Hideo Sasaki and Some Other Wonderful Landscape Architects

Hideo Sasaki 1919 – 2000

Hideo Sasaki was a significant Japanese and American landscape architect. He worked on a massive urban development project, Havana Plan Piloto, with other architects and planners. Hideo Sasaki was honoured with the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal in 1971.

Early Life & Education

Hideo Sasaki was born on 25th November 1919 in the city of Reedley, California. When he was young, he was working for the truck farm of his family in California where they grew crops, fruits and vegetables. He also harvested the crops on the farms in Arizona.

During World War Two, he started studying at the University of California, Berkeley. Due to his Japanese origin, Hideo Sasaki was sent forcefully to an American concentration camp, Poston Internment Camp, Arizona. Life was very hard there. As Hideo Sasaki volunteered to assist farmers as a farm hand on farms in Sterling, Colorado, he got the opportunity to go from the camp.

When the war was over, he travelled to Denver in Colorado. There Hideo Sasaki met Kisa whom he married. He had two daughters with his wife, Ann and Rin and he was living in Lafayette with his family.

Hideo Sasaki went to Illinois to study landscape architecture and arts at the University of Illinois. He completed his graduate studies in 1946. He got his post-graduation studies in Landscape architecture in 1948 from Harvard.


Hideo Sasaki came back to Illinois to teach for around two years. From 1953 to 1970, Hideo Sasaki taught as a professor at the Landscape Architecture Department of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and also became the chairperson there.

He established Sasaki Associates in 1953 and worked on various urban development projects and parks along with his team of planners and architects.

He was involved in a major urban project of Havana Plan Piloto along with Spanish architect Josep Lluis Sert and Cuban architect Mario Romananch.


Hideo Sasaki advocated the modern principles of design in landscape architecture. While working on the designs of his projects, he emphasized the cultural, environmental, social and historical aspects of the project. He got recognition for his approach to designing in various sectors.

Sasaki Associates has focused on green sustainable designs keeping in mind environmental issues.

Hideo Sasaki worked with sustainability on many projects such as Virginia Biosphere, Virginia; Utah State University, Utah and Manulife Financial US.

The firm Sasaki Associates has its sister firms as Sasaki, Strong and Associates based in Toronto, Canada; Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates and Sasaki, Walker and Associates.

Some of the other Sasaki projects are Foothill College, California, 1957; Goucher College, Maryland, 1957; apartment complex, Washington Square Village, New York, 1958; One Maritime Plaza, California, 1964; Loomis Chaffee School, Connecticut, 1967; Forrestal Village, New Jersey, 1986; Performance Hall, Utah State University, 2006; Puerto Rico Convention Center, 2006, Ithaca Commons, 2015 and so on.


Hideo Sasaki achieved the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal in 1971. He was the winner of the AIA Allied Professions Medal in 1973. He won the Centennial Medal in 1999.

Hideo Sasaki died on 30th August, 2000 in the city of Walnut Creek in California.

Some Other Influential Landscape Architects

Here are some of the world-famous architects related to landscape architecture, urban architecture and regional planning.

1. Garrett Eckbo 1910 – 2000

Garrett Eckbo was an influential American landscape architect. He was also a writer. He is well known for ‘Landscape for Living’, a book he wrote in 1950. He was born on 28th November 1910 in Cooperstown, New York. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley studying landscape architecture. He briefly worked for Armstrong Nurseries, Ontario, US. Later he studied at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1938. In 1948, he taught at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture till 1956.

In 1940, together with his relative, Edward Williams, Garrett Eckbo founded his urban design architecture firm Eckbo & Williams which was called Eckbo, Royston & Williams along with another partner. In 1964 it became Eckbo, Dean, Austin & Williams which was later known as EDAW. His key projects include Urban Metropolitan Planning, California; Alcoa Forecast Garden, Los Angeles; Union Bank Plaza, Los Angeles; Mar Vista Housing, Los Angeles and others. He died on 14th May, 2000.

2. Lawrence Halprin 1916 – 2009

Lawrence Halprin was an American landscape architect and designer of masterplan architecture. He also served as a teacher. He was born on 1st July 1916. He attended Cornell University for his landscape architecture. For his post-graduation in horticulture education, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin. He studied landscape architecture again at Harvard University in 1942. He started his profession in 1949 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. His design firm was called Lawrence Halprin & Associates. He collaborated with the architects Mario Joseph Ciampi; Joseph Esherick; William Wurster and Vernon DeMars.

His major projects include Lovejoy Fountain Park; Ghirardelli Square, Seattle World’s Fair 1962; Sproul Plaza; West Coast Memorial to the Missing of World War II, San Francisco; Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial; Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; Ira Keller Fountain; Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Francisco; Freeway Park and others. He died on 25th October 2009.

