On April 11, The Contemporary Austin announced that it had selected Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture to design a master plan for its historic Laguna Gloria site. The master plan will seek to reconceive the 12-acre estate on the shores of Lake Austin, which comprises woods, meadows, and waterfront zones, as well as the Italianate 1916 Driscoll Villa. The goal is to create an ideal art-in-nature experience that will include a new sculpture park.
“This is an exceptional commission,” said Douglas Reed, partner of Reed Hilderbrand, in a statement. “The historic character of Laguna Gloria is a legacy of its terraced landform overlooking Lake Austin, the villa, its gardens, and the site’s diverse ecology. It is already exceptional among America’s cultural sites, and we look forward to expanding its natural appeal to support the Contemporary Austin’s remarkable curatorial program. It is an honor to be called on to design the master plan for what will become a must-see location for the art world.”
Reed Hilderbrand was selected by a committee headed by Frederick Steiner, Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry Rockwell Chair in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. The Cambridge firm beat out two other finalists to win the job: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture of San Francisco, and Norwegian firm Snøhetta.
Trahan Architects of New Orleans, New York’s Lord Cultural Resources, and ETM Associates of New Jersey are also on the design team. Local Austin collaborators include Urban Design Group and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.