Landscape Type
Farm and Garden
Park and Museum
Campus
All
Geography
Urban
Rural
Coastal
All
Scale
Small
Medium
Large
All
RADCLIFFE INSTITUTE SUNKEN GARDEN
Cambridge, MA 2010
AWARDS
Massachusetts Preservation Award 2011
Merit Award BSLA 2010

COLLABORATORS
Radcliffe Facilities Department
Harvard Planning and Real Estate
PHOTOGRAPHY
Charles Mayer
Stephen Stimson Associates
The Radcliffe Sunken Garden has always been identified as an oasis and long-standing resource for Harvard and the City of Cambridge. Located directly across from the Cambridge Common, it is the largest and most visible garden on Campus and utilized by not only students, but also visitors, tourists and Cambridge residents. The original Garden was built over a number of years by the grounds staff following no single recorded plan, and by 2008 had reached an unfortunate state of disrepair. The main goal of the project was to preserve the character of the Garden while meet the changing needs of the Radcliffe Institute. This included incorporating an accessible pathway system and seating, a carefully engineered lawn to handle numerous school events and a state of the art irrigation system and fountain. The expanded garden plantings now extend the blooming seasons from early spring until late October and incorporate a large area of native shade loving perennials and ground covers. As the ‘front door’ of the institution, the Garden now sends a new message of welcome to all visitors.