Landscape Design Park

Sydney and Walda Besthoff 2^381

Landscape Design : Sawver/Befsnr. Architecture A Landscape Architecture. LL^ • J. Brian Sawyer. Tim J CW. mdo I Location : Louisimie USA I Landscape Area : 19.263*’ I Completion Date?003 ; Photographer Richard Seaton

► The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orieans Museum of Art occupies approxi­mately five acres in city park adjacent to the museum. Atypical of most sculpture gardens, this garden is located within a mature existing landscape of Pines. Magnolias and Live Oaks The garden design creates outdoor viewing spaces within this picturesque landscape. A re-configured lagoon bisects the site and creates two distinct halves: a mature Pine and Magnolia grove adjacent to the museum, and a more open area of twohundred year old Live Oaks across the lagoon near the New Orleans Botanical Garden. The Sculpture Garden is designed for approxi­mately sixty sculptures, most of them donated to the New Orleans Museum of Art by Sydney and Walda Besthoff.

A pair of cast stone and bronze pavilions with derestory windows marks the entry to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The pavilions, which face a large meadow adjacent to the Museum’s entry drive, flank a large plaza containing Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Mother and Child’. The pavil­ions and entry plaza also establish a centerline through the depth of the garden that becomes an organizing ele­ment of the design.

The garden is bisected by a lagoon which lias been re-shaped into two basins on either side of the central pedes­trian bridge. These lagoon basins each contain a sculpture. Kenneth Snelson’s ‘Virlane Tower’ and Arman’s ‘Pablo Casal’s Obelisk’. By locating these vertical sculptures in the water, their reflections become part of the composi­tions

Landscape Design Park

A total of three pedestrian bridges cross the lagoon and connect the two sides of the garden. The entries to the bridges are marked by simple, cast stone pylons that support bronze lanterns. Side rails constructed of bronze and stainless steel mesh reflect the light and allow views through the bndges. This combination of cast stone lantern py­lons and bronze with stainless mesh is repeated in the form of monumental gates at the main entry and two sec­ondary entries.

Landscape Design Park

A picturesque composrtion of curvilinear paths compliments the mature trees while creating smaller viewing areas, or ‘galleries’, within the garden. These paths also connect a series of garden features including the Overlook Terrace, the Exedra at the end of one of the pedestrian bridges, the monumental Water Steps at one of the sec­ondary entrances, the elliptical Sculpture Theater containing smaller pieces of sculpture and line Cascade Garden Pool containing Robert Graham’s ‘Source Figure’. The pathways also frame the elliptical Pine Grove immediately off of the mam entry plaza and the large Oak Lawn at the opposite end of the garden With the exception of the la­goon. the Oak Lawn is the most open space in the garden and contains some of the larger sculptures including works by Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield. Elizabeth Frink. Joel Shapiro and Claes Oldenburg

Landscape Design Park

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