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Laurie Dewar Olin

2019 - Today
Lauie Olin, a distinguished American teacher, author, and one of the most renowned landscape architects practicing today.
Lauie Olin, Kew Guild Medal recipient, 2019

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Alaska, Laurie studied civil engineering at the University of Alaska and pursued architecture at the University of Washington, where Richard Haag encouraged him to focus on landscape. He practiced in Seattle and New York before traveling to England on a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972-1973 and to Rome as a Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome in 1974-1976.

In 1976 Olin and Bob Hanna formed the firm Hanna/Olin. The Philadelphia practice was instrumental in creating or restoring urban landscapes which transformed how people experience city life. They practiced together until 1996, when Olin and senior staff members formed the Olin Partnership. In 2008 the firm rebranded themselves as OLIN. He is currently Practice Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for 40 years, and is former chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University. Laurie is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Ainerican Society of Landscape Architects, and recipient of the 1998 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of the 2012 National Medal of Arts, the highest lifetime achievement award for artists and designers, bestowed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the President of the United States. He also holds the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects Medal, the society’s highest award for a landscape architect. Recently he received an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

From vision to realisation, he has guided many of OLIN’s signature projects, which span the history of the studio from the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, DC to Bryant Park in New York City. His recent projects include the AIA award-winning Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Simon and Helen Director Park in Portland, Oregon.