is large enough so the space itself is partly what is being prospected, but the lower pathway is the primary item that is watched.



A space must still accommodate those who don’t wish to be part of the theatrics, so to speak. Those who visit the space as an individual tend to inhabit the perimeter, and it can be made more comfortable for them by adding extra levels of enclosure to the edge or ways for them to be more comfortable, like benches for sitting or just surfaces to lean against.

degree of enclosure

There is a delicate balance in the amount of enclosure for a social space. Prior to implementation, it can be difficult to anticipate how many people a social enclosure is being designed for. Too open and it feels barren, too enclosed and claustrophobia sets in. A strategy undertaken by Botanisk Have is to simply break up the space into multiple rooms which serve each purpose: here, there are 3 areas which all vary in their degree of enclosure.

arrangement of enclosure

An intimate enclosure exists somewhat independently of its environment, but the direction a social enclosure faces is incredibly influential. It is fortunate that both the placement of the pathways and slope of the topography force the perspective of its users in the same direction. The variety of how the spaces are arranged is also important- the smaller edge and shaded areas are adjacent to the pathway, and the elements that enclose the main lawn are incorporated into those other two areas as well.

2 Area 3_ the edge Area 1_ shaded and private This cozy spot is almost on its way to becoming an intimate enclosure, separated from the main lawn by just a few patches of vegetation. This division adds a small but important level of privacy for groups who want to hang out in a public space, but not mingle with the crowds too much. It is protected by a dense woods on the uphill slope, as well as planting that wraps around both sides.

The pathway along the university building isn’t used as much as the lower one, but certainly has a better view over the lake. There are benches up here, with their backs set against the building’s facade, which are always filled with people. It may make someone uncomfortable to be sitting alone among strangers on the lawn, so smaller areas at the edge of the space make perfect spots to sit and observe others without feeling vulnerable yourself.

Area 2_ open and theatrical This lawn is the primary area for people to stay. The enclosing elements are subtle: a gentle slope in topography and woods on both sides. People working in the area come here to eat lunch, but there are also daily throngs of tourists who come to see the greenhouses, and they all walk along the main pathway to get there. This pathway is the stage, and passersby the entertainment. But it goes both ways- those sitting on the lawn are equally as interesting to watch, and often, someone walking by will join the crowd and sit for a while.


MONUMENTAL ENCLOSURE The first two types of enclosure focused on how enclosed spaces can make users feel more comfortable. However, some landscapes are built with another particular purpose: to simply blow your brains out cause of how cool it is. Enclosure is often taken to an extreme, where the sheer scale is enough to stop one in their tracks and give them no choice but to look up in wonder.

enclosure as sculpture The value of real estate often pushes for landscapes to maximize on functionality, leaving artistic value as an afterthought. Small pieces of public art can be inserted into a space, but may seem like an afterthought, and their replaceability suggests they might not reflect the context they are placed into. Building art into the landscape itself is another option, and if the space is the canvas, then enclosure is a prominent medium. An overlap certainly exists between social and monumental enclosure too, and is often the category into which the most successful public spaces fall. However, an important distinction arises between monumental and other enclosures: If an intimate or social enclosure is designed well, often a user will not even notice. It will add a benefit to their life, but blend so perfectly into their everyday environment that it won’t be consciously recognized. A monumental enclosure, on the other hand, will catch someone’s attention, stop them in their tracks, and basically force them to interact with the landscape in some way.

Intimate enclosures allow people to be more comfortable alone, fostering a relationship with themselves.

Social enclosures create a comfortable space in which to see people, fostering a relationship with others. Monumental enclosures evoke an emotional response, fostering a relationship with the landscape itself.



Natural features are a very common example of monumental enclosure. Trees have a small footprint of just the diameter of a single trunk, but provide a hundred-fold return on overhead enclosure. When considering the majesty of the redwood forests or the scale of Yosemite Valley, natural enclosure often cannot be replicated by human hands. Overhead elements can be pretty awe-inspiring, but not necessarily enclosing. These two examples are more like gateways to walk through, rather than actually enclosing a space to stay in.

