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Terragrams is a podcast series providing a wide portal into the world of landscape architecture by the professionals who shape it. Running from 2006 to 2012, the podcast dispatched over 30 interviews. It is now being re-edited and re-broadcast. Learn more about Terragrams.

Dispatch 11: Robert Royston

First published 19th Mar, 2008

Republished 15th Jan, 2021

In this dispatch, Reuben Rainey talks to Robert Royston (1918-2008), a pioneer of modernism in landscape architecture. Royston was born in San Francisco and grew up on a farm before studying landscape architecture at the University of California in Berkeley and beginning practice in the office of Thomas Church. After volunteering to fight in World War II, he established a rich collaboration with Garret Eckbo and Edward Williams. During this period, and thereafter, Royston designed an extraordinary large number of suburban parks. His most recent firm has evolved into Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abbey.

Robert talks about his days designing gardens on a Navy ship, manual labor with Thomas Church, his visit to Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh and his ideas about a making a landscape matrix. His work can be found in the Modern Public Gardens: Robert Royston and the Suburban Park by Reuben Rainey and J.C. Miller and in The Cultural Landscape Foundation's Oral History.

Introducing Robert

Ch. 1


Image via Marc Treibs

Design Principles

Ch. 9


Current Issues

Ch. 12


RHAA's Key Projects

Ch. 13


Landscape Architecture as Medicine

Ch. 14