Longwood Gardens

Reed Hilderbrand with WEISS/MANFREDI for Longwood Gardens
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The title “Longwood Reimagined” summarizes a suite of projects now entering construction that will transform the core of North America’s greatest center for horticultural display and education. Set to open in 2024, these projects complement and extend Longwood’s legacy of innovation and stewardship. From an expansive new glass house designed by WEISS/MANFREDI to the preservation of Burle Marx’s Cascade Garden to the establishment of imaginative outdoor pathways, borders, and vistas across the grounds, Reed Hilderbrand is shaping a visitor experience rooted in the character of the place and the particular mission of Gardens.

Longwood Gardens was once the country estate of Pierre S. Du Pont, who adapted a historic farm to create a series of immersive gardens and a conservatory where he might “exploit the sentiments and ideas associated with plants and flowers in a large way” as well as construct marvelous pools and fountains. Du Pont’s works inspired and exulted through beauty, and at the end of his life he reconceived of Longwood as a public garden “for the sole use of the public for purposes of exhibition, instruction, education, and enjoyment.”

In keeping with this tradition, the centerpiece and largest single element of Longwood Reimagined is the creation of a new 32,000-square-foot glass house, designed by WEISS/MANFREDI, with gardens and pools designed by Reed Hilderbrand. This new West Conservatory with its asymmetrical, crystalline peaks seems to float on a pool of water, while the garden inside, inspired by the wild and cultivated landscapes of the Mediterranean, is conceived as seasonally changing islands set amid pools, canals, and low fountains. In the tapestry-like garden design, iconic plants of this ecology such as aloes, laurels, blue blossom, and Greek horehound hug the ground, with higher plants such as acacias and 150-year-old olive trees rising up into the soaring space while other plantings are suspended from above. Building on the great 19th-century tradition of glass houses through new sustainable technologies, the West Conservatory is a living, breathing building, with earth tubes and operable glass walls and roof that allow the interior garden to thrive.


Kennet Square, Pennsylvania




17 acres