Washington Post embeds with the Split-Rocker team!

Even if it were not alive, the sculpture known as “Split-Rocker” would be a mind-blowing thing. At 37 feet high and set atop a domed hill, it is surely the most playful if not wondrous piece of artwork at Glenstone, the world-class private art museum on 200 acres in Potomac, Md. 

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Into the Woods accepted into Chaumont Festival!

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We are excited to announce that we have been invited to create a garden in collaboration with FORGE Landscape Architecture at the 2018 Festival international des Jardins at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire. Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges's 1941 adventure in interconnected realities, "an infinite series of times, a growing, dizzying web of divergent, convergent and parallel times," Into the Woods employs groves of fast-growing forest species and an irregular grid of slow-to-decay shou sugi ban beams to create a woodland which disorients visitors in space and time.

Gothamist explores Ridgewood Reservoir!

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"One of the most amazing things about the place is how dense and varied the vegetation has grown over the past twenty-five years, with some 175 species of plants providing shelter to 125 species of birds, as well as raccoons, possums, lizards, and rabbits. Another fun fact: It's home to one of the few birch forests in the area."

Learn more from Gothamist and on our project page.

Roadway Futures storms ASLA Annual Meeting

SUN-A07 : Roadway Futures—Three Streets as Public Places for People
As a public resource representing as much as 80% of the outdoor space of the built environment, the road network is critical territory for landscape architects. Using three recent roadway projects as case-studies, we will explore the political, design, and construction challenges of transforming roads into public places for people.

Sunday, October 22, 2017
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Room: 403


Rebecca Hill takes Los Angeles!

Watch out L.A., here comes one badass landscape architect ready to whip your public realm into shape! Rebecca will be teaching Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism students at USC's School of Architecture while she plots her next move.

It's been clear since Rebecca submitted the grant application for our first collaboration just 2-days after the birth of her son that Rebecca's perseverance is off the charts. She is always ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work. No matter the challenge--developing a narrative for forgotten urban infrastructure, building community consensus, or trimming a construction budget--Rebecca jumps at the opportunity to find the smartest solution.

For all this and more, it is with a heavy heart that we bid Rebecca farewell and best of luck on the left coast.


RAFT featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine

What does it really take to launch your own design firm? Writer Kevan Williams spent a long time answering this question for “Start Your Engines”—about a year and half all told. With so much reporting, what got left out was nearly as interesting as what made it in. We sent out questionnaires to about two dozen firms and got some very provocative (and moving) responses back. Though we could only use an extract in the print version, there’s always room for more online: https://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/2017/03/23/start-your-engines/

Matt Donham speaks at Fay Jones School of Architecture

Matt Donham will present a lecture at 5 p.m. Monday, March 13, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall, on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design lecture series.

In his lecture, titled "Multiple Simultaneous Trajectories," Donham will discuss the necessity of balancing multiple competing purposes, which can include the interests of the public and the entity footing the bill to build the public realm.

Landscape architecture can be simple, with practitioners composing tangible objects in the world. Designers select materials, position trees, ensure drainage and make paths universally accessible. The practice also can be complex, supporting or inhibiting the success of a species. It can improve places, but sometime those places are improved so much that the people they were designed for are displaced in the process. This lecture will address the multiple simultaneous trajectories at work in landscape architecture. 

Matt Donham moderates panel at Building Museums Symposium

Matt will moderate, "Cultivating a Colossus: Learning from Jeff Koons’s Split-Rocker at Glenstone."

Explore the ongoing curatorial and operational complexities of bringing Jeff Koons’s Split-Rocker, 2000 to life within the sculpture program at Glenstone Museum. Presenters will review the monumental sculpture program within the landscape at Glenstone, whose mission is to seamlessly integrate art, architecture, and landscape. Panelists will touch on the planning, siting, construction, and first planting of the piece in 2013 and the continuing seasonal challenges the piece presents as a living sculpture installation. Attendees will learn what issues they should consider in the design of outdoor galleries and how long-term landscape maintenance planning is integral to scoping out the design of capital improvements. 

More on the 2017 Building Museums Conference here.

Cooper Hewitt Garden Attracts Young Crowd!


Museum Director, Caroline Baumann, achieves the goal of making the Cooper Hewitt the "friendliest place on Museum Mile."  The museum's garden is the "gateway drug to design." RAFT is proud to have been a part of this effort. Read the New York Times article here.

Trees New York screens The Trees!

Filmed over the course of five years, The Trees documents the journey of over 400 Swamp White Oaks from their temporary home in New Jersey to the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza.  Through the stories of those who design, plan, and construct the Memorial, The Trees explores the evolution of one of the world’s most innovative “green” roof gardens.  The film shows public reaction to this lasting, yet ever-changing memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks. A visual meditation on seasonal changes and the possibility of rebirth, The Trees asks how we memorialize and remember.

Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)

The Arsenal
830 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10065

After the screening there will be a panel discussion, including: 

Scott Elliott, Director

Scott Elliott was editing his first PBS documentary twenty blocks from the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 and knows many people who lost loved ones in the attacks. The Trees combines his interest in architecture, urban design, and gardening.

Paul Cowie, President of Paul Cowie + Associates 

Paul founded Paul Cowie + Associates, a professional consulting firm providing expert advice in the preservation, enhancement and long-term management of shade trees and urban forest resources. Paul’s personal areas of expertise include assisting in the development of innovative and sustainable urban planting designs, site-appropriate species selection, tree inventories, and community forest management planning. 

Matt Donham, Founding Partner of RAFT Landscape Architecture

A former partner at PWP Landscape Architecture, Matt Donham worked tirelessly to achieve the elegant subtlety of the National 9/11 Memorial amidst the unparalleled political and physical complexity of the World Trade Center site. Recent projects include the multi-modal greenway vision for Queens Boulevard, the garden at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the colossal living sculpture Split-Rocker with artist Jeff Koons.