Jack Lenor Larsen will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and Thomas L. Woltz will receive the Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design at the New York School of Interior Design's (NYSID) annual Spring Benefit on Wednesday, April 18.
This year's Benefit co-chairs include Mario Buatta, Ellie Cullman, Philip Gorrivan, Amy Lau, Stephanie Odegard, Campion Platt, and Barbara Slifka. The Vice-chairs include Graham Arader, James Druckman, Marina Kellen French, Hugh Hardy, and Mary Ellen and Richard Oldenburg.
"We are very pleased to salute Jack Lenor Larsen and Thomas Woltz," said Patricia Sovern, Chairman, Board of Trustees. "Each of these men has enriched the textures of our lives and the quality of the built environment. We are particularly proud to launch the Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design, honoring our late trustee's devotion to landscape design." According to Sovern, Armstrong's son, landscape architect, Whitney Armstrong, will present Woltz with the award.
Lenor Larsen is a visionary, scholar, world traveler, and an authority on traditional and contemporary crafts. Founder of his eponymous firm in 1952, he has designed thousands of hand-woven fabric patterns and textiles in natural yarns, many of which are associated with the modernist architecture and furnishings and are in collections of major international museums. In 1997, his company merged with Cowtan & Tout, the American subsidiary of Colefax and Fowler in London, and has grown steadily to become a dominant resource for his innovative hand-woven signature fabrics and wallpapers in over 30 countries. Larsen's passion for international weaving and textile crafts made him familiar with techniques such as ikat and batik, which he introduced to the American public in the early 1970s.
More than a textile designer, the 85-year old Larsen is also recognized for LongHouse, his spectacular home, which is located on 16 acres in East Hampton, New York. Built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life, Larsen was inspired by the famous Japanese Ise shrine. LongHouse contains 13,000 square feet and 18 spaces on four levels. The building is raised on stilts and the spaces are divided by fabric sliding panels, which showcase Larsen's fabrics and his collection of historical and contemporary crafts, including works by Lucie Rie, Wharton Esherick, Edward Wormley, and a glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly. The gardens present the designed landscape as an art form and offer a diversity of sites for the sculpture installations by such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Sol LeWitt, and Willem de Kooning.
Woltz, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, is the owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects where he began working in 1997 upon completion of Master degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. Working between offices in Virginia and New York, he has led designs of a broad range of institutional projects in the United States and abroad including The Peggy Guggenheim Sculpture Garden in Venice, Italy, The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, Round Hill, Jamaica, the National Arboretum of New Zealand and a Master Plan for the conservation of 42,000 acres of Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles.
Thomas has also led design work on private gardens and farmland in a dozen states and New Zealand over 16 years of practice. Contemporary design applied to restoration ecology is at the heart of the Conservation Agriculture Studio and has yielded hundreds of acres of reconstructed wetlands, reforestation, native meadow establishment, soil and water conservation and flourishing wildlife habitat. Many of these projects focus on restoration of damaged ecological infrastructure within working farmland and create models of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
Woltz also serves on the Board of Directors of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and is an avid gardener.