Sasaki’s landscape design for the 1,600-acre Deere and Company Corporate Headquarters is considered by many to be the archetypal corporate setting and was honored with the prestigious ASLA Classic Award in 1991. The buildings—which seem to emerge from the rolling topography and rich variety of deciduous vegetation—were designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen and received the AIA’s 25 Year Award in 1993. From its inception in the late 1950s, the Deere project has served as testament to Sasaki’s philosophy of marrying land and building, and the firm’s relationship with Deere continues to this day.
Sasaki’s timeless site plan minimizes roads and parking and preserves a mostly natural landscape. There are a few highly-maintained lawns and gardens to create a setting for Saarinen’s architecture and the Deere collection of historic and modern sculpture. Two lakes serve as focal points of the park. The lower lake functions as a reservoir for flash floods and as a heat exchange vehicle for the air conditioning system.
Since the original construction completion in 1960, Sasaki has continued to visit the site periodically to consult on changes to the program and plant materials. Over the years, additional projects have included the west office building expansion, which was an addition to the original building, the insurance company building, which is a separate free-standing building on another part of the grounds, the Japanese garden, which was designed by Sasaki on-site, and the placement of the Henry Moore “Hill Arches” sculpture on the island of the upper pond.