Learn about the Arrival Gardens on our campus
If you have visited Segerstrom Center for the Arts, you’ve probably seen—or walked through—the maze of green hedges that sit along the side of Segerstrom Hall.
These "Arrival Gardens," designed by landscape architect Peter Walker in the 1990s, have become a signature of the Center’s exterior for the past several decades and come with their own unique story involving Henry Segerstrom himself.
The search for an architect
When looking for designers, architects and creators, Henry Segerstrom always looked for up-and-coming artists to bring onto new projects. Among these young artists was Peter Walker, a talented landscape architect with an eye for Modernist design and a strong vision for how to creatively use the space. When approached to work on several of Henry’s projects, Peter had never even visited Orange County, but he was just as eager to work with Henry as Henry was to work with him. Over the next several decades, the two worked together on many projects, one of which was the Arrival Gardens that still stand today.
A lasting friendship
After getting to know each other over many years, Peter and Henry became close friends and worked together on-and-off as Peter’s career continued to soar. Peter opened his own landscape architecture firm and went on to design the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero with architect Michael Arad, completing several other notable projects across four continents. Even with projects that brought his designs across the globe, Peter and Henry always found time to sit and talk about one thing that bonded them so closely: art.
"A lot of my memories of Henry might have more to do with art than the projects we worked on. I met a great many artists because of Henry, and in some ways, I felt that [art] was his main enthusiasm," said Peter.
While the two often talked about art from a collector’s perspective, there is no doubt that with these beautiful Arrival Gardens, their shared love for art poured into the landscape designs that sit at the forefront of the Center’s entrance. Henry’s vision for the Center was always bigger than the Center itself, and as a result of his recognition of young talent and Peter’s genius design, the Arrival Gardens serve as a reminder that wonderful artistry is imbedded into every corner of the performing arts center.
Interested in learning more about the art that’s around our campus? Check out some of the installations featured on our public art walk here.