Koichi Kawana; Designed Gardens
A memorial service is scheduled Monday for Koichi Kawana, the well-known landscape architect, at one of the gardens he designed.
The tribute will be held in the Japanese garden at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys’ Sepulveda Basin at 10 a.m. Kawana’s 6.5-acre garden there, fashioned after gardens designed for 18th- and 19th-Century feudal Japanese lords, is nourished by reclaimed water.
Kawana died Thursday at his Santa Monica home of cancer. He was 60.
One of 10 gardens Kawana designed across the country, the Tillman facility was envisioned as an aesthetic alternative to the sewage plant, which was built in a primarily residential area.
Its Japanese tea house, bridge, plants and black pine trees have proven a popular public attraction.
His 14-acre Japanese Garden in St. Louis was featured in the August issue of National Geographic magazine.
Kawana, born in Hokkaido, Japan, to a poor family, was a principal architect at UCLA from 1963 until he retired last October. He was in charge of the reconstruction of UCLA’s Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, which was damaged in extensive flooding in 1969. He studied at Yokohama City University in his native land, came to the United States in 1952, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UCLA, where he was a teaching fellow in the Department of Art from 1960 to 1963. He also earned a doctorate degree in landscape architecture from Pacific Western University.
Survivors include his adoptive father, H. Carroll Parish of Santa Monica, and a brother and two sisters in Japan.