The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

Belgium

West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk
Belgium

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

Longwood Gardens Iconic Fountain Garden to Undergo Major Revitalization

Three firms; Beyer Blinder Belle + West 8 + Fluidity are responsible for the US$90-million restoration and renovation of the iconic design of the Main Fountain Garden.

Longwood Gardens, the steward of one of the world’s great fountain collections, announced today that it will embark on a series of major improvements to its renowned Main Fountain Garden in Pennsylvania, USA.

The $90-million investment, titled “New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project,” will replace the 83-year-old fountains’ infrastructure with the latest technology, improve guest access to the Garden, and add innovative new elements that honor the visionary original design by Longwood Gardens founder Pierre S. du Pont. Groundbreaking will begin in mid-October of this year and the Main Fountain Garden will reopen in spring 2017.

“We are preserving Mr. du Pont’s legacy and adding to it through beautiful new plantings, the creation of new spaces in which to relax and reflect, and  improved accessibility so visitors can walk freely among the fountains. To help us realize this fully-funded project—the largest in Longwood’s history—we have assembled an outstanding team of experts, who share an appreciation for the Garden’s history” says Longwood Director Paul B. Redman.

Creating a new model for how interdisciplinary projects such as these unfold, Beyer Blinder Belle + West 8 + Fluidity Design Consultants, America’s leading firms dedicated to historic preservation, landscape architecture, and water feature design, are jointly responsible for the revitalization of the iconic Main Fountain Garden, which encompasses:

– the complete restoration by specialists of the original limestone reliefs and fountains throughout the five-acre Garden;
– the total replacement of the fountains’ electric and plumbing infrastructure with 21st-century systems, allowing the fountains to run more efficiently and for a significantly lonĀŸger period of time during the year;
– new water choreography, which will include jets that project water 175 feet (53m) in the air—45 feet (14m) higher than the current capabilities; the jets will also allow for more precise control of the water movement to create unique undulating, flexing, and spinning effects;
– replacement of the fountain lighting system with energy-efficient LED lights, which will also allow the water choreography to take on a new range of colors;
– new areas for guests to explore, honoring the spirit of the original design, including:
o   the re-opening of the elegant south wall, which has been closed to the public for the last 20 years, containing 20 wall-mounted fountains;
o   the Grotto, entered from passageways on either side of the loggia, which lead to a vaulted central hall; at the center will be a circular water curtain wall and oculus that allows natural light to enter the space;
o   a trellis bridge connecting to the Fountain Terrace allowing guests to look out over the surrounding gardens;
o   new seating areas, including a seat wall along the fountains as well as tables and chairs behind the trellis bridge;
o   a renovated Pump House lobby, which will showcase the original pumps that powered the Main Fountain Garden from 1931 to 2014;
o   an enhanced landscape that includes increased planting, enhanced horticultural displays, and expanded, fully accessible walking areas.

Beyer Blinder Belle, the premier architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, will lead the renovation project and a team of local, national, and international designers. BBB will also take the lead on reimagining the existing architecture to accommodate a greater range of visitors and to improve visitor flow and access to different areas of the Garden.

West 8, who is also responsible for Longwood Gardens’ first-ever physical master plan, will design the garden’s public spaces to harmonize with the original design and enhance the Main Fountain Garden’s horticultural elements, as well as creating new gardens that will be new amenities for Longwood’s guests. The new public spaces will achieve a renaissance for the Garden while retaining its identity as recognizably “Longwood.” 

Fluidity Design Consultants, a Los Angeles-based water feature design and engineering firm, will oversee the incorporation of state-of-the-art infrastructure to the fountains. They will also add exciting new capabilities to control the water’s movement that will enhance Longwood’s renowned Illuminated Fountain Shows set to music.

Once completed, the Main Fountain Garden will be at the cutting edge of both design and engineering, just as it was when Pierre S. du Pont unveiled his design for the five-acre Fountain Garden, on the grounds of what was then his personal estate in 1931. Incorporating both French and Italian elements his goal was to rival the fountains he had seen in Europe and at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

The project will ensure that visitors to the gardens enjoy this iconic fountain collection for decades to come. Longwood will remain open throughout the Fountain Revitalization Project, with special one-time, summer programming and events to provide our audiences with exciting new cultural and horticultural experiences. 

To find out more visit: Longwood Gardens

About West 8
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects, and industrial engineers. West 8 offices are in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and in New York.. With a multi-disciplinary approach to complex design issues, West 8 has extensive experience in large-scale urban master planning and design, landscape interventions, waterfront projects, parks, squares, and gardens. West 8 also develops concepts and visions for large-scale planning issues that address global warming, urbanization, and infrastructure.

About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning his farm into a magnificent horticultural showplace.  Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and a four-and-a-half-acre conservatory. Longwood welcomes more than one million guests each year to experience its large-scale, ever-changing displays. It is also home to an impressive array of horticulture education programs for all ages and levels of interest.

For media inquiries:
National (US)
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
Alison Buchbinder, ‎Account Supervisor: abuchbinder@resnicowschroeder.com, +1 212-671-6165

Local (US)
Longwood Gardens
Patricia Evans, Communications Manager: pevans@longwoodgardens.org, +1 610-388-5442

West 8
Lydia Franken, Public Relations:  l.franken@west8.com,  +31 (0) 10 485 5801 

Longwood Gardens Iconic Fountain Garden to Undergo Major Revitalization

West 8 is een internationaal ontwerpbureau voor stedenbouw en landschapsarchitectuur, opgericht in 1987. De laatste vijfentwintig jaar heeft West 8 zich gevestigd als internationaal team van meer dan vijfenzeventig architecten, stedenbouwkundigen, landschapsarchitecten en industrieel ontwerpers. Naast het werk in eigen land zijn er de projecten in grote buitenlandse steden als Kopenhagen, Londen, Moskou, New York, Madrid en Toronto. Het bureau verdiende haar internationale erkenning met Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in Londen (UK) en Expo\’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Veel projecten zijn het resultaat van baanbrekende inzendingen voor internationale competities. Recent gewonnen prijsvragen zijn onder meer Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CAN), Governors Island in New York (US) en Playa de Palma in Mallorca (ES).

Voor zowel het oeuvre als voor individuele projecten heeft West 8 vele awards en onderscheidingen ontvangen zoals: de Prix de Rome, de Maaskantprijs, de Bijhouwerprijs, de Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, de Honor Award van de American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), de Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design, de Green Pin, de International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA) en Oeuvreprijs bouwkunst, het Fonds Beeldende Kunsten, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst (BKVB / Mondriaan Fonds).

Voor meer informatie: Public Relations, Jan Breukelman of Winnie Poon, +31 (0)10 – 485 58 01, pr@west8.com, www.west8.com