The Freedom Park Conservancy announces the selection of the Houston-based studio of the world renowned landscape architecture firm, SWA Group, for the master plan of Freedom Park, a 200+ acre public park adjacent to downtown Atlanta and home to the Carter Center.  It has been almost 30 years since the original master plan forged this park from the remnants of freeway right-of-way and the adjacent Carter Center into a cohesive open space for Atlanta.

“As we imagine the next generation of Freedom Park, we sought a consulting firm that offered both broad experience and an exciting vision commensurate with the richness of this singular place,” says David Hamilton, Master Plan Chair for the Conservancy. “SWA Group was clearly that firm.”

The award-winning landscape architecture consultancy is known for the design of bespoke parks and open spaces all over the world, from New York to California to China.  Tapping into a site’s particular history and possibility is a hallmark of SWA’s design.  Their design for Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park transformed what had been an abandoned waterway into an iconic urban park that integrates art and recreation, links the city’s neighborhoods and all the while doubles as part of the city’s flood protection. Today, the park is a defining aspect of Houston’s identity.

About Atlanta and Freedom Park, SWA principal and designer Natalia Beard expressed her excitement in working on such a culturally important site in the center of a city characterized by rolling topography and a lush arboreal cover.

“Atlanta’s Freedom Park is more about a ‘state of mind’ than a spatial concept, like the Beltline,” offers Beard about the site, whose historical underpinnings tie to important events and people from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and whose physical form resulted from coalesced strips of land once intended for a freeway.  “Public reclamation is central to this place. How can the park better connect the surrounding neighborhoods?  How can this ‘art park’ find contemporary expression?  How can design offer different perceptions of the land and the history that has shaped it?  How to tap into residents’ hopes and dreams for this place?  We are excited to engage with the Conservancy and the City of Atlanta to answer these questions in the master plan.”

The master plan process for Freedom Park will launch in the next few months.

About Freedom Park Conservancy

Freedom Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the improvement and preservation of the park for the benefit of a diverse public. Born out of formidable citizen activism linking the movements of environmentalism, urbanism, historic preservationism and more, Freedom Park is now one of Atlanta’s largest public green spaces.  Our vision is for Freedom Park to be Atlanta’s most innovative green space, celebrated for its inspiring origin and beauty. Learn more about us at www.freedompark.org

About SWA Group

SWA is a world-renowned landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm celebrated for its creativity, responsiveness, and design excellence. Our work gives new life to outdoor spaces at multiple scales – from public plazas to waterfronts to entire city districts – harnessing natural systems while enhancing the unique characteristics of each setting. SWA has studios in Dallas, Houston, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Sausalito and Shanghai.  For more information, please visit www.swagroup.com.

A selection of visuals can be accessed here.

Media Contact: Christina Allan