Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Wins National Design Award


Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) won Cooper-Hewitt’s 2011 National Design Award in Landscape Architecture. In awarding GGN, Cooper-Hewitt said the firm creates “carefully shaped” landforms designed to “feel serenely grounded in their context and comfortable at all times, whether bustling with crowds, offering moments of contemplation, or doing both at once.”

Shannon Nichol, ASLA, one of the partners at GGN, said: “we are grateful for this distinction and very proud of our team. We have been fortunate to collaborate with extremely professional and visionary clients who have had faith in our spatial and conceptual approach to landscape architecture.”

Some of GGN’s more well-known projects include the Lurie Garden in Chicago, the Smithsonian’s Kogod Courtyard in Washington, D.C. (see an interview), and the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle (see earlier post). Current projects include the CityCenterDC (see earlier post), Nashville Centennial Park, Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center, the National Museum of African American History & Culture (see an interview), and projects at the University of Washington.

Finalists in the landscape architecture category were Tom Leader, ASLA, principal of Tom Leader Studio, who just won a major commission to build a new Minneapolis riverfront (see earlier post), and Margie Ruddick, ASLA. Leader’s work “focuses on building communal places for real people [and] is manifested in projects like Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama.” Ruddick, who has taught at Harvard and Yale Universities and will soon take up a post at Princeton University, creates landscapes that “integrate ecology and culture, infrastructure and art. Her singular vision has produced benchmark projects such as the Shillim Retreat in India and the Living Water Park in China.” 

Bill Moggridge, director of the Cooper-Hewitt, said: “the work of this year’s National Design Awards winners represents extraordinary solutions to the design problems central to the landscape of daily life, from how we dress, shape our personal and private spaces, frame communication and interact with the world at large.”

Read an interview with Kathryn Gustafson, ASLA.

Image credit: Julie Harmsen

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