Cancer terminated the life of Dieter Kienast, the Swiss landscape designer who aspired to organize nature’s chaos with geometry. Born in Zurich, Kienast studied gardening and later landscape architecture at the University of Kassel. Between 1979 and 1994 he worked with Stöckli and Koeppel, and since 1995 had shared a studio with Günther Vogt. He taught at the Polytechnic of Rapperswil, the University of Karlsruhe and since 1997, at the ETH in Zurich. In his work, compiled in black and white images in Kienast: Gärten (1997), he showed the influence of Minimalism, of landscape architects like Fred Eicher, from whom he learnt to reduce his interventions to only a few elements, and of artists like Ian Hamilton Finlay, who instilled him with a passion for the written word. As in the work of many of his compatriates, with whom he collaborated, the sensuality of Kienast’s landscapes is derived from the extreme rigour with which they are planned. The Swiss embassy gardens in Berlin (by Diener & Diener) the Tate Gallery in London (by Herzog & De Meuron), and the open areas for Expo 2000 in Hannover were left on the drawing board. 

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