The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announces the 2011 ASLA Medal will go to Laurie Olin, FASLA. This is the ASLA’s highest award for a landscape architect.
Laurie Olin was born in Marshfield, Wis. in 1938, but grew up in Alaska. He earned his degree in architecture from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Laurie Olin is the founder and principal of OLIN in Philadelphia. The firm received the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Design in 2008.
Although it is one of the busiest intersections in New York City, the Olin design of Columbus Circle created a useable civic space for the monument.
OLIN’s work includes such iconic places as New York City’s Bryant Park and the redesign of the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, D.C. His professional contributions include a lifetime of teaching future landscape architects, spending more than 30 years at the University of Pennsylvania and, before that, chairing Harvard University’s Department of Landscape Architecture. In addition, he is the author of many books and has written extensively on the history and theory of landscape design.
Olin is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, an American Academy of Rome Fellow, an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 1999 Wyck-Strickland Award honoree and an ASLA Fellow. He is the recipient of the 1998 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“Most times, my favorite (project) is the one I've just finished. Those keep happening—Canary Wharf in East London, the green roof on the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City (pictured), the J. Paul Getty Center.”
LASN editor Leslie McGuire interviewed Laurie Olin for a profile in our March 2010 issue. In that piece, “Classical Form, Human Impact,” he commented:
''Having a vision of a beautiful environment is a great joy. It means you are trying to produce something that speaks to your intellect as well as your essential needs. I have found that both the biggest challenge and the greatest joy is getting things built.”