Unknown Studio


Longwood MFG

Longwood Main Fountain Garden Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Project timeline: 2012 - 2017
Client: Longwood Gardens, Inc.
Project scope & size: Master Plan: 2010-2011 -- 1077 acres (436 ha)
Main Fountain Garden: 2014-2017 -- 5 acres, Full Landscape Architecture, Design Services (Concept through Construction Administration), Schematic Design of Custom Furnishings; Pre-Schematic Design for North Entry project
With: West 8 urban design & landscape architecture, p.c.
Claire Agre, Principal & Senior Landscape Architect
Team: Beyer Blinder Belle, Fluidity Design Consultants
Awards & Recognition: ASLA 2018 Honor Award for Longwood Main Fountain Garden

“New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project,” will replace the 83-year-old fountains’ infrastructure with the latest technology, improve guest access to the Garden, and add innovative new elements that honor the visionary original design by Longwood Gardens founder Pierre S. du Pont. 

West 8 is responsible for the design of the garden’s public spaces to harmonize with the original design, the enhancement of the Main Fountain Garden’s horticultural elements and the creation of new gardens that will provide new amenities for Longwood’s guests. The new public spaces will achieve a renaissance for the Garden while retaining its identity as recognizably “Longwood.”

The Main Fountain Garden becomes the first and most dramatic encounter in the 1,077 acres of gardens at Longwood. The revitalization includes:

  • the complete restoration by specialists of the original limestone reliefs and fountains;

  • the total replacement of the fountains’ electric and plumbing infrastructure with  more efficient 21st-century systems.;

  • new more precise water choreography, which will include jets that project water 175ft in the air (45ft higher than the current capabilities);  

  • replacement of the fountain lighting system with energy-efficient colored LED lights;

  • new areas for guests to explore, honoring the spirit of the original design, including: 

  • the re-opening of the elegant south wall, which contains 20 wall-mounted fountains; 

  • the Grotto, entered from passageways on either side of the loggia, which lead to a vaulted central hall; at the center will be a circular water curtain wall and oculus that allows natural light to enter the space;

  • a trellis bridge connecting to the Fountain Terrace for garden panorama

  • new seating areas, including a seat wall along the fountains as well as tables and chairs behind the trellis bridge; 

  • a renovated Pump House lobby, which will showcase the original pumps that powered the Main Fountain Garden from 1931 to 2014;

  • an enhanced landscape that includes increased planting, enhanced horticultural displays, and expanded, fully accessible walking areas.

"Claire Agre and her team were the perfect partner for Longwood Gardens to gently awaken and bring a fresh, innovative perspective to guide the evolution of our great garden for the next forty years. the plan they created for us is one that is realistic, pragmatic, but visionary and is proving to be one of our most important strategic business tools at Longwood Gardens."

“Brilliant. To do something so contemporary in the fountains, like the way the lighting works. That’s where I think the creativity comes in.”
- 2018 Awards Jury

Culturalclaire agre