The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has named Gary R. Hilderbrand, founding principal and partner of 2013 ASLA Firm of the Year-winning practice Reed Hilderbrand, as the next chair of the school’s Department of Landscape Architecture. He is currently Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor-in-Practice at Harvard GSD, where he has taught since 1990.
Hilderbrand, a 1985 graduate of the program with distinction, is the 15th person to serve as chair of the department, which was established in 1900 and is the oldest academic program of its kind in the world. He succeeds Anita Berrizbeitia, who, in 2015, became only the second woman in the then-115-year-old department to be appointed as chair.
“Gary’s sensibilities as a teacher and as a practitioner are one and the same—his unyielding efforts to reconcile imminent, often intractable forces of urbanization with ecological sustainability, cultural history, vegetative regimes, and thoughtful kindness are central to his pedagogy and practice both, said Sarah M. Whiting, dean of the Harvard GSD, in a press statement shared with AN.
Describing himself as being “humbled and honored in equal measure” by the appointment, Hilderbrand went on to note: “For more than a century, Landscape Architecture at Harvard has positively shaped discourse in research, teaching, and practice in the field. We continue that legacy forward with renewed urgency in the face of ever more dramatic environmental and social upheaval.”
“I’m grateful for Professor Anita Berrizbeitia’s remarkable and humane intellectual stewardship over the past seven years, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the department and the school to uphold the commitment to design leadership that is demanded of us in this time. We stand well prepared,” he added.
With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, Reed Hilderbrand has received more than 100 design awards and accolades including a 2015 AN Best of Design Award in the Best Landscape category for its work at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Hilderbrand has also been individually bestowed with numerous honors including the Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture (1994–1995) and the prestigious ASLA Design Medal (2017). In 2005, Hilderbrand and Doug Reed, fellow founding principal and partner of Reed Hilderbrand, received an Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of New York. Hilderbrand is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
AN has covered numerous Reed Hilderbrand projects over the years including forthcoming and in-progress works such as the landscape refresh at Manhattan’s iconic Lever House (with SOM), an expansive reimagining of Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia (with WEISS/MANFREDI), and the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (with Studio Gang). Other noted landscapes developed and designed by Reed Hilderbrand can be found at Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, and at the Boston campus of the Harvard Business School among many others. Reed Hilderbrand was also one of five firms that recently participated in the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab design ideas competition in Washington, D.C.
Hilderbrand, who is also a widely published writer and critic, will assume the role as chair of Harvard GSD’s Department of Landscape Architecture effective July 1, 2022.