To her long list of awards recognizing her achievements, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander can add the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award – the highest honor in her profession. The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) presented the award to Cornelia in Zurich in June.
Cornelia first set her sights on becoming a landscape architect when she was eleven years old. She was one of the first women to graduate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
IFLA’s press release announcing Cornelia as the winner of its “premier award” says:
Ms Oberlander has been producing designs for a greener future for six decades. Working initially with low-income communities, her attention has broadened to include playgrounds and parks, and latterly to more global perspectives. She has shown a deep commitment to environmental sustainability…
Ms Oberlander continues to make significant contributions featuring collaboration with architects and engineers on projects of international recognition. Her ability to work creatively as a member of an inter-disciplinary team with architects and engineers, basing all projects on design concepts and finding technical solutions through research, is demonstrated in her long list of built projects. She has achieved an uncommonly high level of respect and recognition from members of landscape architecture’s related professions of architecture, planning and engineering.
I first met Cornelia in 2004, and began then to get acquainted with her work. Right away, I wanted to know more – about her work and about her. When I asked her if anyone had ever written her biography, she responded by challenging me to write it. And I did!
Find out more about this fascinating woman and her wonderful career in Love Every Leaf: the life of landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.