Landscape Literacy

Giants of Landscape Architecture: Dan Kiley

Dan KileyThe copyright in this photo is owned by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, www.tclf.org.

It is always a source of abundant inspiration to contemplate the greatness of the designers that have come before us. Let’s take a look at Dan Kiley and his contribution to the field of design.

Dan Kiley (1912-2004) was one of the most influential Architects of the 20th century. His title might be more appropriately stated as The Architect of Landscapes because of his uncanny ability to see structure and form in planting design and outdoor space creation. A Dan Kiley design will always make you see the cohesion of interior and exterior spaces. Taking a cue from the great French designers of the 17th century, Dan’s spaces were an exhibition of Man’s mastery over nature.

If you get the chance to visit one of his noted spaces, don’t miss it. Here are a few to put on your list:

The Miller House – Columbus, Indiana

Kiley 1The copyright in this photo is owned by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, www.tclf.org.

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – St. Louis, Missouri

Kiley2The copyright in this photo is owned by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, www.tclf.org.

Fountain Place – Dallas, Texas

Photo © 2013 Alan WardThe copyright in this photo is owned by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, www.tclf.org.

Art Institute of Chicago, South Garden – Chicago, Illinois

Photos © 2013 Tom HarrisThe copyright in this photo is owned by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, www.tclf.org.

In trying to describe the process of design, Dan once said:

“Dance is the embodiment of what we’re trying to do in landscape design: structural spatial movement. If you’re listening, aware and sensitive, then everything is preparing and feeding you.”