2013 Soiree Recap

(A lively cocktail hour kicked off this year’s ASLA
 Oregon Design Awards Soiree. . Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

The 2013 ASLA Oregon Design Awards Soiree took place this year at the Multnomah Athletic Club, a private, not-for-profit athletic and social club located in SW Portland. We look forward every year to bringing our design community together to celebrate the excellent work being done by creative thinkers and innovative problem-solvers.

There was a hint of nervous excitement in the air during the cocktail hour as guests trickled in. Award winners were not notified in advance this year – a change to the format that happened last year. Instead, the jury was flown in to meet earlier in the day to discuss the merits of various entries and decisions were made just hours before the awards ceremony.


soiree-posters(Entry boards on display at the soiree will also be on display at locations throughout Oregon over the next year. Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

Each entry was on display around the room, giving fellow designers an opportunity to learn more about the various projects. Columbia Cascade / Timberform was the presenting sponsor this year, ensuring the event was as polished and elegant as the attendees. Servers whirled delicious hors d’oeuvres around on platters between guests that were busily catching up on the latest design community news.

After a comfortable period of mingling, nibbling and sipping the signature cocktail provided by Willamette Graystone, it was time for the show to begin. Former president Kurt Lango welcomed everyone to the event, followed by Melinda Graham the current president who noted key volunteers and committee members who helped shape the event. Amy Cooney, vice president of chapter services and event organizer, then took the stage and introduced the jury members.


soiree-jury-ribe(University of Oregon Professor Robert Ribe accepts an award after the jury commented on his research work. Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

The 2013 jury panel included Brodie Bain, Ethan Seltzer, Jeffrey Stuhr, Jonathan Mueller, and Sally Nichols. They spent a full day reviewing and debating projects to carefully select winners in the following categories: Award of Excellence, Honor Award, and Merit Award. Attendees voted on the fourth category, the People’s Choice award. As awards were announced, the jury thoughtfully shared their comments on each of the winners, providing wonderful insight to audience members eager to hear their names called.

The clinking of cocktail glasses and chatter of excited award winners continued long after the ceremony concluded. Our landscape architecture community came out in force to celebrate work that is not only beautiful, but meaningful to the greater community. We look forward to seeing what innovative and creative work develops over the next year!


soiree-kurt(Past president Kurt Lango visits with jury members and fellow ASLA members. Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

2013 Non-Design Award Winners

2013 Fellows: Mike Abbaté
Oregon ASLA Chapter Service Award: Christopher Olin

Presenting Sponsor:
Columbia Cascade Co. / TimberForm

Signature Drink Sponsor:
Willamette Graystone

Centerpiece Sponsor:
Teufel Landscape

General Event Sponsors:
Northwest Recreation
Landscape Forms

Missed the show? Review the list of projects that received awards this year on the Design Awards Winners page. Entry boards on display at locations throughout Oregon including Portland State University, University of Oregon, Center for Architecture Gallery, Portland Airport and Portland Development Services Building over the next year. And sign up for theASLA email list to ensure you don’t miss future event announcements.

ASLA Oregon is a 285 member professional society dedicated to the advancement of landscape architecture within the state. The group holds an annual design awards event every fall and a professional symposium every spring. For more information visit aslaoregon.org.

Portland Japanese Garden Tour Recap

via the ASLA Oregon Mt. Hood Chapter Section Chairs

ASLA’s Urban Green recently hosted a Japanese Garden Tour with the Director of Portland’s Japanese Gardens, Sadafumi Uchiyama – proving to be one of Urban Green’s most successful events. Thirty attendees ranging from landscape architects to urban planners spent their lunch hour on a private tour with the third generation Japanese gardener and his assistant Desirae Williams. As we walked through the garden, Mr. Uchiyama and Ms. Williams presented a narrative that provided us with as much insight about design as it did about Japanese tradition, culture and history.

Viewing vistas, passing through thresholds, walking over intricate paving, taking a moment to contemplate huge, orange, koi, our guides invited us to truly experience space. As busy designers it is often rare to take the time to slow down and pay attention to the materials, textures, and colors that become sources of contemplation and inspiration. Both in practice and outcome, these were lessons from the Japanese Gardens.

