OLIN Hosts Friends of Architecture
OLIN hosted the Friends of Architecture, a group of University of Texas at Austin students, faculty and patrons, on a guided tour of the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as the historic Barnes estate in nearby Merion. OLIN regularly hosts tours of projects to spur discussion and critical thinking about the studio’s work and the practice of landscape architecture, and to reinforce our mission of academic exploration.
The first stop on the tour was the 12-acre arboretum and former home of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, renowned as a curator and steward of one of the world’s most important and eclectic art collections. OLIN Associate Yue Li explained to the group how deeply the arboretum and gardens of the estate influenced the design of the new Barnes Foundation, which opened in May of 2012 in the City of Philadelphia.
The connection between art and garden, so prevalent in Merion, was maintained at the new Barnes Foundation, which recalls the lush gardens of the original estate within the urban context of Philadelphia.
At the Barnes Foundation, the second stop of the tour, Yue described how many plant species found in the Merion arboretum were used in the design of the Philadelphia site. Additionally, windows at the new Barnes were designed to match the scale and spatiality of those found at the original estate, and border plantings were chosen to mimic those found outside the windows of the original galleries.
The Rodin Museum, the tour’s final stop, involved careful restoration efforts balanced with modern functionality. Senior Landscape Architect Eve Kootchick showed the group the original plans for the museum, designed by famed landscape architect Jacques Gréber, and described the three-year project.