West 8 Chosen by Longwood Gardens to Design 40-Year Master Plan
KENNETT SQUARE, PA.- Longwood Gardens announced the selection of West 8, one of the world’s most preeminent landscape architecture and urban design firms, to design and oversee a 40-year Master Plan for the Gardens. The firm was selected following a unanimous decision by a Special Committee of Longwood’s Board of Trustees and Senior Management.
As one of the leading horticultural centers in the United States, Longwood Gardens has commissioned its first Master Plan to guide the physical growth and development of its expansive campus of more than 1,000 acres and 180 structures. Completion of the final master plan is projected for July 2011.
Longwood Gardens’ Selection Committee made its recommendation to the Board on May 6, 2010 following a nearly year-long process of meticulously reviewing submissions and meeting with finalists.
“Our vision for the next 40 years is to leverage the innovation and timeless spirit of horticultural excellence at Longwood, elevating our stature as one of the great gardens of the world, right here in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. West 8 will be the perfect complement to Longwood Gardens in realizing this vision,” says Paul Redman, Director of Longwood Gardens. “West 8 has demonstrated a genuine sensitivity to our heritage, the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont. We are confident that, with this sensitivity and ingenuity, West 8 will develop a plan that is respectful of our heritage and deeply rooted in our commitment to innovation, design excellence, environmental stewardship and sustainability.”
“The idea of Longwood Gardens as a ‘garden as a paradise’ in the context of the regional urban landscape was an attractive aspiration for West 8. Pierre du Pont’s contribution to the legacy here – as a place of imagination, delight and innovation – reflects West 8’s values as designers and is very inspiring,” says Adriaan Geuze, Founding Partner and Design Director of West 8. “We are honored to be able to contribute our team’s ideas for Longwood’s next 40 years, fortifying its place as one of the world’s great gardens.”
In developing and directing the Master Plan, West 8 will work with a team of architects, designers, civil and environmental engineers, artists and other specialists convened from around the world, including WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, the multidisciplinary design practice based in New York City and founded by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi.
The master plan will address: expanding the Longwood Gardens experience; providing a more centralized route for pedestrian traffic; and relocating operations to the outskirts of the property. It also will consider the evolving needs of visitors and participants in Longwood’s educational programs, as well as identifying ways to develop the technology infrastructure of the Gardens.