Julie Bargmann receives the world’s first international landscape architecture prize

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Julie Bargmann receives the world’s first international landscape architecture prize

The Cultural Landscape Foundation – TCLF awarded Julie Bargmann, founder of landscape architect firm DIRT Studio, the first-ever Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, a distinguished award given to designers “exceptionally talented, creative, courageous and visionaries, with a large collection of built works that illustrate the art of landscape architecture.

Central City Park, Detroit.  Image courtesy of Prince Concepts and the Cultural Landscape FoundationCentral City Park, Detroit.  Image courtesy of Prince Concepts and the Cultural Landscape FoundationTurtle Creek Water, Texas.  Image © Barrett Doherty courtesy of the Cultural Landscape FoundationJulie Bargmann, winner of the Oberlander Prize 2021..  Image © Barrett Doherty courtesy of the Cultural Landscape Foundation+ 6

Born in New Jersey, Julie Bargmann is a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and founder of the DIRT (“Dump It Right There”) studio. The designer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Throughout her career, she has focused on contaminated and neglected urban and post-industrial sites, defining her life’s work “unearthing the raw materials of design in waste and wasteland”.

Julie Bargmann, winner of the Oberlander Prize 2021..  Image © Barrett Doherty courtesy of the Cultural Landscape Foundation
Julie Bargmann, winner of the Oberlander Prize 2021.. Image © Barrett Doherty courtesy of the Cultural Landscape Foundation

With DIRT, Bargmann collaborated with multidisciplinary experts such as architects, historians, engineers, hydrogeologists, artists and local residents, the latter being a key factor in his work. Her portfolio includes Vintondale Reclamation Park, a 35-acre site in Pennsylvania, where the designer worked with collaborators to design a natural filtration system to deal with years of mine runoff pollution, Turtle Creek Water Works. in Texas, an abandoned historic pumping station with large reservoirs that became a deconstructed residential garden through recycling of the entire site, and Core City Park, a renovated 8,000 square foot park that includes work on parts a demolished late 19th century fire station, the walls of a vault, and other unearthed artifacts.

Turtle Creek Water, Texas.  Image © Charles A. Birnbaum, courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Turtle Creek Water, Texas. Image © Charles A. Birnbaum, courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation

She has been a provocateur, a critical practitioner and a public intellectual. She embodies the kind of activism required of landscape architects at a time of severe environmental challenges and persistent social inequities – Oberlander Prize Jury

Dubbed the “Pritzker Prize for Landscape Architecture” by the President and CEO of TCLF, the biennial Oberlander Prize includes a $ 100,000 prize and two years of public engagement projects focused on the winner’s work and landscape architecture.

Central City Park, Detroit.  Image courtesy of Prince Concepts and the Cultural Landscape Foundation
Central City Park, Detroit. Image courtesy of Prince Concepts and the Cultural Landscape Foundation

The award is named after Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, a world-renowned German-born Canadian landscape architect who died earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19. The idea for the prize came after expansion plans threatened to demolish the famous New York Museum garden. With this award and the work of the winners over the next two decades, TCLF aims to shed light on the importance of landscape architecture, and how it shapes the public realm and combats climate change.

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