We would like to thank Mr. Uchiyama and Ms. Williams again for being our guides and we hope to have the opportunity to arrange another tour with them in the near future.

2013 Gopher Green Tournament Recap

2013 Gopher Green Golf Tournament
ASLA Oregon Willamette Valley Section

Friday, September 20, 2013
Springfield Country Club
90333 Sunderman Rd., Springfield, Oregon 97478

2013 Gopher Green Golf Tournament was a big hit! Be sure to check out all of the pictures from the event on the ASLA Oregon Facebook page.



ASLA Oregon WVS and AIA-SWO joined forces to host the 2013 Gopher Green Golf Tournament in September. The weather held out and only the golfers that were on the course a little longer caught the rain shower at the end. We had 88 players from landscape architects to engineers to contractors and an excellent assortment of sponsors attended to educate us on products and services. Everyone had a good time and almost all left with a smile and a raffle prize!

First Place (Score 59): Paul Griffiths, Spencer Brown, Brad Jackson, Farren Brown
Second Place (Score 60): Mel Taylor, Don Brockman, Chris Boyum, Shawn Hussey
Third Place (Score 62): Nick Robertson, Julie Wirth, Wyatt Dean, Andy Burke



The event would not have been possible without our sponsors. Many thanks to:

  • Buell Recreation, LLC
  • Ideate, Inc.
  • Willard C. Dixon Architect, LLC
  • Rain Bird Corp
  • Landscape Forms
  • SOLARC Engineering
  • Cascade Clean Up
  • John Hyland Construction
  • Cameron McCarthy Landscape architecture & Planning
  • The Toro Company
  • Skoler Building Resources
  • Nir Pearlson Architect
  • Emser Tile & Natural Stone
  • Delta Sand & Gravel Co
  • Cosella-Dorken Products Inc.
  • Bandon Crossings
  • Northwest Playground Equipment
  • Gibson Steel Fabricating
  • H.D. Fowler Company
  • Architects Building Community
  • Central Print
  • Oakdale Cellars
  • Diamond Woods Golf Course
  • McKenzie River Golf Course
  • Fiddlers Green
  • Ninkasi

Would you like to see this event continue next year? Our event planners are ready to pass the reins over to new volunteers! Please get in touch with either Arica Duhrkoop-Galas or Justin Lanphear to find out more about volunteer opportunities to organize this event for 2014.

(Photos courtesy of Nicole Ankeney)

The Thicket Social Hour Recap

via the ASLA Oregon Chapter Emerging Professionals Committee

The ASLA Oregon Emerging Professionals Committee is pleased to announce the launch of our NEW “Last Thursday” Social Hour Series for the entire ASLA Community!

The White Owl Social Club, ASLA’s monthly “Last Thursday” Happy Hour destination, is currently underway with modifications and additions to their outdoor patio space – with the help from the ASLA Oregon Emerging Professionals!

Social Hours #1 and #2 included an all-hands-on-deck “think-tank” design charrette approach to provide design alternatives for the White Owl’s up and coming outdoor music venue and patio.

Our May 30th social hour (#3) focused on networking with like-minded emerging professionals and peers as well as gauging interest in EP Committee volunteer support and kicking off LARE study-buddy groups, not to mention taking note of construction progress on the new patio construction!

The THICKET is a great (and FUN) opportunity to get involved with ASLA Oregon Chapter and all are welcome and encouraged to attend! See you at our next Last Thursday THICKET Event!

Before Shot - Photo Courtesy of Christopher Olin

Before Shot – Photo Courtesy of Christopher Olin

The first “Last Thursday Thicket” kicked off with a lively charrette at the White Owl in SE Portland. Landscape designers and landscape architects from all parts of the professional spectrum – students to seasoned practitioners – participated in our kickoff envisioning session that included a site walk and goals discussion with the owners of the White Owl. Base map underlays, trace, pens/pencils, IPA’s and appetizers were provided to participants and the ideas started flowing. As the evening wrapped up, a PechaKucha-like presentation round flooded owners of the White Owl with ideas for their new patio space.


