February 9, 2012
Peter Walker, founding partner of Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture, has exerted a significant influence on the field of landscape architecture for over five decades. His distinguished career includes a wide range of projects, and his concern for urban and environmental issues shapes his designs. Recently he completed the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, and locally he is known for the inventive Tanner Fountain on the Harvard University Campus. Educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Walker has designed hundreds of projects, taught, lectured, written, and served as an advisor to numerous public agencies. The scope of his concerns is expansive—from the design of small gardens to the planning of cities—with a particular emphasis on corporate headquarters, plazas, cultural gardens, academic campuses, and urban-regeneration projects.
Co-founder of the firm Sasaki, Walker and Associates (established in 1957), Walker opened its West Coast office, which became The SWA Group in 1976. As principal, consulting principal, and chairman of the board, he helped to shape The SWA Group as a multidisciplinary office with an international reputation for excellence in environmental design. In 1983, he formed Peter Walker and Partners, now known as PWP Landscape Architecture.
Walker has served as consultant and advisor to numerous public agencies and institutions: the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coordination Authority; the Redevelopment Agency of San Francisco; the Port Authority of San Diego; Stanford University; the University of California; the University of Washington; and the American Academy in Rome. He played an essential role in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University as both the chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department and the acting director of the Urban Design Program. He was head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1997 to 1999. A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Institute for Urban Design, Walker has been granted the Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects, Harvard’s Centennial Medal, the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson Medal, the ASLA Medal, and the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal. He is co-designer with Michael Arad of the National September 11th Memorial.
Image: World Trade Center Memorial, 1911: Visualization by Squared Design Lab.