The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Sculpture Garden Renovation Update- Q&A with STIMSON's Eddie Marshall

A lot of progress has been made on our Sculpture Garden renovation project since the groundbreaking in February. Check out the below photos of the site renovation in progress.

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We asked Eddie Marshall, Principal and Landscape Architect at STIMSON, a few questions about how the project has been going so far.

Interview with Eddie Marshall from STIMSON

How has progress been on The Aldrich's Sculpture Garden project so far? What has been happening on site?

We are in the first phases of the project which entails some site demolition, rough grading, stockpiling topsoil, and setting a framework for all the construction activities.

What will the next phase of this project entail?

Site masonry, stonewalls and terraces along with upgrading the site drainage under critical lawn areas.

Have there been any surprises about this project?

Yes, after the topsoil was removed and stockpiled on site for later use, we realized that the subgrade soils were not properly draining.

After consulting with Pine and Swallow soil scientists a drainage system was devised to alleviate the problem.

What are some of the unique considerations for a landscape renovation project for an art museum?

We started with the initial design goals of providing better access to the garden from the Museum gallery spaces and making the garden more welcoming. What closely followed garden access was the programming of the garden space. In this effort we wanted to create a flexible landscape that could accommodate a wide range of art and sculpture. Here we began to think of the garden as a gallery space, understanding how the garden is viewed, where people sit and gather and framing views as you move through the garden.

Is there anything unusual about this site?

The site itself is not unusual, but it does have challenges. To the west we have a parking lot, we are installing a fieldstone wall to mitigate the impact of the parking, there is a notable grade difference from the garden elevation to the museum which became the motivator for the amphitheater and access ramp and the site drainage which we reviewed under site surprises.

Top image: Photo: Gloria Perez