swift company

Articles, Lectures and Interviews

Sep 2016
Charles Tonderai Mudede
Arcade Magazine Issue 34.2
Arcade Mudede UW

A Bridge to Somewhere Important

“…Beauty presents one of the most effective social engineering tools a planner can use to transform our mental conceptions about transportation. […] ‘A beautiful bikeway is a symbol that shows that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important as a citizen in a $30,000 car.'”

Aug 2014
Water Landscapes
Water Landscapes Ballard Commons

The Ballard Commons

“Fueled by a desire to embed a culturally significant experience in the park, the design team explored the nearby marinas and beaches for inspiration. The result is an elegant composition of fountain elements and site furnishings that create the focal point of the park’s plaza.”

Jun 2013
International New Landscape
INL Cover

Excellent Design + Innovative Thoughts: Swift Company LLC

“Swift Company’s commitment to work in the public realm stems from the belief that successful, beautifully crafted places are basic public infrastructure.”

Mar 2013
Bradford McKee
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Arch

Scary Enough: The New Grand Teton Visitor Center

“Swift’s landscape looks as wild as any part of the park before it melts off into the cottonwood shade beyond it, and the wind and the birds whistle through much the same. […] Of course, close to the building there are places that have been tamed. One is a terrace on the meadow side of the building; it is but a minor stage for taking in the sight and smell of sage as it stretches across the clearing toward a wall of forest on the west and, beyond that, the raw force of the silver mountains hung across the horizon.”

Mar 2011
Now Urbanism University of Washington Sawyer Seminar
now urbanism

Generosity of Cities: Arts, Humanities, and the City

“With rapid urbanization, the arts and humanities serve as indicators of the health and vigor of urban communities and civic life. Speakers: Introduction by Barbara Swift; Rick Lowe (Founder of Project Row Houses, Houston); Glenn Weiss (Manager of Public Arts in Times Square, NYC).” Moderated by Susan Traprell.

generosity of cities
Oct 2010
Seattle Public Library / Seattle Architectural Foundation
You Built Environment Design Poster

Design in Depth: You + the Built Environment + Design

“Barbara Swift has influenced some of Seattle’s most treasured landmarks: Discovery Park, Seattle Civic Center and Ballard Commons. Here she discusses the need for all of us, from the design professional to the design-minded citizen, to use everyday skills to evaluate and pursue intentionally designed environments.” Moderated by Sydney Dobson.

design in depth
Sep 2010
Landscape World
Best Private Plots Cover

10 Best Private Plots 2010: Stone Quarry Bay

“In line with the owner’s wish to create a retreat in this wilderness, the design makes all use subordinate to the management and care of the native land and wildlife. The building and the pathways are submerged into the landscape. Stone embeds the building into the landform. […] Powerful, wild landscapes capture the soul in the western reaches of North America. This property lies on the western shore of Montana’s Flathead Lake. The site extends out into a shallow bay of cattails surrounded by maritime ponderosa pine and fir forests growing on silty lake soils.”

Sep 2009
Barbara Swift

Grounded: Concerning Earth

“In a post-climate change world, where we live with the results of our flawed design methodologies, this lens demands that we reconsider the way we approach design by fully engaging the complex systems of the earth. It demands that we reset our cultural viewpoint, create fluid methodologies and craft a new reality. This requires curiosity, perseverance, humility, grace and an open mind. The willingness to ponder apparently irrelevant information, co-habitat, and create with uncertainty and fear is essential.”

Sep 2009
Caitlin Evans

Stand Down Green Revolution: Eco Agriculture is Here

“Between 1990 and 2002, four percent of the world’s total forests were lost, primarily to agriculture. Forests and wild lands with rich biodiversity and high carbon sequestration value—especially in equatorial zones—are often under pressure for agricultural use because they are many times impoverished areas where populations farm to survive.”

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Sep 2009
Gareth Loveridge

Urban Soil: The Working Class Layer of the Earth

“Urban soils quietly live beneath our buildings, sidewalks and roadways while we dig holes, fill holes and move earth from point ‘a’ to point ‘b.’ The soil we often call dirt gets pushed around regularly and at various scales.”

Sep 2009
Barbara Swift

Sensory Landscapes: An interview with Amy Trubek

Barbara Swift interviews Amy Trubek about her book The Taste of Place. Amy B. Trubek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont and previously taught at New England Culinary Institute.

