Richard Haag is best known for his rehabilitation of Gas Works Park in Seattle and for a series of remarkable gardens at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. He reshaped the field of landscape architecture as a designer, teacher, and activist. In 1964, Haag founded the landscape architecture department at the University of Washington, and his innovative work contributed to the increasingly significant design approach known as urban ecological design, which encourages thinking beyond the boundaries of gardens and parks to consider the broader roles that landscapes play within urban ecosystems, such as storm water drainage and wildlife habitat.
Gas Works Park is studied in every survey of twentieth-century landscape architecture as a modern work that challenged the tenets of modernism by engaging a toxic site and celebrating an industrial past. Haag’s work with ecologists and soil scientists in his landscape remediation and reclamation projects opened new areas of inquiry into the adaptive reuse of post-industrial sites.
Thaisa Way places Haag’s work within the context of changes in the practice of landscape architecture over the past five decades in the Pacific Northwest and nationally. The book should be of interest to specialists as well as to readers who are interested in the changes in urban landscapes inspired by Haag’s work.
Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUBeOCA8-kQ
|Publisher:||University of Washington Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Thaisa Way is associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Washington. She is the author of Unbounded Practices: Women, Landscape Architecture, and Early Twentieth Century Design.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Marc TreibPrefaceAcknowledgments
1. Growing up in a Kentucky landscape2. A Landscape Education3. “Keep Your Eyes Open!”4. Designing the Home Garden in California5. A Teacher’s Teacher6. Gardens of the Pacific Northwest7. From Modernism to Urbanism8. The Art of the Landform as Landscape Architecture9. “It Was a Gas!” at Gas Works Park10. Land Sculpting and Ecological Design at the Bloedel Reserve11. The Legacy
Afterword by Laurie Olin
NotesBibliography Illustration CreditsIndex
What People are Saying About This
Although Seattle’s Gas Works Park is a well-recognized project throughout the world, few people are aware that Richard Haag, an accomplished landscape architect, designed this modern masterpiece. Way’s book fills a gap in design literature with her examination of Haag’s design work and its contribution to twentieth-century design. She also addresses his role as a challenging and imaginative educator of leading landscape architects who, inspired by his creative and poetic insights, pursued their own significant careers. The book is a 'must read' for anyone interested in modern landscape design.
Well known for his masterpieces, the pioneering Gas Works Park and the inspiring Bloedel Reserve, landscape historian Thaisa Way explores the depth and breadth of Richard Haag’s designs and his skill as a civic advocate, exponent of an emerging ecological aesthetic, and founder of the University of Washington landscape architecture department. Influenced by a deep encounter with Japan, his career profoundly impacted the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Haag had an astute understanding of forces of nature; Way shows how Haag is one as well.
Thaisa Way has given us a wonderfully readable exposition of Richard Haag, the man and his practice, that is able to address the cultural and professional milieu of his evolution, as well as a sophisticated exploration of Haag’s design sensibility and its manifestation in built landscapes. This is just the kind of perceptive exploration of the development of contemporary ideas in landscape design to inspire scholars, practitioners and enthusiasts.
Thaisa Way has filled a conspicuous gap in the history of landscape architecture in the United States. Her well-researched combination of insightful biographical narrative and perceptive case studies illuminates the core values informing the brilliant and enduring accomplishments of Richard Haag as designer, educator, and political activist.
Way’s research has prepared her well as an interpreter of Haag’s residential design, public work, and very importantly, post-industrial landscape remediation. She documents the evolution of his design practice and theory, his influences and influence, and very interestingly, the history of the founding department of landscape architecture at the University of Washington.
Urban ecological design has emerged as a leading framework for landscape architectural practice in the 21st century. A practice focused at mid-century on modernist approaches emphasizing architecture, it is now oriented to the complexities of the urban landscape and its cultural and natural ecologies. Richard Haag, founder of the University of Washington landscape architecture department and internationally recognized practitioner, played a critical role in this transformation. This project proposes the first monograph on the work of Haag and the role of his practice in shaping landscape architectural practice in the 21st century. It is a story of both a practitioner and of a transformative period in urban design and landscape architecture.In a career lasting over half a century, Haag reshaped landscape architecture by means of his role as a designer, a teacher, and an activist. His engagement with ecologists and soil scientists in his experimentations with landscape remediation and reclamation opened new areas of inquiry into the adaptive reuse of post-industrial sites. His project for Gas Works Park is described in every survey of twentieth-century landscape architecture as a work that was both modern and challenged the tenets of modernism by engaging a toxic site and celebrating an industrial past. Bloedel Reserve has been featured in more than sixty-seven publications.