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View looking out floor to ceiling windows with a reflection pool on the left and a green lawn on the right, separated by a single story wall
Clark Art Institute, Visitor Center, Williamstown MA, by Tadao Ando. Photo: Courtesy of Reed Hilderbrand.
7/11/24, 1pm - 2pm

This event has been postponed. A new program date will be announced soon.

Please join us as we virtually travel to The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Clark is equally renowned for the strength of its collections and exhibitions as it is for the exceptional experience of place realized on its 140-acre campus in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Since its major transformation in 2014 which featured the addition of the new Clark Center building designed by Tadao Ando, the renovation of its original 1955 building by Selldorf Architects, and a sweeping new landscape design by Reed Hilderbrand, the Clark has earned international acclaim for its singular setting and its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute, joins with three of Reed Hilderbrand’s principals—Gary Hilderbrand, Eric Kramer, and Beka Sturges—in a discussion covering the landscape architecture that defines the campus, the intricacies of the project and their collaboration with Tadao Ando, and the Clark’s plans for deepening its commitment to environmental stewardship.

This event is part of Archtober's virtual Travel To series, in partnership with Bloomberg Connects. The Travel To series seeks to highlight Bloomberg Connects partners that feature iconic architecture and historically significant sites across the United States and around the world. Join us as curators, preservationists, historians (and more!) bring these places and spaces alive in the comfort of your home.

Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director, The Clark Art Institute
Gary Hilderbrand, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand
Eric Kramer, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand
Beka Sturges, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand

About the Speakers:
A celebrated teacher and prolific writer as well as a designer, Gary Hilderbrand brings forward a passion for landscape architecture’s history and its future potential everywhere he works. He leads commissions that draw upon the traditions of American landscape architecture, from Olmsted to Kiley to Oberlander, while also innovating within those traditions for our own time. Since co-founding the practice in 2000 with Douglas Reed, he has been responsible for several projects that enrich and advance urban forestry practices, from a single plaza to a district to an entire city. Notable current projects for Hilderbrand include the repositioning of New York City’s Lever House and a major expansion to Storm King Art Center. Hilderbrand is also the Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1990, and Chair of the GSD’s Department of Landscape Architecture, effective July 1, 2022. His honors include Harvard University’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices Award with Douglas Reed, and the 2013 ASLA Firm of the Year award. Design Intelligence named Hilderbrand one of its “25 Most Admired Educators” of 2016. Hilderbrand is the recipient of the 2017 ASLA Design Medal, the highest honor available to an American landscape architect. Through three widely acclaimed books and two dozen essays, Hilderbrand has helped to position landscape architecture’s role in reconciling intellectual and cultural traditions with contemporary forces of urbanization and change. His essays have been featured in Landscape Architecture, Topos, Harvard Design Magazine, Architecture Boston, Clark Art Journal, Arnoldia, New England Journal of Garden History, and Land Forum. In addition to his co-authorship in the firm’s 2012 monograph, Visible Invisible: The Landscape Works of Reed Hilderbrand, he produced two other monographs: Making a Landscape of Continuity: The Practice of Innocenti & Webel* (1997), which was recognized by ASLA and AIGA (50 Best Books); and The Miller Garden: Icon of Modernism (1999). Hilderbrand grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley surrounded by many siblings and extended family. From an early age, he had a love for music and sportscars, and a passion for environmental issues. A gifted copy of Ian McHarg’s foundational Design with Nature introduced him to landscape architecture. He earned his BLA from The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and his MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Hilderbrand loves to cook and experience operas at the Met in New York City. He is an admirer of the London Plane, Live Oak, and American Beech.

