An Olive Branch
After considering hundreds of entries, the Design Competition jury unanimously selected architect Eduardo Catalano's olive branch design as the future plan for the National Peace Garden. Born in Argentina, and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, Catalano designed buildings in the U.S. and abroad, two of which were U.S. embassies. He taught at North Carolina State University in the 1950s, and at the time of the competition, was an emeritus professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while running his own firm.1 His design for the Peace Garden used the olive branch pattern as an organizational framework--the stems and veins of the leaves acted as raised walkways, which partitioned spaces of solitude and interaction, interplanted in soothing shades of green and white. Of his design, he said: "The idea of the olive branch came, like all simple ideas, instantaneously and complete. A symbol of peace, and element of nature, resting upon nature itself. No invented patterns, pavings, walls, objects imposed onthe ground. Only the simplicity of green on green and the purity and virtuousness of the white flowers of the olive tree."2
1) Landecker, Hidi, (1990) "A Peace Garden", Landscape Architecture, 80(1), p.73.