In 1999 Brookside Gardens created a strategic, master plan to transform their gardens into a world-class destination. The first phase in their plan called to simply pave an unused space near the visitor’s center enlarging the parking lot, but Brookside’s landscape architect Ching-Fang and her team, Stephanie Oberle, Phil Normandy, and Ellen Bennett ENVISIONED SOMETHING MUCH GREATER – an integrated parking and garden landscape – parking AS a landscape!
With the help of several generous donors, beautiful elements, such as a waterway and gatehouse, were able to bring life to their vision. Made of ALL NATURAL, ORGANIC MATERIALS, from the stone brick wall to the beautiful planted flowers, all elements resting in this entryway has a purpose in the gardens, including the gatehouse inspired by Tanglewood’s modern-styled custom greenhouse!
“This particular gatehouse, designed by Tanglewood Conservatories, was designed to resemble a greenhouse. At night it evokes images of a lantern at the entrance, a beacon lighting the way to a beautiful garden experience… and adding a compelling new garden element.”
Brookside’s vision for this project was to create an inviting and inspiring space that welcomes people to the gardens and fully embraces the visitor’s functional needs.
“We wanted the visitor center to become the heart of the gardens and extend Brookside’s horticulture and education,” Phil and Ching-Fang said. “We saw the gatehouse as our opportunity to start developing a quality design aesthetic. This is why we chose Tanglewood to design the gatehouse. It is a perfect match to its setting. We are delighted with the results.”
Great Challenges Bring Great Rewards
According to Stephanie, Brookside Gardens’ Director, their BIGGEST CHALLENGE was fundraising. Although they had a steep learning curve with fundraising and the creation and management of the project as a whole, Brookside’s staff, volunteers, and donors were dedicated to bringing this center to fruition. According to the team,
“The staff and volunteers are truly dedicated to Brookside Gardens and the project hit close to home for everyone. We are passionate about these gardens and everything we stand for.”
IF THEY COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN, the team said they would have asked a lot more questions. This was the first time they have completed a project of this magnitude. Between fundraising, lead time changes, and roadblocks, this first project brought on some great challenges but it also brought great reward.
This great change within Brookside turned out beautifully. We were not surprised we were able to work so well with Brookside Gardens. After all, our founders, Nancy Virts and Alan Stein, were married there over 20 years ago!
Stephanie says their team is wiser and more knowledgeable about how to take on future projects of this magnitude. Next on their list is a GROWING GREENHOUSE roughly 10,000sq.ft. and a new CONSERVATORY to replace their now 50 year old beauty! Stephanie tells us,
“The estimate for the new conservatory, one that matches all our dreams, is around $25 million. Obviously, more fundraising is on our horizon,”
For more information about Brookside or your project, GIVE US A CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form!