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Laurie Olin (b. 1938 in Marshfield, Wisconsin) is an American landscape architect. He has worked on everything from private residences to large public parks. Olin grew up in Alaska, and earned his degree in Architecture from the University of Washington, in Seattle. After graduating he worked for offices in Seattle, New York City, and London. In 1976 he became a Professor for the University of Pennsylvania, where he offered courses on the design of environments. Ten years later he was head chair of the landscape architecture program at Harvard University. After serving as chair at Harvard, Olin returned to Penn where he continues to be Practice Professor of Landscape Architecture.

Olin is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, an American Academy of Rome Fellow, an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 1999 Wyck-Strickland Award recipient, and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Olin won the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture in 1972, was the recipient of the 1998 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Olin has written widely on the history and theory of architecture and landscape, receiving the Bradford Williams medal for best writing on Landscape Architecture. Olin co-authored La Foce: A Garden and Landscape in Tuscany, which includes a historical essay, along with photographs, sketches, and a critical analysis of the early 20th century garden in Italy. Across the Open Field (2000), is both a memoir and series of essays on the evolution of the English landscape. He is also the author of Transforming the Commonplace (1996) and Vizcaya: An American Villa and Its Makers (2006, with Witold Rybczynski), on James Deering's mansion in Coconut Grove, Florida.





United States


  • ASLA Merit Award, ARCO Research Center, 1984
  • Progressive Architecture Magazine Design Award, Battery Park City, 1985
  • Urban Landscape Institute Award for Excellence for Public Projects, Bryant Park, 1996
  • ASLA Landmark Award, Battery Park City, 2003
  • ASLA Design Honor Award, the J. Paul Getty Center, 2003
  • ASLA Award of Excellence, The Heart of the Park at Hermann Park, 2005
  • Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine Park/Landscape Award of Merit, the Washington Monument, 2005
  • AIA Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, the University of British Columbia, 2006
  • ASLA Landscape Architecture Firm Award (awarded to OLIN firm), 2006
  • ASLA General Design Award of Honor, Columbus Circle, 2006
  • Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Urban Design Award, the University of British Columbia, 2006
  • ASLA General Design Award Of Honor, the Washington Monument, 2008
  • Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award (awarded to OLIN firm), 2008


  • Olin, Laurie, et al. OLIN: Placemaking. New York: Monacelli Press, 2008.
  • Rybczynski, Witold, and Laurie Olin. Vizcaya: An American Villa and its Members. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
  • Origo, Benedetta, Morna Livingston, Laurie Olin, John Dixon Hunt, et al. La Foce: A Garden and Landscape in Tuscany. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
  • Olin, Laurie. Across the Open Field: Essays Drawn from English Landscapes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
  • Olin, Laurie. Transforming the Common Place: Selections from Laurie Olin's Sketchbook. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.
  • Olin, Laurie. Breath on the Mirror: Seattle's Skid Road Community. Seattle, 1973.


External links

  • OLIN Official site of design firm


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