Martha Schwartz

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Martha Schwartz
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Landscape Architect
Organization Martha Schwartz Partners
Website www.marthaschwartz.com

Martha Schwartz, (born 1950), is an American landscape architect. Her background in fine arts and landscape architecture has contributed to the rise of more expressive landscapes and public spaces within cities around the world.[1] Schwartz's work challenges conventional landscape aesthetics through influences such as Pop Art, Land Art and sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi. Schwartz's projects range from art installations to private gardens, urban scale parks, waterfront parks, and urban master plans. She studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of Michigan. Her practice, Martha Schwartz Partners or MSP has offices in London, New York, and Beijing. Schwartz currently teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design as Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture.[2]

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[3] for her body of work in Landscape Architecture, an honorary fellowship[4] from RIBA, several design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects,[5] and visiting residencies[6] at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome, although accolades in the art world continue to evade her work.

The full list of awards for MSP is:

  • MIPIM Asia Award 2014, Best Future Mega Project (Pluit City)
  • U.S. Commerce Association Best of Cambridge Award, 2013
  • International Landscape Design Industry Association Design Innovation Award, 2013
  • Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merrit Award, 2012
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Landmark Award, 2012 (Village of Yorkville Park)
  • U.S. Commerce Association Best of Cambridge Award, 2012
  • British Association of Landscape Industries Regeneration Category Award, 2008 (St Mary's Churchyard Park)
  • Chicago Athenaeum Award for Best New Global Design, 2007 (Leamouth Peninsula)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, 2007 (Mesa Arts Center)
  • Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, 2006
  • Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence, 2006 (Mesa Arts Center)
  • Boston Society of Architects Women in Design Award for Excellence, 2005
  • Play and Leisure Award, 2003
  • New American Planning Association, New Mexico Chapter, Award for Innovative Transportation Planning, 2001
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 2000 (H.U.D. Plaza)
  • Federal Design Achievement Award, National Endowment for the Arts, 2000
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1999 (Minneapolis Courthouse Plaza)
  • Broward County Public Art Percent for Art Award, 1998 (Broward County Civic Arena)
  • General Service Administration Design Awards, National Design Citation, 1998 (Jacob Javis Plaza)
  • The Parks Council New York, Phillip N. Winslow Landscape Design Award, 1997 (Jacob Javis Plaza)
  • City of Toronto, Toronto Urban Design Award, 1997 (Village of Yorkville Park)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, 1997 (Jacob Javits Plaza)
  • General Service Administration Design Awards, National Design Citation, 1997
  • Metro-Dade Art in Public Places Award, 1996 (Sound Wall)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, 1991 (Citadel Grand Allee)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1991 (Beckton Dickinson Atrium)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1991 (Marina Linear Park)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, 1989 (Herman Miller Western Regional Facility)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1989 (IBM Federal Systems Division Facilities)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1989 (Turf Parterre)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1989 (Rio Shopping Center)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1988 (190 Marlborough Street Roof Garden)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award, 1988 (Westlake and Southlake Office Development and Village Center)
  • Atlanta Urban Design Commission Award, 1987

Awards[edit]

  • Fellow FASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2011
  • Honorary Royal Designer for Industry, HonRDI, Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce RSA, 2009
  • Honorary Doctor of Science HonDSc, University of Ulster, Belfast, 2007
  • Tenure Professor in Practice, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, 2007
  • Honorary Fellow HonFRIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2005
  • Gold Medal, Tau Sigma Delta Society, 2005
  • Bracken Fellow, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Landscape Architecture, 2001
  • Resident, American Academy in Rome, 1991
  • Fellow, Urban Design Institute, 1990
  • Artist in Residence, Radcliffe College, 1987
  • Visiting Artist in Residence, Villa Romana, Florence, 1983
Grand Canal Square at Hanover Quay: a red-and-green experience by Martha Schwartz

Her practice aims to create landscapes that speak to the public about being human and that communicate ideas, as she believes that landscape should reflect who we are and who we want to be. Her design approach has been characterised by striking and highly colourful projects such as the Grand Canal Square in Dublin, Ireland, hard landscape projects like Exchange Square in Manchester, England and more architectural installations such as the City and Nature installation in Xi'an, China but what is perhaps less well known and rather overshadowed are the more naturalistic projects such as Yorkville Park in Toronto, Canada by Schwartz in collaboration with Ken Smith and her then husband Peter Walker, and Geraldton Tailings Landscape in Canada as well as MSP's more transformative community based projects such as the Monte-Laa-Park which converted an eight lane highway into a new neighbourhood park for residents of an ethnically diverse area of Monte Laa (de) Vienna, Austria.

Notable Projects[edit]

Noted for her exploration of new design expression in the landscape, Schwartz’s projects span the globe; from her Dublin Docklands project in Ireland to the Children’s Discovery Centre[7] in Damascus, Syria, Schwartz’s project portfolio is extremely diverse. Recent and current projects include: Leamouth Peninsula,[8] London, UK; Wellington Place,[9] Leeds, UK; St Mary’s Churchyard, London, UK; Cosmopolitan Casino,[10] Las Vegas, USA; Frederiks Brygge Master Plan, Copenhagen, Denmark; Qatar Petroleum Headquarters,[11] Doha, Qatar; Al Ain Sports City, Al Ain, UAE; Mesa Arts Center,[12] Arizona, USA; Master Plan for Lulu Island, UAE, Jacob Javits Convention Center Plaza,[13] New York City, USA, Deptarment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),[14] Washington, USA, Rio Shopping Center (1988-2000), Atlanta, USA and many others.

In the news[edit]

In 2008 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 The Daily Telegraph[15] 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.

Further reading[edit]

Tim Richardson, The Vanguard Landscapes and Gardens of Martha Schwartz[16] (2004) ISBN 978-0-500-51131-2

References[edit]

External links[edit]