BOSTON IVY AT CUMMINS CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
The Landscape Architects of Columbus, Indiana
Whether you are a weekend gardener or a student of landscape architecture, you can appreciate the way the landscaping compliments the great buildings of Columbus from modern masterpieces to historic homes to farmhouses. Just as Columbus is a showcase for modern architects, it is a who’s who of modern landscape design. You will see hidden jewels of modern landscape designs that feature clean grid patterns, well-trimmed shrubs and trees used in a linear fashion to compliment the modern architecture.
Influential landscape architects Dan Kiley, Jack Curtis, and Michael Van Valkenburgh – all masters of modern landscape design – have made their marks on Columbus, just as they have made their marks on the field of landscape design.
Dan Kiley has been dubbed “the supreme master of the modern garden” – his designs include John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Kiley worked on more than 30 projects in Columbus, Indiana – most notably Miller House Garden and North Christian Church.
About his grandest achievement, The Miller House Garden, the Indianapolis Museum of Art website writes : While the interiors of Miller House afforded Girard an opportunity to enrich and personalize the house for the Millers, the garden was for Dan Kiley a canvas on which to expand Saarinen’s architectural vision to the landscape. Kiley’s garden—like Saarinen’s house—relies on a clear and strong geometric order, but without conventional symmetry, reliance on fixed points of reference, or paths of circulation that constrain the viewer’s experience. It is largely concerned with shaping spaces, composing relationships of solids and voids, and manipulating the interplay of volumes rather than with creating specific garden views or with orchestrating complex floral combinations or bloom sequences. The landscape’s grandest feature is an allée of honey locust trees that defines an axis along the west side of the house, extending almost to the limits of the property. With finely textured buff-colored crushed stone beneath the entire allée, the dark honey locusts stand out in sharp contrast, their lacy foliage gently filtering the sunlight.
Recommended reading about Dan Kiley
MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH
Landscape Architect Michael Van Valkenburgh’s projects in Columbus include Mill Race Park, The Front Door Project, Columbus Regional Hospital, the downtown streetscape, and The Bartholomew County Courthouse lawn.
Mill Race Park, the crown jewel of the Columbus Parks System and the anchor to the 27-mile People Trails, is a beautiful and nationally recognized downtown riverfront park. The park was named by Landscape Management magazine as one of the top 100 properties in the United States. Considered a remarkable story in landscaping circles, the former “death valley” was transformed into a stunning park that became the heart of the community’s green space efforts.
Recognizing that the park land is prone to flood, the plant materials that were chosen to withstand flooding. The structural materials of the Park, designed by Stanley Saitowitz, are made from red steel tubing, concrete, glass block and corrugated metal – all capable of standing up to high water.
Once an eyesore, now Mill Race Park is a community gathering place, a recreation and entertainment center, and a green buffer zone to a bustling downtown. The project was one of Van Valkenburgh’s early commissions. It won the award for outstanding new U.S. Park from Architectural Record in 1993 and an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Design Merit Award in 1994.
Van Valkenburgh won the 2003 National Design Award in Environmental Design by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and is the Charles Eliot Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he has taught since 1982, serving as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1991 to 1996. Recent projects include ASLA Greenroof Project, Allegheny Park, Wellesley College, and Harvard University.
Landscape Architect Jack Curtis of Monroe, Connecticut has completed many projects in Columbus, including Cummins Corporate Office Building, Cummins Technical Center, Cummins Fuel System Plan, Cummins Engine Plant One, Cummins Child Development Center, Columbus Visitors Center, and Irwin Gardens restorations. The landscape surrounding the Cummins Inc. corporate headquarters creates a park-like setting for the operations of this Fortune 500 Company – the project won an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The central park area is grand year round and features glory maple, sugar maple, Boston ivy, birch, redbud, dogwood, and climbing hydrangea bloom on the columns surrounding the building.