Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

Boston, MA

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

ASLA Honor Award, Communications

The new building, designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, is situated on Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park system. As the Soil Scientists for this project, Pine & Swallow created functional horticultural soil and drainage contexts for sustainable plantings. Stabilized steep slopes, trees in paved areas, and high-use turf areas required engineered blended soils manufactured off-site and placed under strict compaction limits. Special soil amendment techniques restored existing soils supporting mature trees. The redesign and renovation of the Monks Garden, a garden that dates back to the museum’s opening in 1903, presented an opportunity to combine horticulture and art that offers year-round interest and compliments the interior space. Pine & Swallow developed soil and drainage strategies to support complex planting designs within a limited, confined area.

Public SpacesStreetscapesStructural SoilsUrban Soil Conditions
Photo: MVVA