The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag: From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design

The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag: From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295994482
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 04/03/2015
Pages: 241
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

Linda Jewell

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.

Kenneth Helphand

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.

Elizabeth Mossop

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.

Reuben Rainey

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.

Therese O'Malley

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.

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