Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has selected a national landscape design studio to develop its master site plan and establish the different uses of the living museum’s 15-acre property that overlooks Sarasota Bay for the next 25 to 30 years. The selected firm is Philadelphia-based OLIN. The plan will be focused on the garden’s international renown in epiphyte research and conservation, its commitment to synthesizing horticulture and arts, and its role as a valued fixture of the community. Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the research, study and conservation of epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants without harming them, such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns.

“Selby Gardens holds a unique specialization in the realm of plant conservation and study, which all of Sarasota’s residents and visitors are able to enjoy. It was our priority that the firm selected to lead this process understands our academic position as well as the importance for the greater community,” said Dr. Kelvin Cooper, vice chairman of the board of trustees and chairman of the master planning committee.

Per acre, Selby Gardens is the most species-rich botanical garden in North America, if not the world. Selby Gardens has the second largest spirit [or "liquid-preserved"] collection of flowering plants following only the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It also has the third largest collection of preserved bromeliad plants and the fourth largest collection of preserved orchid plants in the U.S. as part of its herbarium.

OLIN will be leading a team of nationally recognized experts in architecture, exhibit design and environmental design, complemented by practitioners with deep local knowledge.  The team includes, Overland Partners, Kimley Horn, Metcalfe Architects, eDesign Dynamics, David Sacks Landscape Architecture, and Creative Preservation, LLC. Richard Roark is Partner-in-Charge of the OLIN team; he is supported by fellow Partner Eric Tamulonis, Senior Landscape Architect Marni Burns, Landscape Designer Liz Kauffman, and Living Systems Specialist Judy Venonsky.

Selby Gardens issued a request for proposals for the master site plan in September 2016 and 14 firms responded. The call for responses asked for special consideration in three key areas: a campus master land use plan that focused on sustainable design and operations; space inventory and utilization assessment of the current property layout; and vehicle, pedestrian/bicycle circulation and parking plan. Located in the City of Sarasota, the Gardens’ master site plan will consider the impacts of the city’s soon-to-be revised zoning code. The development of the site plan is expected to be established later spring 2017.

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About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and tropical plants with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit

About OLIN
OLIN is dedicated to affecting positive change through landscape architecture, urban design and planning. From its studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the firm practices in a range of scales, including ecological and regional systems, urban districts, campuses, civic parks, plazas, and intimate gardens. A diverse group of partners leads OLIN’s design staff in developing multi-functional, highly crafted, and environmentally sensitive design solutions, uniting natural processes with technical innovation to produce contemporary and beautiful places. For more information, visit