History

  • 1965 Hideo Sasaki

    1965 Hideo Sasaki

  • 1966 Peter Walker

    1966 Peter Walker

  • Foothill College

    Foothill College

  • Sausalito,CA Office

    Sausalito,CA Office

  • 1972 Weyerhaeuser

    1972 Weyerhaeuser

  • 1970

    1970

  • 1984 Williams Square

    1984 Williams Square

  • 1990 Kalvin Platt

    1990 Kalvin Platt

  • 2000 Bill Callaway

    2000 Bill Callaway

  • 2003 Kevin Shanley

    2003 Kevin Shanley

  • 2007 California Academy of Sciences

    2007 California Academy of Sciences

  • 2014 Current CEO Gerdo Aquino

    2014 Current CEO Gerdo Aquino

The parent firm of SWA Group was Sasaki, Walker and Associates (SWA), established in 1957 in Watertown, Massachusetts, by Hideo Sasaki and Peter Walker. Sasaki was chairman of the landscape architecture department of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Walker was one of his students (Walker later became chairman of the same department). In 1959, Walker opened a regional office of Sasaki, Walker and Associates in San Francisco. Over time, both Sasaki and Walker were bought out of their interests in the company. In 1973 SWA became SWA Group, one of the first companies on the West Coast to be owned by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)—a vehicle that has resulted in the company becoming 100 percent employee-owned. SWA expanded from a West Coast firm in the 1960s and 70s to a fully national and international firm by the 1980s and 90s, with offices located across the United States (and in China in the 2000s). Its practice and philosophy have evolved from a firm of one or two lead principals into a collaborative, participatory group practice involving many seasoned and talented principals and associates—several of whom are recognized as among the most talented designers and planners in the profession. The firm’s projects have received over 800 awards, and, in 2005, SWA received the Landscape Architecture Firm Award, as designated by the American Society of Landscape Architects.