Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011 - (Page 28)

GREEN ROOFS FOR HEALTHY CITIES 2010 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE A LEGEND REMEMBERED A SON REMEMBERS HIS FATHER, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AND ROOF GARDEN PIONEER, THEODORE OSMUNDSON – WINNER OF A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD By Gordon Osmundson resided with his wife, Lorraine. Together they raised three sons, Richard, Douglas and myself, Gordon. INDUSTRY PIONEER Osmundson’s remarkable career began upon graduation from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture in 1943. By 1946, he had opened his own practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Back then, the practice of landscape architecture largely consisted of residential landscapes, but by the 1960s, his practice had grown to include college campuses, recreation areas, historic properties, commercial projects and the design of urban parks. His office designed a number of roof gardens over the years, the best known of these later gardens being the Kaiser Resources Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia. Following this, he wrote the article “The Changing Technique of Roof Garden Design" for Landscape Architecture Magazine, March 1979. A recognized expert on roof gardens, he conducted weekend summer seminars on the subject at Harvard-MIT. Years of travel to study and photograph roof gardens around the world eventually led to the publication of Roof Gardens, History, Design and Construction (W.W. Norton, 1999). Osmundson long recognized the value of professionals working together to achieve common goals. While he maintained a professional practice for 60 years, it was through service to the profession that he left his greatest legacy. He worked through the professional organizations at the local, national and international levels, serving as president and bringing change to each. In California, in the 1950s, he saw the need for professional licensing and helped to get the first Landscape Architecture licensing in the nation. As president of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 1967 - 1969, he reshaped the organization by bringing in professional management, initiated studies of the profession and the environment and was one of the founders of today’s Landscape Architecture Foundation, serving as its first president, 1969 - 1971. For his efforts he was given every award the ASLA could bestow including, in 1983, the ASLA Medal for his extraordinary contributions to the profession. His work has been more felt than seen, but it has affected everyone who has practiced landscape architecture in the last half century. Gary O. Robinette Professor at the University of Texas is currently writing his biography. * Gordon Osmundson, GRP, is a practicing landscape architect in San Francisco. He worked with his father from 1973 until Theodore Osmundson retired in the early 2000s. Gordon is currently working on a second edition of Roof Gardens, History, Design and Construction. His father’s legacy was celebrated at CitiesAlive! 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia. GORDON OSMUNDSON (1921-2009) I n the late 1950s, landscape architect Theodore Osmundson was working on a private garden for Edgar Kaiser in Lafayette, California. At the same time Kaiser Industries was building its headquarters on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Edgar looked down on the concrete roof deck of the building’s parking garage and, remembering the rooftop gardens of the Rockefeller Center in New York, thought that this rooftop should have one too and asked Osmundson if he could do it. Osmundson had never done a roof garden, practically no one had for decades, but he immediately said “yes.” The resulting Kaiser Center Roof Garden, the first major roof garden since the 1930s, became Osmundson’s best known work and marked the beginning of an involvement and passion for roof gardens that would last until the end of his life. Theodore Osmundson, born in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1921, he died on April 9, 2009 at the age of 88, in Kensington, California, where he LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR WINTER 2011 28

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011
The Living Architecture & Health Connection
Picnic Perfect
Green Roof Sight-Seeing
A Sacred Space
On the Roof With… Judith H. Heerwagen
A Spiritual Oasis
Therapeutic Landscapes
Active Living Walls
Lifetime Achievement Award: A Legend Remembered
Civic Award: Kelly Luckett
Research Award: Jeremy Lundholm
Fieldnotes From Greenbuild 2010
Toward Net-Zero Water Use
Learn Online
New Corporate Members
Welcome New GRPs
Cents and Sustainability

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011