3. Ian McHarg 1920 - 2001

Ian McHarg was an influential Scottish landscape architect. He wrote on urban design architecture and city planning employing natural energy efficient means in landscape architecture. He is the author of ‘Design with Nature’, his book on regional planning and ecological designing. Ian McHarg was born on 20th November 1920 in Clydebank, Scotland. He studied landscape architecture at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University in 1949. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he established the school of landscape architecture in 1957.

Ian Mcharg opened his architectural practice, Wallace & McHarg Associates (Wallace McHarg Roberts & Todd) designing landscaping architecture. He created amazing garden architecture. His key projects include Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland; Lower Manhattan Masterplan, New York City; Pardisan, Tehran, Iran and others. He won the Japan Prize in 2000. He died of a pulmonary infection on 5th March 2001.

4. Cornelia Oberlander 1921

Cornelia Oberlander was a remarkable Canadian landscape architect from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was born on 20th June 1921 in Prussia, Germany. She attended Smith College and graduated in 1944. She studied landscape design at Harvard University. She worked for the architects Oscar Gregory Stonorov and Louis Isadore Kahn. Later she joined Dan Kiley, a landscape architect based in Vermont.

Cornelia Oberlander founded her design studio, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Landscape Architects in Vancouver in 1953. She designed many influential buildings across Canada and America such as the National Gallery of Canada; Library Square of Vancouver Public Library; Canadian Embassy; Washington DC; Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia; Robson Square, Vancouver; Law Courts, Vancouver and others. She died on 22nd May 2021 in Vancouver, Canada.

5. Laurie Olin 1938

Laurie Olin is a notable American landscape architect. He is also an educationist and author who wrote extensively on architecture and landscape architecture. Laurie Olin was born in 1938 in Marshfield, Wisconsin, US. He studied architecture at the University of Washington. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania and served as chairman of Harvard University’s landscape architecture department.

Laurie Olin opened his landscaping and urban architecture company, The Olin Studio which won the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2008. He designed Westferry Circus, London, Britain; Bishopsgate, London; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; Pershing Square, California; Battery Park City, Manhattan; National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Bryant Park, Manhattan; Apple Park, California and others.

6. Michel Desvigne

Michel Desvigne is a French landscape architect based in Paris. He founded Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, a landscape architecture and urban designing firm located in Paris. He developed a large number of urban architecture and landscape projects on an international level. He designed Otemachi urban planning, Tokyo, Japan; Detroit East Riverfront, Michigan, US; Toulouse Centre-Ville, France; Alzette Belval Micheville, France and others.

Landscape Architecture Studios

Here are some of the most famous firms of landscape architecture today:

1. West 8

West 8 is a landscape and urban design architecture firm based in Rotterdam, Belgium and North America. It was established in 1987.

2. OMA

OMA, short for Office for Metropolitan Architecture, is a renowned architectural firm founded by Rem Koolhaas in 1975. While primarily recognized for their groundbreaking architectural designs, OMA also boasts an impressive portfolio of landscape architecture projects. Their approach to landscape design is often innovative and conceptually driven, integrating seamlessly with their architectural visions. OMA's multidisciplinary team collaborates to create landscapes that not only enhance the built environment but also engage with the cultural, social, and ecological contexts of the site.

3. Hargreaves Jones

Hargreaves Jones is a leading landscape architecture firm known for its innovative and sustainable designs. Founded by George Hargreaves and Mary Margaret Jones, the firm has offices in San Francisco, New York City, and Cambridge. Their projects range from urban parks and waterfront developments to campus landscapes and ecological restoration projects. Hargreaves Jones is committed to creating landscapes that promote biodiversity, resilience, and community well-being, often incorporating principles of ecological design and green infrastructure into their work.

4. Martha Schwartz Partners

Martha Schwartz Partners is an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm founded by Martha Schwartz in 1990. With offices in London and New York City, the firm is known for its bold and imaginative designs that challenge traditional notions of landscape architecture. Schwartz's work often explores themes of urban ecology, sustainability, and artistry, resulting in landscapes that are visually striking and environmentally responsive. From public plazas and streetscapes to large-scale master plans, Martha Schwartz Partners approaches each project with a unique perspective, creating dynamic and memorable landscapes that enrich the urban experience.

5. Snøhetta

Snøhetta is a transdisciplinary design firm known for its innovative approach to architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design. Founded in 1989, the firm has offices in Oslo, New York City, Innsbruck, Paris, Adelaide, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Snøhetta's landscape architecture projects range from urban interventions and public spaces to cultural institutions and natural landscapes. The firm's design philosophy emphasizes collaboration, sustainability, and social responsibility, resulting in landscapes that are both visually striking and socially meaningful. Snøhetta's diverse portfolio reflects a commitment to creating inclusive and resilient landscapes that respond to the needs of people and the environment.