Another award for the Longwood Main Fountain Garden
The Longwood Main Fountain Garden, designed by West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, has has won an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Located in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, the 4400 square metre gardens were formerly founded by Pierre S. du Pont in 1907.
West 8’s design has created new gardens with amenities, enhanced their horticultural elements, provided public spaces that are harmonious with the original design, and improved guest access.
The team have replaced the 83-year-old fountain infrastructure with new technology. As the area has limited access to water sources, its effective management is vital. The electrics and plumbing were updated so that 300,000 gallons of water could be pumped around 380 fountains more efficiently, and new water choreography allows jets to be projected 175-feet into the air.
Lights have also been replaced by more energy-efficient LED lights, and half of the energy production for the site comes from solar panels, the other half from hydro-electric power plants.
Other changes to the garden include the reopening of the South Wall with 20 wall-mounted fountains, the restoration of 4,000 pieces of carved Italian limestone, new seating areas, including a seating wall along the fountains, and a trellis bridge connecting to the fountain terrace.
A grotto has been created, accessible from passageways on either side of the loggia, and featuring a circular water curtain and oculus to let light in.
The Longwood Main Fountain Garden has increased its horticultural displays and expanded its walking areas. Pathways have been lined with more than 2,500 boxwoods, and a new gravel paths connects the Idea Garden to the Topiary Garden. The old Norway Maples have been replaced by the Tilia cordata “Greenspires” which can be seen in the gardens of Versailles, and are the inspiration for the Fountain Garden’s benches.
The 2018 ASLA jury described the project as “brilliant. To do something so contemporary in the fountains, like the way the lighting works. That’s where the creativity comes in.”
West 8 has utilised a mixture of traditional and contemporary design to help the Longwood Gardens cope with increasing visitor numbers and dated infrastructure. They have achieved their aim of enhancing Longwood’s current gardens while also providing new ones, and have ensured that the Garden’s legacy will be strengthened over time.