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Martha Schwartz, born 1950, is an American landscape architect. Her background is in the fine arts as well as landscape architecture, and her projects range from private to urban scale. She studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and graduated from the University of Michigan. She married and later divorced fellow landscape architect Peter Walker Schwartz currently has firms in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London.
Having had over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect and artist, she has received a number of highly regarded awards and prizes including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Award for her body of work in Landscape Architecture, an honorary fellowship from RIBA, several design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, and visiting residencies at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome, although accolades in the art world continue to evade her work.
In 2001, she was a speaker in the Spotlight on Design Lecture Series at the National Building Museum.
Noted for her exploration of new design expression in the landscape, Schwartz’s projects span the globe; from her striking Dublin Docklands project in Ireland to the Children’s Discovery Centre in Damascus, Syria, Schwartz’s project portfolio is extremely diverse. Recent and current projects include: Leamouth Peninsula, London, UK; Wellington Place, Leeds, UK; St Mary’s Churchyard, London, UK; Cosmopolitan Casino, Las Vegas, USA; Frederiks Brygge Master Plan, Copenhagen, Denmark; Qatar Petroleum Headquarters, Doha, Qatar; Al Ain Sports City, Al Ain, UAE; Mesa Arts Center, Arizona, USA; Master Plan for Lulu Island, UAE, Jacob Javits Convention Center Plaza, New York City, USA, Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Washington, USA, Rio Shopping Center (1988-2000), Atlanta, USA and many others.
In the news
Schwartz's work was featured on Channel 4's 2008 "Kevin's Big Town Plan" written and presented by Kevin McCloud, in which it was lambasted for a lack of consultation and appropriateness for its setting.
Schwartz took on old friend Will Alsop in a promotional video challenging his negative views of the profession of Landscape Architecture.
Schwartz has featured in the UK news following her views on the way in which Britain’s obsession with gardens is holding back the country’s public spaces. Schwartz argued that unless Britain separates its gardens from its public spaces, the country will fall behind other European cities. This announcement came ahead of Schwartz’s lecture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on 9 February 2009. It has been suggested this was an ill conceived attempt at practice marketing.*Building Design debate
Martha and her ex husband Peter have a son called Joe Walker, who is better known for his acting through starkid.
- Bernstein, Fred. "AT HOME WITH/Martha Schwartz; Making Landscapes Pop". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
Tim Richardson, Vanguard Landscapes and Gardens of Martha Schwartz, (2004) ISBN 978-0-500-51131-2
- Martha Schwartz Partners website
- Channel 4
- BBC: Urban planning needs a green rethink
- Building Design debate
- BBC: Preserving natural resources
- Wallpaper.com: Alsop and Schwartz debate video
- Telegraph.co.uk: A private passion and a public disgrace