Ideas That Matter

Peter Walker's Gift

Peter Walker's Gift

Peter Walker, FASLA, inaugurated USC’s annual School of Architecture lecture series with a presentation of “Reflecting Absence", the National 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan.

Pete’s talk, “Before the Memorial”, summarized his journey as an artist, beginning with studying and collecting work by minimalist artists such as Carl Andre.

Peter Walker 911 Memorial

Carl Andre, Photo Wikispaces

Peter Walker Orchard Project

Carl Andre: Secant  Photo: The Orchard Project

Pete described his visit to Vaux le Vicomte, Andre Le Notre’s garden masterpiece outside Paris, and his realization that  the creation of a flat plane not only brings focus and importance to the objects resting on it, but literally commands the space above it.

Peter Walker Vaux le Vicomte Garten

Vaux le Vicomte  Photo: Wikipedia

The Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas exemplifies Pete's skill in using flatness to great effect. For anyone who hasn’t seen the Nasher, put your Texas bias aside and book your ticket! (And, while you're in Texas, get down to Houston and see the Menil!)

At the National 9/11 Memorial, Pete deployed the concept of flatness to create a platform for the enormous voids that commemorate the trade center and the people who tragically lost their lives on that day. A forest of 416 White Swamp Oaks, arrayed in lines across the plaza, creates a setting where visitors can contemplate the voids.

Peter Walker Voids

9/11 Memorial  Image: Peter Walker Associates

Pete’s contribution to the plaza compliments the initial design created by Michael Arad, whose competition entry presented the idea of preserving the footprints of the destroyed towers. The PWP team faced tremendous challenges in creating the planted plaza.  His lecture included details about the planting of the oaks, and also acknowledged the contributions of his fountain and lighting designers in resolving the technical challenges of making the enormous fountains and illuminating the forest.

This difficult, politically fraught project has taken over ten years and is not yet complete. Pete’s contribution to the design brings beauty and grace to the experience of remembrance.

Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture is a professional consulting firm offering master planning, site planning, and landscape design. Since its founding in 1992, LGLA has designed landscapes for schools, campuses, boutique hotels, buildings, public parks, estates, and private residences. At LGLA each project is viewed as an opportunity to explore a series of relationships: between the site and the region, architecture and landscape, and most importantly, between the landscape and the people who will use and enjoy it.

Recent Posts




    Cleo Baldon Landscape Architecture Lisa Boone garden restoration Heather Scott Peterson Martin Garden Courtney Coffman granite Gere Kavanaugh Lisa Gimmy Hafley House Wells Fargo Plaza fabrics Villa Pisani Italy TCLF garden design Kaufman House toys Carl Andre Los Angeles Central Library California natives Lina Loos First Point Construction Marin Native Mow Free Vaux le Vicomte New York landscape architecture FIDM Pamela Palmer Maguire Gardens downtown Los Angeles mid century architecture Los Angeles Conservancy Virginia Robinson rock Denise Scott Brown exhibition design Native Bentgrass, Hafley House, Hindry House, Artificial Turf Frank Gehry Loewy House Desert Courtyard House Architect's Garden Rose N' Palm MoMA, Museum of Modern Art Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Heineman and Heineman Lawrence Halprin tropical planting tablescape pool landscaping Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency Delta Bluegrass Edris House Photography by Marion Brenner interiors Darin Marten TheBlack Desert House Nasher Sculpture Garden E. Stewart Williams Bolinas Charles Waldheim Ruth Adler Schnee Garden of Sculpture Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture Julius Shulman John Lautner LIght/Breeze House Lovelace Pool Open Days Oller & Pejic Adolf Loos Eugene Kinn Choy, Garden Dialogues, The Cultural Landscape Foundation Soils Solutions Kun II Howard Rosen Stinson Beach Ralph Cornell, Malcolm Leland, Howard Troller, UCLA, Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden Grand Hope Park Craftsman Barbara Lamprecht Nord Eriksson garden color Flowermaid Andre Le Notre Queer Eye for the Straight Guy poppies furniture Frank Lloyd Wright Paulette Singley Dominus Winery Grace Miller House Mission Revival Koffka/Phakos Design Wendell Burnette Virginia Robinson Gardens Cranbrook Academy of Art Kengo Kuma Bunker Hill Steps Kitchen for Exploring Foods Floating Teehouse Pasadena Craftsman George Hargreaves Ira Keller Fountain Landscape as Catalyst EPT Design Landscape Sequence multidisciplinary designer Jeffrey Dahl, John Wooden, Dustin Dorr, Rosemarie Allaire, Yoshikawa Deborah Sussman Docomomo Award graphic design Garden Conservancy Peter Walker Jon and Liliane Lovelace Allegra Fuller Snyder Hindry House Japanese gardens Herzog and de Meuron Isabelle Green, FASLA Landscaping Florence Knoll Transforming Small Spaces, Intimate Courtyards, Custom Steel Gates, Velvet Elephant Ear, Kalanchoe Beharensis, Bluestone Pavers, Bourget Brothers, Moroccan Motif Craig Elwood Artecho California Preservation Foundation Albert Frey King Palm forest Richard Neutra Opera on the Great Lawn 9-11 Memorial Don Chadwick Friends of Robinson Gardens Grand Eclair Jack Coyier mid century landscapes Ray Eames Max Palevsky House Annie Chu David Collins Elrod House Leslie Cozzi Garden Dialogues grasses Palm Springs Modernism Ralph Bacerra Thomas D. Church Los Angeles Times landscape architecture in los angeles