Charrette #1 Sketches - Courtesy of ASLA Oregon Emerging Professionals Participants

Charrette #1 Sketches – Courtesy of ASLA Oregon Emerging Professionals Participants

At THICKET #02 the ASLA Emerging Professionals gathered around the White Owl’s outdoor patio, already under construction at this point, to continue sketching over trace with complimentary refreshments. Our first monthly gathering, dubbed “The Thicket”, saw a strong showing and the second was no exception, bringing in approximately two dozen participants.

The happy hour destination is called the White Owl Social Club, just a quick hop to the east side industrial neighborhood. The owners generously provided drinks and snacks in return for an energetic charrette to design the best new patio in Portland.

This was the second occurrence of the monthly happy hour and we had another great turn out! Signs of outdoor construction greeted us upon arrival. The owners are wasting no time putting our ideas from late March’s “Phase I” charrette into action.

Our April gathering generated ideas for “Phase II” of the design, which focuses on flexible outdoor space – think moveable planters, seats, etc. It was a great excuse to soak up sunshine and visit with friends, both old and new. The owners were once again incredibly appreciative of the many creative ideas we provided.

We sure hope to see you at our next Thicket event! It’s a relaxing opportunity to reconnect with friends in the design community and help a grateful local business transform their space!

Charrette Participants - Photo Courtesy of Renee Wilkinson

Charrette Participants – Photo Courtesy of Renee Wilkinson

MAY 30, 2013 – SOCIAL HOUR
The THICKET #3 offered a chance for participants to meet and chat with the ASLA Oregon Chapter Communications and Education Chairs, Chapter Student Liaison and Incoming Chapter President. A sign-in sheet was circulated, gauging support for future interest in LARE study-buddy groups as well as a call for volunteer support for the Education and Communications Committees. Those in attendance also got to see a sneak peak of the White Owl’s Patio construction progress!

White Owl Patio Construction Progress - Photo Courtesy of Christopher Olin Shown Here - outdoor music venue with fire pit, bench seating and planters

White Owl Patio Construction Progress – Photo Courtesy of Christopher Olin
Shown Here – outdoor music venue with fire pit, bench seating and planters

The ASLA Oregon Emerging Professionals Committee extends special thanks to our monthly THICKET host, the White Owl Social Club! Swing by and witness Portland’s next big outdoor patio venue taking form, and join us at our next Last Thursday Event!

The THICKET is organized by the ASLA Oregon Chapter Emerging Professionals Committee as a way for professionals – both new and seasoned – to keep connections strong among our design community. Please contact the ASLA Oregon Chapter Emerging Professionals Chair with questions or for more information. See even more photos from this event on the ASLA Oregon Facebook page.

2013 Symposium and Charrette Recap

By Rebecca Wahlstrom

I recently saw a query on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) LinkedIn site that stirred up a lot of comment. The question was asking about the social life of an engineer. Our ASCE friends had a variety of answers, but one reply was repeated throughout…the amount of social interaction you experience is dependent on you. Get out and do something! I would agree and would apply that same thought to landscape architects, with a slight twist. Get out and learn something!

I hope you didn’t miss it, but there was just such an opportunity to explore and learn with other landscape architects and associated professions at the 2013 Charrette and Symposium, ‘The Nature of Space’. The event was held on June 14-15 at two sites, PSU and the Left Bank Annex, with around 20 people attending the charrette and about a 100 people coming to the symposium – a lot of people getting out and learning something!

The charrette was held Friday at Shattuck Hall, on the PSU campus. Being that it is summer, the students were mostly absent from the halls, but they did leave behind enough of their drawings and models to create an environment of learning and creativity. Delicious breakfast treats and coffee were provided, followed by an engaging talk by Melanie Poe, PLA. All this was enough to jumpstart foggy brains for the task ahead; work in groups to create a ‘Street Seat’ design on a choice of three locations before 4 pm, followed by a presentation to invited guests. Street Seats is a program which is still in its infancy at the City of Portland – many things are still being worked out in policy and implementation. The charrette participants were excited to have the opportunity to get involved and help shape this interesting way to bring people into the street life.

