Longwood Gardens Masterplan
2011, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA

West 8 has completed Longwood Gardens' first-ever physical master plan, a visionary document tasked with transforming Longwood Gardens into one of the Great Gardens of the World.

The 40-year master plan builds upon the extraordinary assets of this former du Pont estate, now reawakened as a 1,077-acre public garden in the heart of Pennsylvania's scenic Brandywine River Valley. Fundamental to the Longwood Gardens Master Plan is the belief that great gardens cannot be made overnight and that Longwood’s particular legacy will be strengthened and revealed over time.

By balancing a powerful vision for big gestures across the entire site with the daily cultivation of garden-level details, the Master Plan allows for Longwood to transform itself over the next generation. During the three-year creation of the master plan, West 8 took a unique approach, researching geology and ecology, collecting oral histories, and walking the site in all seasons in order to distill the spirit of place.

The master plan is ambitious. On the highest level, it is tasked with transforming Longwood into a great garden of the world. To do this, the master plan provides solutions to short term problems, allows for growing visitation and expanded programs through new facilities and infrastructural systems, lays out a plan for logistics, circulation and infrastructure, meets the highest standards of sustainability and stewardship, unites botanic display with fountains and architecture, and reaffirms the relevance of gardens in America.

The master plan will allow Longwood to embody what unifies all Great Gardens—it will be a living work, inspired by the spirit of the place, cultivated at the scale of the gardener’s hand and acquiring its unique character over the long term.

client
Longwood Gardens, Inc.
partners
Weiss/Manfredi (architecture and programming)
consultants
Fluidity Design Consultants, Sam Schwartz Traffic Engineers, Sherwood Design Engineers, Dagher Engineering, Stuart-Lynn
awards
Honor Award American Society of Landscape Architecture New York Chapter (2015)
team
Adriaan Geuze, Claire Agre, Jamie Maslyn Larson, Daniel Vasini, David Zielnicki, Hyeyoung Choi, Jelle Therry, Joost Koningen, Joris Weijts, Juan Figueroa Calero, Julie Gawendo, Perry Maas, Reinaldo Ismael Jordan, Steve Carlucci