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.