Longwood Gardens Renovation

Longwood Gardens is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States, comprising 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  The celebrated public garden is open year round for visitors to enjoy exotic plants and horticulture, events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses and workshops.



Architects Beyer Blinder Belle commissioned L’Observatoire International to create lighting concepts for the restoration and redesign of the Main Fountain Garden complex including the Upper Garden, Grotto, Grand Stairs, Pumphouse, Caryopteris Allee, and all historic facades.



L’Observatoire’s goal was to subtly enhance and shape the visitor’s experience by concealing light fixtures and using small LED light sources when possible. The lighting reveals the garden architecture and fountains at night, leading the eye towards the spectacle of the grand fountains and strategically spot lit garden features without drawing attention to itself. Visitors marvel at the fantasy garden elements without explicitly noticing the light source.

The Main Fountain Garden is experienced from multiple vantage points. L’Observatoire worked to create a varied lighting scheme that gives an overview of the fountain garden as tableau, while simultaneously creating an intimate space within the garden to reveal pathways, lawns and fountain areas up close. The system ties the garden to natural cycles, lunar and seasonal, so that the lighting schemes evolves in parallel with the seasons, offering a rich experience for visitors.


Location Kennett Square, PA, USA
Date Completed 2017
Architect Beyer Blinder Belle
Landscape Architect West 8
Fluidity Design Consultants Fluidity Design Consultants
Client Longwood Gardens
Type Exterior + Landscapes
size217,800 ft2 / 20,000 m2
Status Built

L'Observatoire Intl Team
Principal Hervé Descottes
Project Leader Jason Neches
Project Team Artemis Papadatou Diana Zwetzich Natalia Priwin Nicolas Dufils
Awards IES Lumen Award of Merit , 2018
AN Best of Design Award Outdoor Lighting , 2017
ASLA Honor Award , 2018
Trumbauer Award Winner , 2018
Press The Architect's Newspaper, Jan 2016
Architectural Record, Aug 2017
Photo Credits Longwood Gardens