Kathryn Gustafson wins Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe honour

American landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson has been selected as the winner of this year’s Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award. The honour - the highest in the profession - was announced at the International Federation of Landscape Architect’s (IFLA) World Congress in Oslo, Norway. 

Kathryn Gustafson.

Kathryn Gustafson.

It recognises a living landscape architect whose lifetime achievements and contributions have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of society and the environment, and on the promotion of the profession.

Gustafson is a founding partner in Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) in Seattle and Gustafson Porter + Bowman (GP+B) in London. She graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage, Versailles in France, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Gustafson Porter + Bowman has won the contract to reimagine the landscape around the Eiffel Tower © MIR for GP+B

Gustafson Porter + Bowman has won the contract to reimagine the landscape around the Eiffel Tower © MIR for GP+B

Since her early work in France, including a series of poetic landscapes for Shell Headquarters (1990), and L’Oreal (1993), the trialectics of art, landscape and fashion generated by her academic formation were clearly evidenced in the muscular qualities of these landscapes, whose complexities and subtleties engaged the human body on a fundamental level, IFLA president James Hayter said.

Her work at the public plaza in Evry (1991) was one of the first landscape projects worldwide to create a flexible space with water jets. Another significant work is the award winning Jardins de  l’Imaginaire in Terrasson la Villedieu (1995), which is classed by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the most notable gardens in France.  

Kathryn Gustafson designed the Kogod Courtyard at the National Historic Landmark building in Washington DC. Photo credit: GGN

Kathryn Gustafson designed the Kogod Courtyard at the National Historic Landmark building in Washington DC. Photo credit: GGN

With her partners at GGN, Gustafson gained a worldwide reputation with the project The Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, one of the most celebrated works in the United States.

Most recently GP+B won the City of Paris’ Site Tour Eiffel Competition to reimagine the landscape of one of the world’s most iconic monuments.

Gustafson has contributed towards education and practice internationally. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architecture, an honorary Royal Designer for Industry member and a medalist of the French Academy of Architecture.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain was designed by Gustafson Porter. Kathryn Gustafson said she wanted the fountain, which was built to the south of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, to be accessible and to reflect Diana's "inclusive" personality. Gustafson said: "Above all I hope that it provides a fitting memorial for the princess and does credit to the amazing person that she was."

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain was designed by Gustafson Porter. Kathryn Gustafson said she wanted the fountain, which was built to the south of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, to be accessible and to reflect Diana's "inclusive" personality. Gustafson said: "Above all I hope that it provides a fitting memorial for the princess and does credit to the amazing person that she was."

She is the recipient of the Architects’ Journal Jane Drew Prize 1998, the 2001 Chrysler Design Award, the 2008 ASLA Design Medal, the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize for Architecture 2012 and the 8th Obayashi Prize, Japan in 2014. 

In 2011, Gustafson and her GGN partners received the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture, and GGN received the ASLA 2017 National Landscape Architecture Firm Award.

Valencia Parque Central. Gustafson Porter + Bowman won an international competition to design it.

Valencia Parque Central. Gustafson Porter + Bowman won an international competition to design it.

The visibility of her design work and her lecturing activities have had a great impact on professionals and students, as well as on a broader public, Hayter said.

“Kathryn Gustafson is a leader in creating world class projects that have impact - iconic projects that help foster the awareness of the profession of landscape architecture and its relevance to contemporary society.”

People, AwardsLee TaylorIFLA