Longwood Reimagined

John Hill
18. February 2021
West Conservatory, view from southwest (Image courtesy of WEISS/MANFREDI with Reed Hilderbrand for Longwood Gardens)

Longwood Gardens, founded by Pierre S. du Pont more than 100 years ago on 1,100 acres west of Philadelphia, has unveiled Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience, a transformation of its core area of conservatory gardens, with a short film.

The $250 million Longwood Reimagined project follows from a 2010 master plan by West 8 with WEISS/MANFREDI. Longwood retained WEISS/MANFREDI as lead designer for the project, now working in collaboration with landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand. The most visible part of the "New Garden Experience" will be the 32,000-sf glasshouse, with "asymmetrical, crystalline peaks" by WEISS/MANFREDI enclosing the "seasonally changing islands" laid out by Reed Hilderbrand, per a press release from Longwood.

Aerial view from southwest (Image courtesy of WEISS/MANFREDI with Reed Hilderbrand for Longwood Gardens)

Other parts of Longwood Reimagined include relocating Roberto Burle Marx's Cascade Garden to a new glass house; creating a new Bonsai Courtyard parallel to the new West Conservatory; adding a new restaurant and event space; constructing a new education and administration building; and preserving some of the existing landscapes in the core area. These elements are on view in the five-minute film that includes commentary from the designers and the client.

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