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Chester County Press

Brandywine to begin master planning process

03/05/2019 09:26AM ● By J. Chambless

Last week, the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art announced 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 and its campus.

The need for a master plan was sparked by 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 reimagine the museum 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 and CEO of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. “In 2017, the Brandywine celebrated its 50th anniversary, 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. 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,” said 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. “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.

“We are delighted that our team has been chosen to assist the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art in shaping its future,” noted Bruce Davis, 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.”