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Renowned Landscape Architect Peter Walker To Receive 39th Annual Thomas Jefferson Medal In Architecture At The University Of Virginia

January 12, 2004 -- Landscape architect, educator and publisher Peter Walker will receive the 39th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture at an awards ceremony Tuesday, April 13, as part of the University of Virginia’s Founder’s Day events. Walker will give a public lecture on Monday, April 12 at 3 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall auditorium, and an exhibition of his work will be on display at the School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, April 5 through 24, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Jefferson Medal in Architecture and its counterpart in law recognize lasting contributions in fields that deeply interested the University’s founder. Sponsored jointly by the University and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that owns and operates Monticello, the awards are the highest outside honors given by U.Va., which grants no honorary degrees.

“These medals emphasize the vitality of the Jeffersonian ideals of creativity and leadership in today’s world, and it is a privilege to join with the University in honoring individuals whose accomplishments have had a significant impact on our culture as well as our legacy for future generations,” said Daniel P. Jordan, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

Architecture School Dean Karen Van Lengen chaired the Thomas Jefferson Medalist in Architecture Selection Committee, which includes a representative from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

“We are so pleased to be able to celebrate the career of Peter Walker, whose work has been incredibly influential to both landscape architects and architects and has prominently raised the profile of the discipline in this country. As our school moves to fully integrate our own graduate programs in architecture and landscape architecture, we take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Peter Walker,” said Van Lengen.

“I am deeply honored,” said Walker. “As a landscape architect I’m especially pleased to be amongst the company of the other recipients, and I am very much looking forward to speaking to the faculty and students.”

Walker’s most recent triumph was winning the design competition for the Word Trade Center memorial, which was announced Jan. 6. The project, “Reflecting Absence,” is a collaboration with city designer Michael Arad, whose original design was one of eight finalists selected in November.
Walker is a founding partner of Sasaki, Walker and Associates, which was established in 1957, and later opened the firm’s highly successful West-Coast office, The S.W.A. Group. His current practice, Peter Walker and Partners, was founded in 1983. Largely focusing on parks and corporate and educational campuses, Walker has designed landscapes in Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, and throughout the United States. Recent major projects include: the Millennium Park for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia; the Sony Center in Berlin, Germany; the San Diego Library Walk in California; and Sky Forest Plaza in Tokyo, Japan. His work is characterized by an elegant form of minimalism, a refusal to relegate landscape to the background of site design and an architectural approach to landscape design.

In addition to his practice, Walker is an educator, author and publisher. He has chaired departments of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of California at Berkeley, and served as a visiting critic at numerous universities. His founding of Spacemaker Press, including the LandFORUM series, has been recognized as a substantial contribution to raising the visibility of landscape architecture, as well as providing a scholarly forum for project analysis.

A graduate of the landscape architecture program at the University of Illinois, Walker earned a graduate degree in landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he won the Weidenman Prize. Walker is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a recipient of the Institute Honor from the American Institute of Architects, a fellow of the Institute of Urban Design and the recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Institute in Rome, among dozens of other awards and honors.

A list of past winners is attached. For more information, contact Derry Wade at (434) 982-2921 or

1966 Mies van der Rohe
1967 Alvar Aalto
1968 Marcel Breurer
1969 John Ely Burchard
1970 Kenzo Tange
1971 Jose Luis Sert
1972 Lewis Mumford
1973 Jean Labatut
1974 Frei Otto
1975 Sir Nikolaus Pevsner & Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
1976 I.M. Pei
1977 Ada Louise Huxtable
1978 Philip Johnson
1979 Lawrence Halprin
1980 Hugh A. Stubbins
1981 Edward Larrabee Barnes
1982 Vincent Scully
1983 Robert Venturi
1984 H. H. The Aga Khan
1985 Leon Krier
1986 James Stirling
1987 Romaldo Giurgola
1988 Dan Kiley
1989 Paul Mellon
1990 Fumihiko Maki
1991 John V. Lindsay
1992 Aldo Rossi
1993 Andres M. Duany
& Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
1994 Frank O. Gehry
1995 Ian L. McHarg
1996 Jane Jacobs
1997 Jaime Lerner
1998 Jaquelin T. Robertson
1999 Lord Richard Rogers
2000 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
2001 Glenn Murcutt
2002 James Turrell
2003 Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

Contact: Derry Wade, (434) 982-2921

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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