A. E. Bye

Thäisa Way

A prolific master of modern landscape architecture whose artistry embraced ecological balance


Throughout his fifty-year career as a landscape architect, A. E. Bye (1919–2001) approached his work with the sensibility of an artist and the precision of a scientist. He designed landscapes to intensify their intrinsic qualities, using abstract forms that defined relationships among natural elements to explore the dynamic processes underlying each site. He has been described as a landscape architect “whose public and private garden designs strove for a naturalism so artful [it seemed] he knew how to make the snow fall where he wanted.”

Bye was prolific, designing more than five hundred projects between the late 1940s and his death. His early training with the National Park Service gave him experience in park analysis and planning; his first professional work focused on landscapes for schools. He would go on to design over one hundred of these, as well as several master plans for college and university campuses. Bye’s background in park and campus planning served him well in the 1950s, when a new project type—the corporate campus—began to emerge. By the early 1970s, he had created campuses for Avon, Chrysler, Westinghouse, and Dow Corning in suburban New York and New Jersey communities.

A dedicated teacher and mentor, Bye communicated his artistic vision and intellectual passion to generations of students, colleagues, and clients. In his original explorations of landform as art, his celebration of the garden as a place for reflection, and his effort to achieve an ecological balance in his work, Bye forged a unique vision of modernist landscape architecture.

Masters of Modern Landscape Design

Published in association with the Library of American Landscape History

A Bruce and Georgia McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment Publication

Page count: 256 pp.
140 b&w and color photos
Trim size: 7.25 x 9


List price: $26.95

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Thaïsa Way is an urban landscape historian teaching history, theory, and design at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is the author of Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century and The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag: From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design.