Eric Kramer’s work focuses on questions of what landscapes communicate to and about their communities—whether cherished memories, bold aspirations or contested histories. A writer, teacher, and thought leader within the discipline, Kramer’s approach to practice is rooted equally in basic research and applied design thinking. He leads commissions with the understanding that they are cultural spaces speaking for the societies who build them and speaking to future generations. Through two decades working within consequential landscapes across the United States, he has guided the renewal and enrichment of numerous campuses, cultural institutions, and urban districts. He has been responsible for major works within the practice’s career: The Clark Art Institute, Boston’s Central Wharf, Duke University’s student life precinct, and a comprehensive interpretive plan for The Alamo in San Antonio. Notable current projects under Kramer’s leadership include work at MIT and Harvard’s new Enterprise Research Campus, Longwood Gardens’ new conservatory complex, and a framework plan for the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum. Kramer edited Visible Invisible: The Landscape Works of Reed Hilderbrand, the firm’s award-winning monograph. His leadership continues to shape the firm’s evolving purpose and culture. Kramer is an adjunct professor in the Rhode Island School of Design’s Landscape Architecture Program, where he loves to help students understand the lessons and enduring relevance of history. Kramer has lectured at numerous universities, landscape history and design forums, and professional symposia across disciplines. Growing up in Philadelphia, a city rich in garden history, Kramer learned a love of the designed landscape. At Amherst College, he studied American Studies and was the editor of the student newspaper. After graduation, Kramer traveled on a year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, primarily to Japan, where he worked as a gardener’s assistant, and England, where he worked at Stourhead and Painshill Park, both 18th century picturesque estates. He earned an MLA—and Charles Eliot Fellowship—from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and worked at Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture before coming to Reed Hilderbrand in 2000. These days, when not focused on firm projects, he tends his own garden and is intently trying to build his skills in the woodshop, building small furniture pieces with wood reclaimed from his own trees.

In her design of landscapes for institutions and the public, Beka Sturges pursues the interplay between communities and their environments as a source of history, identity, and resilience. Since opening the Reed Hilderbrand office in New Haven in 2015, Sturges has steadily grown a staff and design culture with the capacity to sustain projects in the private and public sector, from the latest phase of Connecticut’s Resilient Bridgeport Plan to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe to a major expansion to Storm King Art Center. Actively collaborating with New Haven’s Latinx community, she initiated the vision plan and implementation of the Mill River Trail, Phase 1, a 4-acre linear park running through the center of New Haven. Sturges also served as project manager for the final phase of The Clark Art Institute. Current work under her leadership includes the new Farrand House at Washington D.C.’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and the renewal of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden with SOM/Annabelle Selldorf. A committed educator and thought leader, Sturges is a Senior Critic at Yale School of Architecture. She has recently lectured on the career of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the role of history in design, the spirit of residential landscape architecture, and the transformative experiences of art and place at The New York Botanic Garden and Cleveland Garden Club as well as at the University of Rhode Island, Smith College, and the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting. Growing up in New Jersey, Sturges loved to walk through the woods with her family and climb trees. Her grade-school building, designed by Princeton’s Head of Architecture Jean LaButat, seemed to be in service to its wooded surroundings and supplied Sturges with a daily sense of exhilaration. She earned her BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College and began work toward a PhD in English Literature at Princeton University. After teaching in New York City for several years, Sturges found landscape architecture, drawn to the phenomena of movement and change within landscapes. After graduating from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, she joined Reed Hilderbrand in 2005. Sturges is a compulsive reader and likes to hike, garden, and draw in her spare time.

Olivier Meslay is the Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Prior to assuming the directorship at the Clark, he spent eight years at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) where he held several leadership positions, most recently serving as Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs. In 2011–2012, Meslay served as the Interim Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. Prior to joining the DMA staff in 2009, Meslay established his reputation as a noted scholar and curator during a distinguished 17-year career at the Musée du Louvre, from 1993–2009 where he served as curator in charge of British, Spanish, and American Art in the Paintings department. Meslay served as chief curator of Louvre–Atlanta, a collaborative project with the High Museum, from 2003–2006; and as chief curator in charge of the Louvre–Lens project, the first regional branch of the Louvre, from 2006–2009. Meslay received an MA from the École du Louvre in 1983 and an MA from the Sorbonne in 1982, where he earned his BA in 1981. He is a member of numerous art organizations including the 2021 Venice Biennale panel in the U.S. and the boards of MASS MoCA and the Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center. Meslay is co-curator and catalogue author for the forthcoming exhibition, Guillaume Lethière (2024-2025), organized in partnership with the Musée du Louvre.

About Archtober's Guide on Bloomberg Connects:
Archtober’s Guide on the free Bloomberg Connects App is for anyone interested in connecting with architecture and design. Whether you are an architectural historian, a design enthusiast, a student, or someone having their first architecture experience, the Archtober Guide is designed to help you explore notable contemporary and historical sites across New York City’s five boroughs. Learn more about the Archtober Guide here.

This event is virtual. If you register for a virtual ticket, you will receive an email with a Zoom link to access the program.

Organized by
Center for Architecture
View looking out floor to ceiling windows with a reflection pool on the left and a green lawn on the right, separated by a single story wall
Clark Art Institute, Visitor Center, Williamstown MA, by Tadao Ando. Photo: Courtesy of Reed Hilderbrand.
7/11/24, 1pm - 2pm
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