In addition to selecting the appropriate material for a paved area in the landscape, it is also necessary to determine its pattern. A pavement’s pattern is produced by the pavement material’s size, shape, color, arrangement, and whether the material is used by itself or in combination with other materials. In studying a pavement’s pattern, the designer should consider (1) the complexity of the pattern, (2) the suitability of the pattern to the shape of the paved area, and (3) the fit of the pattern to its surroundings.
There are three general levels of material complexity as determined by the number of materials used: (1) one uniform material, (2) one varied material, and (3) multiple materials.
One Uniform Material The first and simplest pavement design is created with one material that has the same pattern throughout the entire paved area (top left Figure 12—43). The material is laid uniformly with no variation in size, color, or direction. This approach is suitable for richly colored and textured materials such as gravel and brick that have inherent visual appeal, but it does not work as well for bland materials such as concrete. One uniform pavement material can be used to:
• provide visual unity when the pavement connects multiple spaces or areas in the landscape.
• unify a complex paved area that has numerous sides and/or subspaces.
• create a ground surface that settles into the landscape and calls little attention to itself.
• establish a simple background for furniture or other elements placed on it.
• reduce cost because of comparative ease of installation.
One Varied Material This pavement pattern is generated with one material that has variation in size, shape, color, and/or direction across the paved surface. Concrete pavers lend themselves to this type of pattern especially well because of their numerous shapes and colors as previously described. The variations in pattern with one material can be subtle or pronounced depending on the degree of contrast that is generated with material differences. There are numerous ways of creating patterns within one material, including:
• border; the creation of edge pattern that is different from the pattern within (top middle, Figure 12—43).
Examples of patterns created by combining different materials.
caution for integrating different materials is to make sure that they indeed go together both compositionally and technically from an installation standpoint. Multiple materials can be utilized in a pavement to:
• create visual interest and/or express creativity (Figure 12—44).
• enhance a material such as concrete that is otherwise dull and unappealing.
• emphasize material characteristics by combining materials that have divergent texture, color, shape, and so on (Figure 12—45).
• create visual directionality and/or linkage with surroundings.
• define subspaces or different use areas within the same paved area.