When Glenstone opened in 2006, it welcomed visitors to a museum built for changing exhibitions of works drawn from the Foundation’s collection and installations of extraordinary outdoor sculpture set in a landscape of gently rolling meadows and woodlands. To date, these facilities have occupied only a portion of Glenstone’s 200 acres.
Glenstone will now embark on a construction program that will provide visitors a more expansive encounter with art, architecture and landscape and give the public access to important works of contemporary art that can be found nowhere else. A new museum building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners together with a new landscape design by PWP Landscape Architecture will feature unique examples and concentrations of work by major contemporary artists.
The new 170,000-square-foot museum building will provide some 50,000 square feet of additional gallery space, more than quadrupling Glenstone’s existing exhibition facilities. The new museum building will also incorporate a central water garden, a library, offices and open art storage facilities.
Two other new structures designed for the public by Phifer—an arrival building and a café—are integrated within walking paths, bridges, restored meadows and woodlands throughout Glenstone’s 200 acres. More than 6,000 new trees of 43 native species are being planted as part of the design. Some 30 acres of land are being made into sustainable meadow, and more than 4,000 water lilies, irises and rushes will vary with the seasons in the museum building’s water garden.
Thomas Phifer was selected to design the expansion of Glenstone, in Potomac, Maryland, in 2010, following an international competition.
He founded Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York City in 1997 and since then has completed the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina; the Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University in Houston, Texas; the expansion of Lee Hall at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina; and the Salt Point House, Millbrook House and Taghkanic House in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.
Work under construction includes the United States Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, expansion of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and the prototype of a new street light fixture for New York City. The firm is also designing a field house and velodrome in New York City, a federal office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and houses in Madison, Wisconsin, and Dallas, Texas.
Thomas Phifer received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1975 and his Master of Architecture in 1977, both from Clemson University in his native South Carolina. In 1995 he received the prestigious Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome; in 2004 he was awarded the Medal of Honor of the New York Chapter of the AIA (the highest award given to an individual or firm); and in 2011 he was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design.
Thomas Phifer’s buildings have received seven AIA National Honor Awards (most recently for the Lee Hall Expansion, Brochstein Pavilion and the North Carolina Museum of Art) and 11 AIA New York Honor Awards. In 2008 his Salt Point House won an American Architecture Award from the Chicago Atheneum, and in 2009 his City Lights light fixture for New York City won a Research and Development Award from Architect magazine. The work of Thomas Phifer and Partners has been published and exhibited extensively in the United States and overseas, and a monograph on the firm was published in 2010 by Skira Rizzoli.
Thomas Phifer has served as a design instructor, lecturer and critic at numerous architecture schools. He most recently held the Stevenson Chair at the University of Texas and has taught at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves as a Peer for the General Services Administration.
Peter Walker, FASLA, established PWP Landscape Architecture (formerly Peter Walker and Partners) in 1983 in Berkeley, California, having previously been the co-founder of the firm Sasaki, Walker and Associates. He has taught, lectured, written, served as an advisor to numerous public agencies and designed hundreds of projects, with a particular emphasis on cultural gardens, academic campuses, corporate headquarters, plazas and urban-regeneration projects.
He has played an essential role in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University as both the chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department and the acting director of the Urban Design Program and was head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a recipient of the Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects, Harvard’s Centennial Medal, the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson Medal, the ASLA Medal and the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal, and was recently the first Landscape Architect to receive the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development from the Urban Land Institute.
PWP Landscape Architecture has developed a tradition of design practice that responds to and influences its environment. The partners and staff bring a range of interests and expertise together around their shared ambition to create legible, beautiful and enduring places. Major projects, in addition to Glenstone, include the Constitution Gardens on the National Mall in Washington, DC; the National 9/11 Memorial in New York City; Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas; Transbay Transit Center Park in San Francisco; Tanner Fountain at Harvard University; Novartis headquarters in Basel; Sony Center in Berlin; and Barangaroo in Sydney.
Adam Greenspan is Partner in Charge for Glenstone and has led the design of the landscape during all stages of its development. Adam strives to create integrated design that sustains both nature and culture. He holds degrees in sociology and art in addition to landscape architecture and has collaborated extensively with architects, artists, community groups and municipalities on projects including public parks, campuses, urban developments, estates and competitions. He has served on public art selection committees for the cities of San Jose and Santa Monica and is the Design Partner in Charge for Constitution Gardens and the Transbay Transit Center Park and Newport Beach Civic Center Park.