New York, NY
Nemetschek Group Brands
PWP Landscape Architecture
Minimalistic Design with Enormous Impact
Peter Walker has become a legend in his own time. One of the leading landscape architects in the Modernist movement, Walker was chosen to help design and build the National 9/11 Memorial in New York City, and his list of accolades continues to expand. All in all, he has received over 70 design awards in the regional, national, and international spheres. In 2007, Walker was recognized with the coveted Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. In 2005, he was the inaugural winner of the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award from the International Federation of Landscape Architects, the highest honor given to a landscape architect. He has also received the Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects, Harvard's Centennial Medal, the University of Virginia's Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture, and the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal, among other honors, for his moving, strikingly simple approach to landscape design.
His firm, Peter Walker and Partners (PWP) Landscape Architecture, currently has seven principals and 35 employees and handles a few projects a year, "specializing," as Walker said, "in bringing them to a very high level of completion." The firm focuses primarily on institutional work, including universities, cities, and cultural centers; landmark projects like Newport Beach Hall and Park, and the United States Embassy in Beijing; larger urban parks and plazas; and corporate campuses for such firms as Pixar, Weyerhaeuser, Novartis, and VMware®. The firm is widely considered one of the busiest and most successful landscape architectural practices in the world.
Peter Walker, Principal, PWP Landscape Architecture
"We always use Vectorworks on preliminaries. That's typically the way we work — everyone here has to do that. It's much more flexible, it's much more refined than other CAD solutions."
The National 9/11 Memorial: Shelter for the Voids
Exactly one decade after the single largest terror attack on United States soil took the lives of almost 3,000 people, the National 9/11 Memorial in New York City opened in their honor on September 11, 2011. Several years earlier, Walker had been brought in by the jury overseeing the competition to work with architect Michael Arad to help Arad realize his vision for the Memorial — two large fountain-lined voids marking the footprints of the fallen Twin Towers and carrying the names of those lost in the 9/11 attacks and in the 1993 bombing attack on the World Trade Center.
Each component in the Memorial was selected for functionality as well as art. The original plan called for stone throughout the seven acres. Walker reduced the stone by about half and instead sculpted the ground with grass and trees to soften the space. More than 400 swamp white oak trees were hand-picked and then tended in New Jersey for five years before being transplanted into the Memorial. A planting's corridor with 1.8-meter depth filled with soil and traversed by irrigation pipes lies between the walk and the ceiling of the buildings below.