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Weiss/Manfredi designs $250 million expansion for Longwood Gardens

The project will transform 17 acres of the core conservatory area.

February 22, 2021 |
Longwood Gardens reimagined aerial

All rednerings courtesy Weiss/Manfredi

Longwood Gardens, located just outside of Philadelphia, recently announced the transformation of its core area of conservatory gardens. Dubbed Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience, the project will add new plantings and buildings across 17 acres.

Designed by Weiss/Manfredi and Reed Hilderbrand, the project will expand the public spaces of the central grounds and connect them from east to west to offer a newly unified journey through the grounds.

The centerpiece and largest single element of Longwood Reimagined is the creation of a new 32,000-sf glasshouse (designed by Weiss/Manfredi) with gardens and pools (designed by Reed Hilderbrand). This new West Conservatory will appear to float on a pool of water, while the garden inside is conceived as seasonally changing islands set amid pools, canals, and low fountains. The West Conservatory will be a living, breathing building with earth tubes and operable glass walls and a roof that allow the interior garden to thrive.


Longwood Gardens West Conservatory


Longwood’s Cascade Garden will be relocated to a new 3,800-sf glasshouse of its own and a new outdoor Bonsai Courtyard, built alongside the West Conservatory, will feature a large bonsai collection. A public restaurant and private event space will be carved into the topography that faces the Main Fountain Garden. Above the restaurant the landscaping of a new South Terrace and South Walk provides a shady promenade extending along the existing and new conservatories to a new West Terrace.


Longwood Gardens Administration building


Other project features include the construction of a new education and administration building, complete with a library and classrooms; the renewal of the Waterlily Court; and the preservation of six historic Lord & Burnham glasshouses from the early 20th century, which will be relocated at a later date and used for year-round garden displays.

Architectural elements will link the components across all 17 acres of the project site. In addition to Weiss/Manfredi and Reed Hilderbrand, the build team also includes Bancroft Construction Company. Longwood Reimagined is expected to break ground in spring 2021.


Longwood garden waterlily


Longwood Gardens Restaurant


Longwood Gardens Bonsai courtyard


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