PA Horticultural Society, Philly Airport Announce Finalists In Landscape Design Competition

The Philadelphia International Airport and the PA Horticultural Society Wednesday named the five finalists in the design competition to create an “Image Maker” landscape at the Airport. The competition will create a welcoming image for the Greater Philadelphia region and demonstrate Philadelphia’s prominence as America’s Garden Capital.

More than 230 design firms and consultants from 30 countries downloaded the Request For Qualifications issued in June, and 23 collaborative teams submitted responses. From those entries, the following five firms have been selected to participate in the juried Design Competition.

-- James Corner Field Operations. The New York-based firm led the design of that city’s High Line elevated linear park and Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier. In the firm’s RFQ response, director James Corner wrote, “We will ensure the project is environmentally and horticulturally extraordinary, reflective of the diverse identity of the city, feasible, phase-able and achievable.”

-- OLIN. The Philadelphia-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm has created signature landscapes in cities throughout the U.S. and abroad. In the firm’s RFQ response, partner Eric Tamulonis wrote that OLIN would seek to portray the connection between “past innovations of our horticultural and civic landscape tradition and Philadelphia’s future as a resilient, green city, a metropolis defined by its horticultural excellence.”

-- Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. The New York-based MNLA has worked extensively on public and private projects in the metropolitan region. Principal Molly Bourne wrote in the firm’s RFQ response, “The MNLA team seeks to celebrate the site’s attributes and enhance its natural systems. When visiting PHL in early July 2017, we found that the disturbed, disconnected and invaded landscape affords a unique opportunity to create a bold, new typology rooted in ecological-based landscape design.”

-- West 8. The urban design and landscape architecture firm has offices in Rotterdam, Belgium and New York and has created large-scale projects around the world, including the landscape at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. In the firm’s RFQ response, project manager Jelle Therry wrote, “For PHL, we intend to use the layers of landscape and vibrant cultural fabric of Philadelphia as preface for design.”

-- Phyto Studio. The niche landscape architecture firm is based in Arlington, Va. In the firm’s RFQ response, team leader Thomas Rainer wrote, “We have to combine the very best of contemporary ecological science with the boldest and most awe-inspiring artistic and creative vision. All within the context that celebrates Philly’s gutsy, gritty, and revolutionary spirit.”

Each of the five finalist teams will receive a stipend of $20,000 to develop a thoughtful, creative, environmentally appropriate concept plan and associated budget for the Airport. The winning concept will be used in efforts to identify funds for design development and project implementation.

The goals of the “Image Maker” project are to create an iconic PHL landscape, enhance the environmental sustainability of the Airport landscape, and provide a customer-friendly arrival and departure experience.

The focus areas are all landscapes visible to the traveler going to or from the Airport – a scope of approximately 130 acres visible from motor vehicles or from an airplane. The new design will replace the current landscape that features large areas that are both planted and naturalized.

All five finalist teams will have their concepts displayed and have the opportunity to present during the 2018 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, Wonders of Water, from March 3-11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Click Here for additional background on the design competition.

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the PA Horticultural Society website, Like PHS on Facebook, Join PHS on Instagram and Follow on TwitterClick Here to sign up for regular updates from PHS.  Click Here to become a member.

(Photo: Airport…. before.)

Related Story:

WHYY & PA Horticultural Society Present Panel On Urban Placemaking Sept. 13 In Philadelphia

[Posted: Sept. 6, 2017]


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