Architectural structures can sometimes be as interesting as the actual landscape [citation needed], and if designed in conjunction with the surrounding site, the outdoor space can function as both a monumental enclosure and a social space.

picture captions (clockwise from top-left): BaNanna Park,

Ă˜restad housing, Valby Park metasequoia grove, Krøyers Plads housing, SEB Building, Charlottenborg, Tietgenkollegiet dorm.



the castle square and palace Amalienborg is a plaza 125 meters in diameter, centered around an equestrian statue of King Frederik V. This is one of the largest open spaces in the city, and is approaching the maximum size that could still be considered enclosed. If the space were any larger, or the surrounding buildings any shorter, it may lose its effect. However, the grandeur of the plaza is far from diminished- the axis between Frederikskirke and the Opera House is breathtaking. The four buildings defining the plaza comprise the palace of the royal family. A number of royal guards remain in the courtyard at all times, seemingly for just ceremonial purposes. Sometimes a biker is seen bumping over the cobblestones, but the plaza is rarely populated by more than a dozen tourists at a time. It was historically designed for a show of power, more than with the intention of creating a nice public space, so its not surprising to see it empty most days. Every visiting tourist can admit, however, that the view is incredible.


scan this QR code with a smartphone to see Amalienborg in a 360° image.


frederiks church


the park along the harbor A smaller garden area exists along the same axis, between Amalienborg and the harbor. The layout of Amaliehaven is very formal, but planted with a modern and varied palette. Visitors may enter at either end, but most tourists tended to be drawn in around the central fountain when traveling toward Frederiks Church. Exploring further into the garden reveals a number of smaller spaces which tended to be occupied by locals rather than tourists. The garden and plaza are tied together by their shared axis, but create vastly different spaces. Amalienborg’s vast empty courtyard is humbling, but also gets a bit boring after a while. There isn’t anywhere to sit or hang out either, so once all the pictures are taken, it’s time to get back on the tour bus. The central fountain area in Amaliehaven is more casual, with seating and a smaller but equally compelling sense of enclosure. Seating areas are set back from the winding pathways through Amaliehaven, allowing people to get away from the bustling tourist sights and relax a little away from the crowds. A social enclosure of sorts, it still allows people to watch others walk through the park, and is distinctly separated by vegetation from the monumental enclosures nearby.


view to opera house 44


features o f mo n u men ta l en cl o su re

A monumental landscape will actively entice people to enter it. Tourists walking along the harbor would be focused on the views of the opera house until they reached the entrance to the garden, at which the incredible view of Frederik’s Church would open up to them. The fountain and plaza itself aren’t particularly remarkable, but the enclosure can really only be seen from within. There is a subconscious draw to stand in the center of a space like this. In Amalienborg as well, everything can be seen from the outer edge of the plaza, but for whatever reason, one will always find themself walking to the center. Being completely surrounded by a monumental enclosure allows for a more holistic experience of the landscape. The following features are shared between both Amaliehaven and Amalienborg, and seem to reflect the best qualities of monumental enclosure:

primary open space

A monumental enclosure is not often combined with other similar spaces in a landscape, such as the case with social or intimate spaces. Usually it will exist in isolation, or in conjunction with a number of smaller areas around its periphery. Monumental enclosure usually encompasses just a singular spacious area.


The entrance is an important feature for every type of enclosure, but for intimate or social enclosures, it’s valued more by the people inside the space, rather than those outside. Yet, with monumental enclosures, the entrance functions to bring people into the space and doesn’t make anyone already inside feel less protected because of it. In Amaliehaven, visitors are able to enter and exit from every side.

vertical elements

The scale of monumental enclosures often prohibits the implementation of any kind of overhead features. Thus, the character of the enclosure must be driven by imposing structures, topography, or vegetation in some cases. The sculptural pillars here act as sort of a gateway when entering the plaza, as well as framing views and defining the edge of the space.

focal point

The enclosure will often feature a central focus, usually along an axis, towards a vista, or a central element. In this case, the fountain is centrally located in the plaza and located on center with the primary axis as well.



Prospect refuge theory doesn’t apply as strongly for monumental enclosures - although the context of the space can certainly still impact how it is received. There is a strong visual axis through Amalienborg, where the central statue aligns perfectly with the front of Frederiks Kirke.

Opposite the church, at the other end of the axis across the harbor, lies the Copenhagen Opera House, just opposite of the fountain in Amaliehaven. These buildings are two of the most prominent pieces of architecture in the city, and their relationship presents an interesting juxtaposition between the old and new city.

scan this QR code with a smartphone to see Amaliehaven in a 360° image.