On Saturday, a bright sunny morning dawned and the 2013 symposium began. Vendors, presenters, and attendees all mingled in the main room, eating more delicious breakfast treats and coffee until the morning sessions began. It was difficult to choose among all the interesting presentations. Subjects ranged from including food in urban design to participatory urbanism, looking at access to play in Chicago and the recent development in south waterfront, here in Portland. Participants discussed how the nature of different spaces can affect things so wholly that the same variety of wine can taste drastically different region to region, and then connecting the same thought to include people and design ideas. Designing a park means something different on the east side of Oregon than designing a park on the west. Same label, different regions, different outcome.After all the wonderful vendors and the interesting presentations, people are already looking forward to what next year holds. What subject does Oregon ASLA want to explore and learn? What new ideas would expand your design practice beyond your current ideas? What would make you get out and learn something? Food for thought; please convey any future symposium ideas to the members of the executive board. Many thanks to the organizing committee – long hours and countless emails all culminated in one awesome event.

Find Out More About Portland’s Street Seats Program Here

Green Roofs 2.0 Event Recap

via the ASLA Oregon Mt. Hood Chapter Section Chairs

You never pay attention to what is happening on the roofs above your head as you walk through the Pearl. You may notice a nice corner plaza or a shady canopy of street trees, but a huge area of our urban “ground plane” is taken up by (ironically) roof space. This has stormwater implications as well as being an enormous opportunity for augmenting urban greenspace.

Green Roofs 2.0, the second event in our ASLA Oregon Urban Green Series, got 15 landscape architects up on the Asa and Janey apartment buildings in the Pearl to talk about what is working, lessons learned, and what is in the pipeline for green roof technology in Portland.

The tour, led by Matt Burlin at the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), started by surveying four roofs from the vantage point from the Asa. It’s not just about intensive and extensive anymore. It’s about utilitarian amenities (a “doggie toilet” green complete with a red hydrant), communal space (fire pits, BBQs, and garden plots), technology and energy production (solar arrays above sedum fields), new products (seeded soil tiles), and (for the cynical) a stellar marketing tool for developers. As Marcus Lima from GBD Architects, the firm that designed the Janey explained, most residents in the Pearl live in the sky. They interact with the environment often through viewsheds. It’s not just about views of Mount Hood. Creating planes of green along urban blocks forms a horizontal and layered urban vista. The Janey green roof, designed by Lango Hansen Landscape Architects, has received acclaim from neighbors in the Casey Apartments across the street.

Matt Burlin’s specific focus is the stormwater benefits of green roofs. He explained that although the City’s incentive program for green roofs is no longer available due to sweeping budget cuts, the office remains a resource and outreach center, helping developers realize the variety of options and the cost benefits of green roofs. The landscape architects working at the BES have been pioneering green roof technologies since the beginning, sometimes starting on their own residential roof spaces. For example, the use of red cinder rock started as an idea tested on one employee’s roof. It proved to helping retain water on the green roof. It has since been tested on a larger scale and shown to eliminate the need for irrigation on extensive, sedum covered green roofs. This dramatically reduces costs, as well as solving for one of the bigger issues of green roof viability and sustainability – how to deal with water (both too much and too little).

For more information, check out:
Portland’s BES Ecoroof Website
Green Roof Info Think Tank (GRiT) Website










Photos Courtesy of ASLA Oregon Chapter Mt. Hood Section

The Shaping Portland Event Recap

via Rachel Hill, Mt. Hood Section Co-Chair

The Shaping of Portland – Over a Beer: The Urban Green Kickoff Lecture Draws a Large Crowd

The kick-off lecture for ASLA Oregon Chapter’s new “Urban Green” lecture and tour series took place at the Jack London Bar in southwest Portland on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – and was a great success! It may seem geeky to combine a lecture about the formation of Portland… with a glass of pinot noir. But nothing could be better after a day’s work and no topic more appropriate to start a lecture series that examines our urban environment than with an explanation of the historical bones of the city in which we live and work. Even though we spend every day walking, biking, taking the train or driving these streets, Steve Dotterer’s presentation put the city into a whole new light. It’s hard to imagine Fremont as a highway, but that was in the cards at one point. It’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of the designers who thought a sea of parking at the core of the city made sense. Yet the Lloyd Center was born from their vision. As Steve brought us through time, you began to see the iterations that Portland continues to go through. Districts that were once lively, then atrophied, are now coming back. But these iterations are complex and ongoing and we are part of that dynamism. Early Portlandians saw the train as a key to growing the city. Yet who could have anticipated how the car would change this? Beyond the curb lines and right-of-way, Portland’s transportation network shaped land use, and ultimately society. Now we must ask ourselves, as planners and landscape architects of this city, what’s next?


