Fall 2009 Lecture Series
Department of Landscape Architecture
Wednesday, November 11 @ 3:55 in 110 Cook Douglass Lecture Hall
Kate John-Alder, Landscape Architect
The Garden and The Greenhouse: The Landscapes of Kevin Roche
Landscape, defined as the portion of the land that the eye can comprehend in a glance, is an integral component of Kevin Roche's architecture. Throughout his career, but particularly in projects completed between 1960 and 1975, Roche systematically combined site-specific observations with conceptual investigations of program, sequence, scale, and material to create buildings that are simultaneously landscape and architecture. Roche integrated these studies with an interest in the way built form shapes social behavior. In other words, he manipulated the interaction of landscape and architecture to provide what is generally considered to be a good view in order to promote civilized and socially inclusive activity.
In such a synthesis, the walls framing the landscape function as a structural and a narrative device - a monumental picture frame that imaginatively links the interior with the exterior and constructed space with nature. The result is an oeuvre of built work in which an Arcadian
ideal grounds a series of architectural explorations within a localized and particularized reality. And like the reflective surfaces that adorn many of his buildings, what one perceives in glancing moments is a living kaleidoscopic vision - a kinesthetic experience that mirrors the complexity
of the physical and cultural landscape. This lecture will explore the imaginative ways Roche manipulates the walls of his buildings to frame this synthesis.
Kathleen John-Alder is a licensed landscape architect whose practice is based in the state of New Jersey. During the course of her career, she received numerous design and planning awards, and reached the level of Associate Partner at Olin Partnership. In that position, she designed and directed the competition submission for Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California and prepared a stream corridor restoration plan, in conjunction with the Army Corp of Engineers, for the Mill River in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2006 she left Olin Partnership and returned to school and academia. In 2008, she received a Masters of Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture. Since completing her degree at Yale, she has continued to study, write, and teach. She also established a theoretical practice that focuses on the integration of landscape architecture and architecture through projects that address the physical and social ecology of the urban environment. Currently, Kathleen is a Landscape Architecture Critic and Lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture and Rutgers University.