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Martha Schwartz

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Cristin Judge

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of Martha Schwartz

- born in 1950 and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
-Father was an architect
- studied Fine Art at the University of Michigan; graduated 1973
- Did not know what Landscape Architecture was until after she graduated from Fine Art and had no interest in it
- Excelled in printmaking and held a passion for earth works
- had issues with scale because she wanted to work on larger dimensioned projects
- Chose to enter into Landscape design merely because she wanted to make "big art"
- Went on to study Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan and graduated in 1977
- Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design since 1992 where she teaches Advanced Landscape Architecture
-Married and later divorced Peter Walker who is also a Landscape Architect
- Principal of Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP) which is a practice in London, UK that designs and generates urban landscapes and public city centers

Martha Schwartz
Landscape Architect; Artist
By Cristin Judge
Martha Schwartz Partners
-established in 1990
- objective is to combine landscape design, art and urbanism to create or regenerate urban sites
- do this by design and implementation of gardens, installations, public parks, corporate and institutional landscapes, city centres and regeneration projects
- offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England and China
- has done projects in over twenty countries around the world
- also works to create a sustainable environment with the idea of climate change, declining resources and an equal benefit for people, animals and the environment all taken into consideration
- employs people from many different backgrounds other than landscape architects such as horticulturists, project managers, architects etc.
- Have won a substantial amount of awards from all over the world

Exchange Square
Manchester, England
- The site of an IRA bombing in 1996
-building began in 1997 and finished in 1999
- occupies the centre of downtown Manchester
- regenerated to be an area of accessibility, open seating as well as visual interest
- the slope of the site is a major factor in the design and inpired the creation of many different levels also used for informal seating
- almost entirely hardscape area
- idea for site was based on the historical importance of railroad tracks
- Because this is an area in which is dim and overcast much of the year, red coloured glass was added to the design
- the panels light up from below
- a sink shaped fountain was also incorporated
-site is very modern and contemporary
- distinct emphasis of form and movement
Google Images
Google Images
Google Images
Grand Canal Square
Dublin, Ireland
- completed in 2007
- eight million dollar project
- one side faces the waterfront and is backed by a theatre and entertainment buildings
- located in a ritzy urban area surrounded by contemporary architecture
- includes large public area and a variety of paved pathways with different sizes and materials
- a red carpet leads out from the theater which is paved in a resin/glass material
-green carpet made up of geometric shaped planters of lawn and vegetation
- red "carpet" and glowing red light poles represent high traffic celebrity zone while the green path and planters represent a more relaxed natural, wetland area that is historical to the site
- very modern design that primarily focuses on space and form
Google Images
Google Images
Google Images
Google Images
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sowwah Square
- completed in 2012
- urban space in the center of the Abu Dhabi Financial Center
- meant to provide an open and intimate space within the surrounding towers
- patterned granite site is home to tear shaped mounds representing sand dunes
- mounds made up of dramatically coloured and textured plants that are also hardy, low maintenance and tolerant of heat
- benches wrap around the mounds and have built in water feature that uses an ancient irrigation system that maximizes limited resources

- lighting under granite benches
- mounds maximize green space and reduce water consumption because of vertical angle
- from the massive towers above, the site resembles an Indian rug pattern
- cultural attributes as well as environmental conditions given primary consideration
- Schwartz incorporates her trademark pieces and ideas (fountains, benches, hardscape, geometric shapes, pop of colour etc.) while still making the site unique and suitable to its surroundings
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Google Images
Google Images
Design Contribution
- over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect and an artist
- Schwartz has won an array of awards including the 2005 Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, 2011 Honourary Royal Designer for Industry as well as many others
- inspired by baroque gardens as well as Isamu Noguchi, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and her greatest being her ex husband Peter Walker
- creates sites that combine hardscape, colour and shape
- projects are usualy more architectural that naturalistic
- believes that art needs to influence every design, that the site is a life size piece of art
- wants to create a human connection between people and place
- she is very brave; some of her work is controversial but she "would rather have her work called radical than mediocre"
- her style is modern and contemporary ; combines architectural pieces with state of the art technology unique to each site
- she invented the green wall technology that was used into the Abu Dhabi site ; this technology has opened up possibilities for future urban sites
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AT HOME WITH/ Martha Schwartz; Making Landscapes Pop (Interview by F. Bernstein) [Transcript].
(2000, December 21). Retrieved from www.nytimes.com website: - http://wnytimes.com/2000/12/21/

Saura, J. (2012, November 19). Martha Schwartz's Urban Spaces. Retrieved from
http://blogs.gsd.harvard.edu/ website: http://blogs.gsd.harvard.edu/loeb-fellows/

An Interview with Martha Schwartz (Interview by H. Kost Gross) [Transcript]. (1999, April 21).
Retrieved from www.neldha.org website: http://www.neldha.org/perspectives-menu/design/

Gand Canal Square, Dublin, Ireland. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.marthaschwartz.com/projects/

Sow Square, Abu Dhabi, UAE. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.marthaschwartz.com/projects/

Shapedscape (Ed.). (2014, November 22). Sowwah Square. Retrieved from http://www.shapedscape.com/
Exchange Square, Manchester, England. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.marthaschwartz.com/projects/
Martha Schwartz. (2010, December). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Schwartz

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