Radcliffe Institute
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.