1958 -

Julie Bargmann

Born and raised in New Jersey, Bargmann studied sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University and in 1987 received an M.L.A. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she was mentored by Michael Van Valkenburgh, Peter Walker, and Cherie Kleusing. The following year, Bargmann was awarded the Rome Prize. Returning from Italy to the United States in 1990, Bargmann worked for the office of Michael Van Valkenburgh before accepting a teaching position at the University of Minnesota in 1992. Alongside teaching, she began “Project D.I.R.T.,” an examination of mining sites and communities across the United States. Her project eventually evolved to become the landscape architecture practice D.I.R.T. (“Dump It Right There”) Studio. Inspired by the refineries that dominated the New Jersey landscapes of her early childhood, Bargmann’s practice focuses on dynamically regenerating industrial landscapes and reconnecting them physically, socially, and culturally with adjacent communities. Bargmann joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1995 and remained there until her retirement in 2022. Projects including the Vintondale Reclamation Park, a 35-acre site in Pennsylvania coal country that used novel passive remediation systems, and River Rouge, a regenerated landscape surrounding a former Fort Motor Company plant, earned Bargmann the nickname “Queen of Slag.” Bargmann has also collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on design solutions for Superfund sites. Her widely acclaimed urban adaptive re-use landscapes, including Core City Park in Detroit, MI, and the Urban Outfitters Headquarters in Philadelphia, PA, drastically reduced waste by salvaging and creatively repurposing found materials. In addition to rural industrial sites and urban projects, Bargmann also rehabilitated a historic pumphouse and reservoir within a residential landscape in Dallas, TX. In 2021, Bargmann was named the inaugural laureate of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Prize in Landscape Architecture.