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Landscape Architectural Practitioners, Theorists, and Scholars I


Hubbard & Kimball’s An Introduction to the Study of Landscape Design


Henry Vincent Hubbard (1875-1947)

Henry Hubbard was educated at Harvard and Mass. Institute of Technology, he also spent some time studying with Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. He received the earliest degree in Landscape Architecture at Harvard in 1901.

Later at Harvard, as a professor Henry Hubbard focused his energy on the development of the profession of Landscape Architecture as well as city and regional planning.

He was responsible for many publications, one of those being An Introduction to the Study of Landscape Design 1917. This book, written with Theodora Kimball ( the landscape architecture librarian at Harvard) was the primary source for landscape designers during the early part of the twentieth century through the 1940’s.

Hubbard & Kimball’s text presented an approach to landscape design. Some important thoughts from the text;

-Landscape Design was to “create an effect of pleasure in the eye of the Beholder.”

-Landscape Architecture is a fine art

-Landscapes were constructed through the use of axes of provisional paths.

-Landscapes were either formal or informal-and classified as such.

-Landscape experience was based primarily on a preoccupation with views.

-Creative adaptation of “styles” from the past.

The approach is also known as the Beaux Arts approach.

Many designers began to see the approach (of Hubbard & Kimball) as limiting and sometimes ignorant of spatial experience, context, and societal conditions.


A European designer Pierre-Emile Legrain – furniture, books, graphics – made a landmark contribution to be studied by landscape designers. A single garden design – for the Tachard garden in France – posed a classical garden composition as an adaptation reflecting a modern attitude about spatial organization. Legrain was educated in the organization of geometry to express mood or attitude, and the garden was a significant departure from the axial/symmetrical organizations of the Beaux Arts approach.


Fletcher Steele

Fletcher Steele approached landscape design as problem solving and typically resolved the issues with inventive forms that still echoed classical Europe – particularly the landscapes of Italy.

He felt that the art of landscape design should recognize an individual tree as important as an allee of trees – as much about sculptural value as framing views.


Thomas Church

Born 1902

Bachelors Degree LA 1923 from Berkeley

Masters Degree LA 1926 from Harvard

Many talented designers worked in his office during their early careers, later setting up very successful practices of their own. Many described Church’s work as the first “Modern” work in Landscape Design in this country.

Church published substantial books and numerous articles for periodicals focused on the landscape. Gardens are for People – recently republished – is primarily about small landscapes – as small as suburban courtyards. Articles he wrote for other publications introduced the idea – clearly influenced by renaissance designers in Italy – of homeowners treating their property as a single living space – house and garden as one, inside and out.

-Invisible Gardens-Peter Walker

Modern – less indicative of English, French or Italian landscapes as the parti(motif). Reflecting a clear shift from Beaux(French) Arts (Bozar) movement which centered on strong axial and symmetrical organizations, toward a desire to reflect a spatial order expressing sequence and movement through space.

Much of Thomas Church’s work was for residential properties.

Thomas Church worked with Fletcher Steele learning much from his approach – vegetation for sculptural effect, asymmetry, less reference to the axis.

Mitchell Park, design and drawing by Robert Royston, friend and business partner of Garrett Eckbo


Garrett Eckbo

Worked as an assistant to Thomas Church.

Learned many of his design theories and approaches from Church

1945 – own office, later a co-founder of EDAW – Eckbo, Dean, Austin, and Williams

Wrote the book Landscape for living which replaced Hubbard and Kimball’s book and opened new doors into planning and design.

democratic representation – no axis

three dimensional space, form as the primary design medium

represent the intrinsic qualities of materials

constraints and opportunities of the regional climate are significant components of design work

experiential pleasure comes from well ordered dynamic spaces

Admired and was influenced by modern artists such as Miro, Arp, and Mondrian

An article published in Pencil Points Journal (later Progressive Architecture Magazine) during the mid 1930’s illustrated his thoughts about landscape design (with James Rose and Dan Kiley). The title was “small gardens in the city” and illustrated designs for 18 lots on a hypothetical city block.

Quotes from the text:

“Gardens are places in which people live out of doors.”

“Gardens must be the homes of delight, of gaiety, of fantasy, of illusion, of imagination, of adventure.”

“Design shall be three-dimensional. People live in volumes, not planes.”

“Design shall be areal, not axial.”

“Design shall be dynamic, not static.”


James Rose

Schooled with Garrett Eckbo

Published a series of papers about his thoughts on design

emphasized space and order of the experience and sculpting of the land.

Called for a scientific approach to design as a problem solving technique, felt that science could be applied to all aspects of design.

He felt that designers should never begin with a preconceived notion of form, that the form should develop and will articulate and express the desired activity to occur.

Landscape plans should be developed from natural contours and plants used organically as wall as sculpturally.


Lawrence Halprin

Worked as an assistant in Thomas Church in 1945.

During his studies in Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin Lawrence Halprin read a book called Gardens in the Modern Landscape by Christopher Tunnard. He became interested in the design of the environment, particularly the development of the garden into an appropriate twentieth century landscape.

Halprin’s work seeks to touch all of the senses and is organized with sequence not unlike musical scores or dance.

Halprin’s studies called “motation” scores (Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis) represent the designed or intended sequence of experience as graphic notation.

His work is also inspired by the wilderness landscapes of the west. Lovejoy Plaza in Portland was inspired by a waterfall in the High Sierra.

The Ira Keller Fountain in Portland reflects glacial activity in the Sierra’s as inspiration. Seattle Freeway Park also evokes the wilderness areas.


Daniel Urban Kiley

Has practiced since the 1930’s

Wrote articles with Rose and Eckbo who he spent some time with at Harvard. Kiley never finished Harvard, but was influenced by an architect at Harvard – Walter Gropius.

Kiley designed a landmark landscape in Columbus Indiana for Irwin Miller (Cummins Engine). The Miller Garden (1957) is a highly publicized and early modern landscape design – form as pure art, the organization of classical devices such as allees and bosques do not reflect a classical order. Order at the Miller Garden is based on a modern spatial sensibility and relates to the spatial order of the house.

Kiley is often referred to as a “Neo-classicist”

At the Miller Garden he worked, and formed a strong relationship, with Eero Saarinen. Saarinen proclaimed the necessity for site and building to relate to one another, an idea that was not supported by many architects of the time.

Kiley attempted to relate scale to human experience so that spatial clarity, structure, unity, and elegance of forms are evident.

A strong geometry and in some cases reference to mathematical theory is expressed in his work – fibonacci series.

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