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Public Lecture in Garden and Landscape Studies

Posted On April 14, 2015 | 11:21 am | by meredithb | Permalink
“Culture, History, and Context: Inspiring Contemporary Landscapes” with Thomas Woltz | April 30, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.

The landscape at the new Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship House was designed by Thomas Woltz, of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, with close attention to Beatrix Farrand’s working methods and her designs for the Bliss family. Farrand’s gardens inspired the use of specific materials, patterns, and plants for the new Fellowship House. The resulting courtyard and roof garden are decidedly contemporary and avoid re-creating a Farrand design, yet they generate a respectful and resonant echo of the masterpiece only one block away.

Woltz will discuss this project and three others at a range of scales that emerge from the firm’s extensive cultural and historical research, including the Cedars in Old Brookville, New York; Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee; and Citygarden in St. Louis, Missouri. For each of these projects, the design team first conducted extensive research into the region’s geologic, ecological, and historical contexts. From this broad view, the research then focused on the specific uses of the site to discover historical and cultural traces through maps, letters, photographs, and archaeology.

Thomas Woltz was named Design Innovator of the Year by the WSJ. Magazine in 2013. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows, among the highest honors achieved in the profession. He was educated at the University of Virginia, receiving master’s degrees in landscape architecture and architecture. Current work includes projects at Hudson Yards (New York City), Memorial Park (Houston), Devonian Botanic Garden (Alberta, Canada), and Cornwall Park (Auckland, New Zealand). Woltz serves on the board of directors of both the Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, D.C., and the Municipal Art Society of New York. To learn more about Thomas Woltz and his firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz, visit

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is first come, first served. The lecture will take place in the Oak Room of the Fellowship House, 1700 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20007.