CONCLUDING THOUGHTS major takeaways for designing or observing enclosed spaces



Comfort _ When designing social or intimate spaces in the landscape, the overall objective is never to “make an enclosure”, it is to make a comfortable space; enclosure is just a strategy to achieve that goal. The space shouldn’t sacrifice other necessary features of comfort (shade, seating, etc.) just for the sake of improving enclosure.


Prospect Refuge _ Context can’t be overlooked; what the enclosure is actually enclosing is as important as what it’s being enclosed from. The best enclosures will keep a user’s attention inside, but still allow the outside environment to be observed.


Comprehensibility _ Unfamiliarity is always subconsciously equated with unpredictability, and with the design of landscapes, a complicated or maze-like space that can’t be understood by someone may breed feelings of trepidation. Enclosures that can be quickly comprehended allow first-time users to feel more at ease. However, a space adversely disposed to simplicity may actually seem dull and boring, especially for people with the opportunity to visit regularly.


Purpose _ What is the function of the enclosure, and does it fulfill that function: - a secluded spot with some god damn peace and quiet? - a space to gather with friends, see others, and be seen in turn? - a striking landscape to visit, be inspired by, and post to the ‘gram?


Integration _ Enclosure is more interesting and flexible when combined with other enclosed spaces. Perhaps a number of inward-facing intimate spaces combine into a larger social enclosure, or a series of small enclosures are placed adjacent to a monumental enclosure to heighten the scale.


Topography _ The use of topographic variety makes spaces more interesting and plays to the advantage of enclosure. Even a shallow slope over a large enough distance will open up massive views and bowls in the landscape, and finer grading will accentuate the effects of other enclosing features. Short retaining walls or curbs are equally as effective as solid walls for dividing space without restricting sightlines.


Theater _ There is a reason for the existance of the genre known as “theater of life”. A space should be enclosed only as much as necessary - otherwise its occupants may feel too isolated from the world around them. Leave space open for people to watch other people.

opportunities for further research -

Interviewing professionals in the field would have added another layer to the project, and one of my biggest regrets is not reaching out to Jan Gehl while in Copenhagen to talk about his research into designing cities in the human scale.


It would be interesting to explore how certain landscape elements can influence behavior and change the sequence of how a space is experienced. Water features have an especially interesting relationship with enclosed spaces. Whenever there was an opportunity to look out over a river or body of water, I noticed that people would often do so, even if they were by themselves, and even if their back was turned towards everyone else in the space.


Designing in a different medium might be the change needed to create better landscapes in the human scale. It could be as easy as drawing more from perspective than plan view, or perhaps directly in 3 dimensions with augmented or virtual reality.


The concept of access and axis, or how sightlines give clues to people on how to physically move through the landscape, is a key strategy for making an enclosed space easily comprehended, and thus more familiar. This is a powerful facet of human-scale design, and was nearly chosen over the topic of enclosure purely because the homonym title was so catchy.


Experimental and experiential interventions could be used to modify an enclosed space and test a difference in popularity. Or as Jan Gehl describes it, dropping in design by parachute. This strategy is often employed to “fix� spaces that were not designed in an appropriate scale for humans. Strategies include adding movable furniture, planters, and quickly-erected structures, but an afterthought like this will never replace genuine foresight in design. However, by fixing past mistakes, it becomes more clear how to better design them in the future.


references Gehl, Jan. In Search of the Human Scale. TED. 2015. [1] Gehl, Jan; Svarre, Birgette. How to Study Public Life. Island Press. 2013. [2] [2] Aerial images attained through Google Earth. Valby allée image (pg. 10) by kajsapaludan on Instagram. Images of Bryant Park (pg. 2) were found online and used only for research purposes in accordance with Fair Use. 360° photographs taken with Streetview app. All other photographs were taken by Liam Donaher (using Savy’s camera). GPS information for BIKE ROUTES was recorded using the STRAVA mobile app. Off-Campus advisor: Anthony Miller, SUNY COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND FORESTRY Copenhagen Contact: Natalie Gulsrud, INSTITUT FOR GEOVIDENSKAB OG NATURFORVALTNING Shoutout to protected bike lanes for keeping me off the streets. And special thanks to my dear friends/ classmates who took the journey to Copenhagen with me - they truly made this experience what it was. This one is for you.

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An exploration of scale in Copenhagen, Denmark


An exploration of scale in Copenhagen, Denmark