Centerpiece of Longwood Gardens’ Makeover Project Takes Form
Longwood Gardens’ glasshouse, the centerpiece of the $250-million Longwood Reimagined makeover, is starting to take shape, writes Nadine M. Post for the ENR MidAtlantic.
The glasshouse is the largest single element of the project in Kennett Square. Called the West Conservatory, the 32,000-square-foot space will feature gardens, pools, and fountains. It will present as a “floating” garden made of planted islands, canals, and low fountains.
The steel frame of the conservatory, consisting of “structural trees,” is already completed. Crews are currently working on installing close to 2,000 glass panels with bird-safe fritted patterns.
When finished, the structure will be more operationally sustainable thanks in part to a geothermal system consisting of 10 earth ducts that will provide passive tempering of fresh air year-round. Additionally, the building will rely strictly on natural ventilation during warm months.
The glasshouse is being constructed by Bancroft Construction. Greg Sawka, president and CEO of Bancroft, described the transformation of the heart of the landmark garden as his “once-in-a-lifetime” project.
Bancroft started working on the centerpiece in early 2021. The company expects to achieve substantial completion in July 2024.
“Weaving the complexity and sequencing the work with an active garden across the fence line,” has proven to be challenging, said Sawka.
Read more about Longwood Reimagined in the ENR MidAtlantic.
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