Fred Tschopp, Landscape Architect: The American Practice 1938 - 1970


  • John P Adam
  • Matthew Bradbury



Fred Tschopp, a Swiss-American landscape architect practised in both New Zealand and America from the 1920s to 1970. While in New Zealand (1929-1932), Tschopp worked in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua. Tschopp's projects in New Zealand represent a new form of practice, a modernist approach to the practise of landscape architecture. We argue that Tschopp's work is a break from conventional landscape design practice in New Zealand during the 1920s and 1930s. He introduced three important ideas; the first was the idea of the park as a multi-functional space that accommodates a wide range of community needs, sport, education and productive horticulture. The second were ideas of a new discipline, planning, which had developed from the landscape architectural programme at Harvard University. The third idea was a regionalist sensibility, influenced by his earlier projects for the Theodore Payne nursery in Los Angeles. Tschopp insisted on the uses of indigenous New Zealand plants in many of his New Zealand projects, notably his work for Parliament grounds and the Rotorua plan. On Tschopp's return to America he began working for the giant California water and power utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). For over 30 years Tschopp was responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of over 30 landscapes; reservoirs, storage tanks, and pumping stations, as part the vast infrastructure of the LADWP. This paper describes and discusses Tschopp's landscape practice at the LADWP and outlines Tschopp's career, examining in detail two particular areas of practice. Our contention is that Tschopp abandons his interest in the regional and, instead, develops one particular aspect of modernist practice, functionalism. We explore some of the ways writers and designers of landscape architecture have engaged with functionalism and finish by framing Tschopp's practice within this somewhat neglected aspect of the modern landscape.


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How to Cite

Adam, J. P., & Bradbury, M. (2004). Fred Tschopp, Landscape Architect: The American Practice 1938 - 1970. Landscape Review, 9(1), 40–44.



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