Imagining Uplands was awarded first prize in the Prose Non-fiction category of The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada in 2016.
John Olmsted’s Masterpiece of Residential Design
JURY REVIEWClick here to link to the 2016 Alcuin Society Awards catalogue.
Imagining Uplands is a 384–page book, which documents the development of an upscale subdivision in Oak Bay (Victoria), British Columbia during the early 1900s. Advertised as “Victoria’s Celebrated Residential Park,” Uplands was the creative masterpiece of American landscape architect John Charles Olmsted, whose vision and respect for the existing geography resulted in a design that moved away from the established rectangular grid system. His imagination and artistry was reflected in a pattern of undulating, organic, and curvilinear streets that interwove the natural Garry Oak forest. Following his practical suggestions, houses in Uplands sought and still seek to be ideally located for an appreciation of the landscape and the most optimal views.
Imagining Uplands aims to bring a similar artistry and concern for detail to the designed pages of the book. Typography, photography, illustration, colour, composition, and structural choices (paper, texture, binding) were greatly considered. A combination of archival imagery and photographs taken by the author, maps and diagrams, and original illustrations complement Olmsted’s story.