In Search Of The Lost Garden Atmosphere Within The Court Of The Lions: A Landscape Architectural Perspective

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Ma, Mansoor Ming Chor

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University of Guelph


The Court of the Lions has been known for its architectural beauty which is universally admired. However, a closer look at the current gravel-surfaced Courtyard does not seem to harmonize with the pinnacle in architectural representation of its surrounding and the once “state of the art” technology of the fountain at the centre. According to The Official Guide - The Alhambra and Generalife published by the Petronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (1999, p. 115), "…It is not known for certain whether the four parts were paved or if they were gardens”. This uncertainty became the catalyst for this Grounded Theory landscape architectural research which employs concept mapping techniques. Computer concept and illumination models were then used to test a design concept through a series of simulations. Lastly, the possible landscapes were interpreted using photorealistic computer images and animations, re-enacting the original garden atmosphere in the year 1391 AD. The study describes the process to simulate the garden atmosphere of the Court of the Lions with the absence of primary sources of information. The approach can be used for other historic sites in similar site condition.



Palace of the Lions, Court of the Lions, Nasrid Dynasty, garden, courtyard, computer visualization, Islam, heritage, landscape, 1391, Spain, Granada