1919 - 2000
Born in Reedley, California, Sasaki studied landscape architecture at the University of Illinois, where he counted Stanley White amongst his influential teachers, and graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, then led by Walter Gropius, in 1948. He worked briefly for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and then returned to teach at Harvard, where he was chairman of the department for ten years. A founder of Sasaki, Walker, and Associates, he led a firm that emerged into the forefront of complex environmental design, focusing on the interaction of land, buildings, and the greater environment. Both in his academic career and in private practice, Sasaki valued cross-disciplinary collaboration, promoting a comprehensive and cooperative approach to planning and design. Significant public landscapes include Greenacre Park (New York City), Constitution Plaza (Hartford, Connecticut), University of Colorado at Boulder, Sea Pines Plantation (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina), John Deere and Company Headquarters (Moline, Illinois) and the Christian Science Center (Boston). The firm evolved through various configurations, but consistent was Sasaki’s conviction in the notion of oasis and that landscapes can restore the human spirit. In 2000, he was awarded the Centennial Medal by Harvard for extraordinary achievement in landscape architecture.