MVVA is a landscape architecture firm that creates environmentally sustainable and experientially rich places across a wide range of landscape scales, from city to campus to garden.
MVVA has extensive experience in creatively leveraging opportunities that arise throughout the design process. The office starts each project with a creative and positive approach to the challenges of each site and the limits of each new assignment. Founded in 1982, the office’s earliest projects, primarily gardens, plazas, and other smaller institutional projects, were critically celebrated for their groundbreaking achievements. In the next decade, MVVA’s commissions expanded to a scale of landscape in which it was possible to achieve an “ecological urbanism,” with projects such as the Master Plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park and Wellesley College, and built work like Mill Race Park and Allegheny Riverfront Park.
The office works closely with urban planners, architects, engineers, and ecologists, and as a result, MVVA has emerged as an innovative leader of multidisciplinary urban design teams. The firm’s collaborative approach and integrated design methodology ensures that the experience of MVVA’s built landscapes grows from, and is supported by, integrated sustainability, outstanding environmental performance, financial resourcefulness, material resilience, technical innovation, and material expression.
MVVA’s designed landscapes are the result of great enthusiasm for the craft of building, resulting in wide acclaim from clients, critics, and the public. The firm’s projects have received numerous honors including awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the U.S. National Park Service, the Municipal Arts Society of New York City, the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Building Stone Institute, the Waterfront Center, Places/EDRA, Progressive Architecture, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. MVVA has also won multiple high-profile design competitions including Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House, the Lower Don Lands project in Toronto, and The City + The Arch + The River competition for St. Louis and East St. Louis.
With offices in Brooklyn, New York, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a staff of 65, MVVA approaches design and planning as a creative collective. The firm is led by its three principals, Laura Solano, Matthew Urbanski, and Michael Van Valkenburgh, who have worked as a team for over twenty years, and by an extremely capable and talented group of seventeen senior associates, with the support of a remarkable group of staff with academic backgrounds in a broad range of allied disciplines. The multi-disciplinary fluency of the MVVA staff is one of the firm’s greatest assets.