Jul 2009
Mark Hinshaw
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture

Closing the Parks Gap in Seattle

“Conventional parks have often been large land consumers, with multiple playfields, trails, greenswards, large strands of trees, and even bodies of water. This is due in part to the notion, still prevalent in many parts of the country, that new parks should be placed on the urban edge where new lateral growth usually occurs.”

Apr 2009
Chris van Uffelen
Verlaghaus Braun
Landscape Architecture

1000 x Landscape Architecture: Maple Valley Library

“The values of the community were embodied by the sensitive placement of the library within the native lowland forest. A comprehensive research effort of the design team gave it a clear understanding of the site’s ecosystem, and its ability to accommodate development.”

Apr 2009
Chris van Uffelen
Verlaghaus Braun
Landscape Architecture

1000 x Landscape Architecture: Stone Quarry Bay

“On Montana’s Flathead Lake, Stone Quarry Bay and Point House represent the commitment of environmentalists to the rich aesthetic and ecology of a wild landscape. The pavilion is inserted into a stone ridge line, extending into a cattail marsh. Site grades submerge the building and paths in restored rock formations and the Ponderosa Pine forest.”

Apr 2009
Tom Kundig
ORO Editions

Grand Teton: A National Park Building

“I have lived most of my life in the western states, and the reality of the West’s nature is my touchstone. From its deserts to its deep forests and radical topography, it is a landscape of extremes. When I first visited Jackson Hole, I was stunned by how the landscape conspires to tell its story, as few places on earth do.”

Nov 2007
Lindsey Rowe
Seattle Homes & Lifestyles
Seattle Homes

Time Capsule: Home of the Year

“No bungalow love. No retro throwbacks. No nostalgia tied to a past that is past. Landscape architect Barbara Swift and her husband, contractor Don Ewing, worked with a long-time collaborator, architect Robert Miller of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, to draw up a structure that would push the envelope in terms of design and function.”

May 2007
Barbara Swift

Psychogeography + Hudson River Valley + the High Line + Minetta Brook + Loss = An Update

“In December 2005 the nonprofit organization Minetta Brook was involved in numerous projects: completing the extensive Watershed: Hudson Valley Art Project; realizing Robert Smithson’s Floating Island; advancing the High Line artist collaboration with Ann Hamilton and Alice Waters, and beginning a new project in Texas.”

Dec 2005
Barbara Swift

Interview with Former Mayor Paul Schell: Part 2

Barbara Swift, John Fleming and former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell discuss civic buildings, transportation and what makes life more than survival. This is the second of a two part interview.

Sep 2005
Barbara Swift

Interview with Former Mayor Paul Schell: Part 1

Barbara Swift, John Fleming and former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell discuss civic buildings, transportation and what makes life more than survival. This is the first of a two part interview.

Mar 2004
Valerie Easton
Pacific Northwest: The Seattle Times Magazine
Pacific Northwest

Looking for Leaders | Listening to the Landscape: The Swift Solution

“The stripped-down interior and glaring fluorescent lights of the abandoned Safeway store don’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the throng gathered for the kick-off meeting to review the new Ballard Civic Center Park.”

Jan 2003
Claire Enlow
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture

Reading the Wilderness

“Maple Valley Library may not seem like it’s in a city. Decaying logs, twigs, and small snags litter the ground, tall trees filter the sunlight, and a thick cushion of forest floor duff absorbs sound. But the project is at the very center of a plan to turn a small community into a mature and livable “edge city.”

Aug 2002
Curtis W. Fentress
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Civic Builders

Gustafson Partners and Swift Company: Seattle Civic Center, Civic Plaza

“Symbolic of the geography, watersheds, and climate of the Pacific Northwest region, water provides a connecting theme through the Seattle Civic Center site. It travels through plazas and buildings, defining circulation and connecting spaces. The source pool at the Justice Center wells up with water and light, beginning the water’s journey.”

Feb 2002
Heather Hammatt
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture

On the Boards: Gathering Space

“On November 30, 1999, the world watched as a mass citizen protest swarmed the streets of Seattle in a demonstration against the World Trade Organization. The city’s infrastructure was overwhelmed, and what began as a peaceful protest soon became chaos. This event identified a need for a civic gathering space in downtown Seattle.”

Dec 1996
Michael Leccese
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture

Fresh Fields

“Dressed in smart business clothes and knee-high waders, Barbara Swift, Associate, ASLA, stands on a bluff topped by a curved granite wall. The promontory overlooks tawny meadows rolling down to Puget Sound. It’s a view that Swift, a veteran landscape architect and the chair of the Seattle Design Commission, has often enjoyed.”