College of Environmental Design (CED) alumnus and landscape architect Peter Walker, FASLA, (BA Landscape Architecture ‘55) is the first recipient of the $150,000 Richard Brettell Award in the Arts. The award honors an artist whose body of work demonstrates a lifetime of achievement in his or her field.
The Richard Brettell Award in the Arts at UT Dallas, established in 2016 with a gift from Mrs. Margaret McDermott, recognizes the essential and fundamental role in the arts in the life of the university. The award honors an artist working in or between any of the broad spectrum of artistic endeavors, including the visual arts, music, literature, performance, and architecture/design. Given every other year, the award consists of a prize of $150,000 and a week's residence on the UT Dallas campus, during which the awardee will present a major public lecture and interact in a variety of venues with the students, staff and faculty of UT Dallas and with the larger arts community of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
A renowned landscape architect with over 50 years of experience in practice and teaching,Walker has designed hundreds of projects, taught, lectured, written, and served as an advisor to numerous public agencies. The scope of his concerns is expansive — from the planning of cities to the design of small gardens — with a particular emphasis on civic design, corporate headquarters, plazas, academic campuses, and urban renewal projects. Exploring the relationship of art, culture, and context, he has challenged traditional concepts of landscape design.
After graduating from UC Berkeley and then Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Walker banded together with his professor, Hideo Sasaki, to found Sasaki, Walker and Associates in 1957 which later became The SWA Group. Walker spent seven years building up the company's reputation as an internationally-recognized urban design firm before forming Peter Walker and Partners (now PWP Landscape Architecture) in 1983.
Walker has served as consultant and advisor for such public projects as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coordination Authority, the Redevelopment Agency of San Francisco, the Port Authority of San Diego and Stanford University. He was head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at CED from 1997 to 1999. Walker's firm has received honors and awards and won numerous design competitions, including the National September 11 Memorial in New York, the United States Embassy in Beijing, and the Library Walk at the University of California, San Diego.
Walker has collaborated with architects of such stature as I. M. Pei, Arata Isozaki, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Yoshio Taniguchi, Ricardo Legorreta, and Helmut Jahn.
You can read more about Walker’s achievement here.