Brandywine selects Cooper Robertson and OLIN to lead master plan

Brandywine selects Cooper Robertson and OLIN to lead master plan

Chadds Ford, PA, February 26, 2019 — The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art is pleased to announce it will begin a master planning process headed by Cooper Robertson, a renowned New York-based architecture and urban design firm that will work in partnership with OLIN, the preeminent Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm. To be conducted over the next eight months, the master plan will encompass a vision for the Brandywine to enhance its operations, the beauty of its campus and provide for inspiring spaces in which to view its renowned collection of American art. 

The need for a master plan was sparked by exciting growth in recent years throughout the organization—including the Museum’s collection, exhibitions program, and attendance, as well as the Conservancy’s land preservation, the acquisition of historic Birmingham Hill, and the creation of public trails. The master plan will set the stage for a more connected and cohesive experience for future generations. Reconceiving the landscape and structures on the Brandywine’s Chadds Ford campus, Cooper Robertson and OLIN will develop a concept that not only enhances the beauty of the surrounding landscape but at the same time makes it reflective of the Conservancy’s multifaceted activities. Reimagining the Museum will allow for more robust presentations of the permanent collection—in particular the three generations of Wyeth family artists—facilitate presentation of larger temporary exhibitions and create flexible indoor and outdoor public spaces, as well as ones dedicated to education and art making activities.  

“This is the perfect moment for the Brandywine to plan for its future,” said Virginia A. Logan, The Frolic Weymouth Executive Director & CEO of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. “In 2017 the Brandywine celebrated its 50thanniversary, and now the trustees and staff look forward to partnering with Cooper Robertson and OLIN to create the blueprint for our exciting next chapter. In doing so, we want to retain the distinctive characteristics of visiting Brandywine and the powerful sense of place our visitors feel in this setting while at the same time enhancing the beauty of the campus and providing facilities needed to accommodate future generations,” Logan added.  “In this way the Brandywine will create even more synergy between the natural and artistic heritages that the organization has been so instrumental in protecting.” 

“Cooper Robertson brings a wealth of experience to museum and campus planning, urban design and award-winning architecture. The trustees and staff of the Brandywine are thrilled to work with them,” commented Thomas Padon, the James H. Duff Director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. With over 40 years of experience, the firm includes clients such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Cleveland Museum of Art, Yale Center for British Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Partnering with Cooper Robertson, OLIN is a professional studio of landscape architects, planners and urban designers. OLIN’s major projects in the area include the Barnes Foundation, Dilworth Park, and the Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other celebrated projects include the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles, the 11thStreet Bridge Park in Washington, DC, Bryant Park in New York City, and the new United States Embassy in London. “It is particularly exciting to be working with OLIN to reimagine the Chadds Ford campus as a site that speaks to the beauty of the region while honoring best practices in land and water protection,” said Ellen Ferretti, Director of the Brandywine Conservancy.

Both firms have been recognized as leaders in their respective fields and have successfully completed a combined total of over 80 projects for distinguished cultural institutions. Using an integrated approach to architecture, landscape planning and design, Cooper Robertson and OLIN recently collaborated on the Central Delaware Master Plan project for the Delaware Waterfront in Philadelphia, a major urban planning project that will transform a six-mile stretch of riverfront, reconnecting visitors to this historic waterway. 

“We are delighted that our team has been chosen to assist the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art in shaping its future,” noted Bruce Davis AIA, LEED AP, Partner with Cooper Robertson. "By defining a new vision for the institution that celebrates art and nature in the beautiful setting of the Brandywine region, the master plan will provide a roadmap that inspires visitors to engage with our environment and experience the world around them in unique and meaningful ways. We are honored to be contributing to the next chapter of its history.”

"I am honored to be collaborating with the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art and our colleagues Cooper Robertson,” said Hallie Boyce, ASLA, Partner at OLIN. “The mission of the Brandywine to preserve, present and interpret both the art and nature of the Brandywine Valley is deeply inspiring and aligns strongly with OLIN's own philosophy to create places that enhance life in all forms. We especially look forward to working with the Brandywine and the design team to help envision enhancements to its grounds and public realm, ensuring a welcoming and enlightening experience for generations of visitors and the community as a whole."  

Additional contractors and consultants for the master planning process will include civil, stormwater and structural engineers from Meliora Design; ecologists from Biohabitats; transportation consultants from VHB; MEP Engineers from Bruce E. Brooks & Associates; and cost-estimators from the Stuart-Lynn Company.

About the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art:

The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art preserves and promotes the natural and cultural connections between the area’s beautiful landscape, historic sites, and important artists. The Conservancy protects the lands throughout the Brandywine Valley, developing new conservation approaches and assuring access to majestic open spaces and dependable water supplies for generations to come. The Museum of Art presents and collects historic and contemporary works of American art, engaging and exciting visitors of all ages through an array of exhibitions and programs. The Brandywine unites the inspiring experiences of art and nature, enhancing the quality of life in its community and among its diverse audiences.

About Cooper Robertson:

Recognized internationally for its successes in making thriving places, the award-winning design firm Cooper Robertson integrates architecture and urban design at many scales, from buildings to parks to city districts. Founded in 1979, the firm is now led by a core group of diverse and accomplished professionals. Acclaimed works by the firm include large-scale urban redevelopments, major cultural and educational buildings, waterfront sustainability and resiliency plans, and exceptional residences and resorts. Press contact: [email protected] or visit

About OLIN:

OLIN is dedicated to affecting positive change through landscape architecture, urban design and planning. From its studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the firm practices in a range of scales, including ecological and regional systems, urban districts, campuses, civic parks, plazas, and intimate gardens. OLIN’s diverse group of partners leads the firm in developing multi-functional, highly crafted, and environmentally sensitive design solutions, uniting natural processes with technical innovation to produce contemporary and beautiful places that are beloved for generations.

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