Kathryn Gustafson

Kathryn Gustafson


As an internationally-acclaimed landscape designer, Kathryn is renowned for creating distinctive sculptural landscapes which engage at a fundamental human level. As a founding partner of Gustafson Porter, Kathryn brings a unique ability to define a project’s vision. Kathryn’s method of modelling in clay enables her to create sensually pleasing and beguilingly simple landforms.

Kathryn’s work is predominantly civic, institutional, and corporate, including parks, gardens and community spaces. Her award-winning projects include the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial, HM Treasury Courtyards and the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Recent projects include Valencia Parque Central, Spain, the Novartis Campus in Basel, Marina One in Singapore, Taikoo plaza and gardens Hong Kong the Jardins de l’Imaginaire Terrasson in France and a range of projects in Africa and Asia. These designs offer solace from the clamour of daily life as well as providing a unifying structure for the multi-layered requirements of the public realm.

Kathryn conceives of all material as possessing organic qualities that responds to the seasons, as well as the air, heat, sun and wind. Her form making practice and the way she shapes terrain is all about movement and her work frames the art of landscape as a composition, combining complex elements both visible and otherwise, such as light, sound, and atmosphere.

Prior to establishing Gustafson Porter, Kathryn worked in France, where she was the lead landscape designer for the headquarters of Shell, Esso and a model factory for L’Oréal. Her work at the public plaza in Evry was the first landscape project worldwide to create a flexible space with water jets. These jets emerge directly from the plaza paving and are accessible for play, but can also be switched off to allow for the space to be used for other activities.

Kathryn lectures internationally and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architecture and a medalist of the French Academy of Architecture. She is the recipient of the Architects’ Journal Jane Drew Prize 1998, the 2001 Chrysler Design Award, the 2008 ASLA Design Medal, the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize for Architecture 2012 and the 8th Obayashi Prize, Japan in 2015.