What the Pritzker Prize is for the architectural world, the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award is for landscape architecture. The award, presented annually by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), is one of the most important awards that can be bestowed on practising landscape architects. Each year, a small but distinguished jury selects a winner who has made a unique contribution to the well-being of society or the environment or who has made a major contribution to the advancement of the profession of landscape architecture. As expected, the annual nomination process included many prominent candidates.
The prize is traditionally awarded at the IFLA World Conference, which took place this year in Oslo, Norway under the overarching theme “Common Ground”. An opening ceremony that was especially festive provided the perfect setting for the award. Following the presentation of the IFLA President’s Award to Colleen Mercer-Clarke for her exceptional commitment to the IFLA Climate Change Working Group, IFLA President James Hayter then announced the 2019 Jellicoe Award winner, Kathryn Gustafson.
With its choice of Gustafson, the jury was paying tribute to a landscape architect who can now certainly be described as one of the icons of landscape architecture. She is a founding partner of two renowned global offices, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol based in Seattle and London-based Gustafson Porter + Bowman. Both offices have produced pioneering projects that are appreciated around the world for their quality and exceptional approach to design. Gustafson’s best-known works include the Jardins de l’Imaginaire in Terrasson – Lavilledieu, the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London, and the Site Tour Eiffel in Paris that is currently under construction.