IFLA 2005 SGJA AWARDEE
PETER WALKER

 

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Peter E. Walker, FASLA, was selected as the first-ever recipient of the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ (IFLA) Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal.  It was presented at IFLA’s 42nd World Congress in 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Throughout his over 50-year career, Peter Walker has as few others directed landscape architecture onto new paths. As early as the l980s he investigated new attitudes for landscape architecture, resulting in powerful, graphically intriguing gestures and redefinitions in the landscape. His patterned surfaces have drawn carefully researched traces from the baroque garden of the l7th century while also establishing valuable bridges to the field of minimal art and hence consolidating the connections of visual arts and philosophy with landscape design.

Such re-interpretations of the traditional values of Landscape Design are evident internationally over the past decade and a half, in Peter Walker’s projects for such various continents as North America, Europe and Asia. He leads a craft-based practice, which infuses landscape design with a fresh yet tradition-based approach.

As a teacher and chair at schools within his home country, Peter Walker has had a heavy impact on students. Through writings, editing and publishing on his own initiative, he enabled landscape communications from the l980s to be broadened worldwide, thus also addressing the historical heritage beyond national boundaries.

In 2004, Walker took center stage in the design world by partnering with architect Michael Arad to win the commission for the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City, arguably the most publicly scrutinized and emotionally charged design competition ever held.  Also in 2004, Walker was awarded the ASLA Medal, the highest honor the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) may bestow upon a landscape architect. His firm, Peter Walker and Partners, located in Berkeley, California, designs projects across the US and around the world.

Peter Walker is probably the most prominent individual indicator for modern landscape today. His efforts have accordingly enhanced and widened global interest in, and understanding of, landscape architecture everywhere.