Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Milkweed)
Credit: Betty Truax, Jefferson Chapter, VNPS


The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont Board of Directors is pleased to announce its selection of Mikyoung Kim Design and Waterstreet Studios as the landscape architecture team to design the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.

Based in Boston, Mikyoung Kim Design (MKD) has won numerous awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the International Federation of Landscape Architects. Their projects include the Regenstein Learning Campus at the Chicago Botanic Garden, an environmental discovery center and nature playground.  Envisioned as a gateway to the natural world, this six-acre horticultural center offers an interactive, multi-sensory experience to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

 Partnering with MKD will be Charlottesville’s award-winning Waterstreet Studios, which has worked for more than 10 years in the community to create inspired, engaging landscapes that are economically viable and environmentally responsible. The firm has created work on residential properties, commercial and institutional campuses, rural conservation tracts, civic spaces, and urban streetscapes.

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Rendered Aerial Image: Chicago Botanic Garden  |  “Mikyoung Kim Design is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Design Award for Landscape Architecture. This national design award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum recognizes excellence and innovation in design as a vital, humanistic tool in shaping the world.” Read more…

The Design Process

The the Garden Board’s rigorous selection process to find the garden’s designer started in late 2016 when a committee began crafting a comprehensive Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP Committee, composed of local landscape architects and designers, engineers, the University of Virginia Landscape Architecture Department chair and a faculty member, and the Garden Board members, completed a draft RFP in 2017. The Board further vetted it through executive directors of the Meadowlark Botanical Garden in Vienna and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, and Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Director.

The the Garden Board publicized the RFP in October 2017, and 24 interested landscape architecture firms from across the country, including some local firms, attended a mandatory pre-proposal visit to the garden site in November. By the mid-January 2018 deadline, the Board received 12 proposals for consideration. The Board selected the Mikyoung Kim Design and Waterstreet Studios proposal in late March 2018. 

The initial design process will include community input with the Board making the final design decision in collaboration with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Board’s goals are to select the final design by the end of 2018, launch a capital funding campaign in 2019, and break ground on the garden’s construction in late summer 2020.