Summit Panelist: Julie Bargmann
June 11, 2016
Founding Principal, D.I.R.T. studio
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia
Julie Bargmann is internationally recognized as a leader in the design and building of regenerative and environmentally appropriate landscapes. She founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992 to execute projects with the passion, rigor, vision, and unflinching honesty that define her unique style. Bargmann’s work hews to themes of sustainability, economy, community engagement, respect for site histories, and above all a love of the landscape — specifically, the existing landscape. Highly regarded for her versatility and hands-on approach (literally, she likes to get her hands dirty), Bargmann received her BFA in sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University before earning her masters in landscape architecture at Harvard.
Simplicity of form, use of extant materials, and deliberate restraint are hallmarks of Bargmann’s elegantly austere landscapes. A celebrated recent project is the Urban Outfitters Headquarters in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, winner of a 2014 Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, which praised the finished product as “a well-dressed poster child for industrial redevelopment.” Other notable work includes San Antonio’s Phil Hardberger Park, New York’s High Line (Bargmann and collaborators including Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates were runners-up in the design competition), and the Vintondale Reclamation Park, in rural Pennsylvania. There, she designed and collaborated in the creation of a large-scale natural filtration system for a waterway polluted by acid-mine drainage. The project earned D.I.R.T. the 2001 National Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum.