LOWER MERION, PA.- The Barnes Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of Olin Partnership, a Philadelphia-based Landscape Architecture and Urban Design firm, to serve as landscape architect for its new art education center to be located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, along with the Building Committee of the Barnes Foundation, chose Olin Partnership because of its international presence, as one of the finest landscape architecture and urban design firms in the world, and its significant contributions to the revitalization of numerous public spaces in Philadelphia.
"Olin Partnership has a history of developing landscapes that succeed both as social spaces and environmental systems, and we believe they will make a perfect partner for the Barnes Foundation and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects." said Derek Gillman, Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. "Laurie has created a series of wonderful outdoor spaces. I believe he will surround Tod and Billie's building with an environment that truly honors the Foundation's Merion campus and also the Parkway itself"
Olin Partnership has established an award-winning, international reputation for excellence. In Philadelphia, Olin Partnership has recently been selected to design public landscape improvements around the Rodin Museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. With its selection to serve on the Barnes Foundation design, their work will lend continuity to a significant section of the Parkway.
"We are delighted to work with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and the Barnes Foundation on what is the most important new design concept and cultural attraction for Philadelphia in years," said Laurie D. Olin, founding partner of Olin Partnership. "Our experience in Philadelphia, and understanding of the Barnes Foundation and Arboretum in Merion, will help us to design a landscape in such a way that its significance and history are demonstrated and its new elements fit gracefully into the experience."
The Barnes Foundation and City of Philadelphia have executed a 99-year lease for property along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and design preparations for the new center are well under way. The addition of Olin Partnership rounds out a talented and experienced group of design professionals, including Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects as lead architects, Ballinger as associate architect, Aegis Property Group as external project managers and William W. McDowell III, Senior Building Project Executive for the Barnes Foundation.
The Barnes Foundation art education center will house its world-renowned art collection in a gallery that will replicate the scale, proportion and configuration of the existing gallery in Merion, PA. The new facility will also provide increased space for art education programs, conservation and research. Placement of the art education center in proximity to other leading cultural institutions in Philadelphia will enable the Barnes Foundation to ensure its long-term viability, while providing greater access to the Collection and the Foundation's educational programs.