Book Review: Peter Walker and Partners: Nasher Sculpture Center Garden

Peter Walker and Partners: Nasher Sculpture Center Garden edited by Jane Amidon

The third installment in Amidon's Source Books in Landscape Architecture series focuses on the garden of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. Home to an amazing collection of indoor and outdoor sculpture indicative of a lifelong love of art, the Center is a rare balance of inside and out, where the building and the garden work together for the sake of the art. While the building design by Renzo Piano drives much of Peter Walker's garden design, the process involved a respectful back and forth, apparent in the interviews between the editor and Walker contained in these pages. These interviews also give a background on the landscape architect, describe his love of minimalism, and his thoughts on nature.

Perhaps what's most interesting is the description of the Nasher garden design itself, especially the way it appears so natural while being an artificial landscape of the utmost. It sits atop a parking garage. It hides miles of wiring, piping and other services. But it also respects the extreme Texas climate through appropriate plantings and abundant shade among the paths and artworks of various scales. Combined with Piano's building, it is a place well-designed but ultimately respectful of the art before itself. This creates not only a pleasing environment but ultimately an ideal opportunity for art appreciation, a great mirror of the clients themselves.