Jesse Stemmler, ASLA Oregon Mt. Hood Section Co-Chair, about to dive in to the Urban Green Kickoff Lecture, Shaping Portland, at the Jack London Pub in SW PDX.

Steve Dotterer, former City of Portland Transportation Planner, shares his 30+ years of planning experience at the Urban Green Kickoff – Thanks Steve!

2012 Soiree Recap


The 2012 ASLA Oregon Design Awards Soiree was held once again in the Tiffany Center’s Emerald Ballroom, a circa 1928 historic building in SW Portland. Eager to see what lay in store, I shouldered my way past the happy couple having their picture taken in front of the beautifully carved wood doors and saw the party was on the fourth floor. Stairs seemed to be the way to go; these stairs were not shyly tucked back behind the corner, but looked as if Fred and Ginger were going to swirl down them at any moment. The climb was not in vain, the Emerald Ballroom was indeed a beautiful venue for ASLA Oregon’s biggest night.

This year’s awards structure was changed in two significant ways; one change was having the jurists on the stage to share their thoughts. Another big change was that the winners were not alerted before the ceremony, but like the Academy Awards, winners were announced during the ceremony. This lent an air of suspense and excitement to the evening. Who would win?

The night’s main sponsor, landscapeforms, made sure the evening was carried out in true high style and added to the suspense by having a drawing for two lucky people to win a set of stylish deck chairs. JP Stone Contractors also contributed to the evening’s merriment by sponsoring this year’s signature drink, ‘the Portland Mule’, a tasty concoction that rivaled last year’s sponsored drink.

After attendees feasted on delicious hors d’oeuvres, caught up with old friends, and took one last stroll past all the design posters, it was time to start the awards. Now past-president, Jeff Schnabel opened the ceremonies with a greeting and summary of the past year; he then awarded the non-design awards and student design awards. Marianne Zarkin then took the stage to marshal the jurists and moderate the design awards. The 2012 jury panel was; Shannon Nichol, Todd Johnson, Mark Hinshaw, Ron Lovinger, Anyeley Hallova’. These jurists spent over seven hours reviewing and debating projects to select winners in the following categories; Award of Excellence, Honor Award, and Merit Award. Attendees voted on the fourth category, the People’s Choice award. After the awards were all dispersed, the current president, Kurt Lango addressed the gathering and outlined his goals for Oregon ASLA in the upcoming year. We have some exciting days ahead of us!

Landscape architects strive all throughout the year to not only provide a great project for their client, but also to provide something that the wider community will appreciate. This was the night to celebrate the extraordinary designs of Oregon’s landscape architects – many accolades go to all the 2012 participants. You have made us proud.

2012 Non-Design Award Winners

2012 Fellows: Cynthia Girling and Robin Gyorgyfalvy
Oregon ASLA Chapter Service Award: Rebecca Wahlstrom
National ASLA President’s Medal: Gregg Everhart
Oregon ASLA President’s Award: Randy Gragg
Academic Achievement Honor Awards: Christo Brehm and Laura Culver
Academic Achievement Merit Awards: Claudia Sims and Karim Hassanein


Reception Sponsor:

Signature Drink Sponsor:
JP Stone Contractors

Centerpiece Sponsor:

General Event Sponsors:
Northwest Recreation
Mutual Materials
Coldsprings Granite
Willamette Graystone
Teufel Landscape

ASLA Oregon is a 285 member professional society dedicated to the advancement of landscape architecture within the state. The group holds an annual design awards event every fall and a professional symposium every spring. For more information visit aslaoregon.org.

2012 Gopher Green Tournament Recap

Friday, September 7, 2012
Diamond Woods Golf Course
96040 Territorial Highway, Monroe

2012 Gopher Green Golf Tournament was big success!

The Willamette Valley Section held the second annual Gopher Green Golf Tournament at Diamond Woods in Monroe, Oregon on September 7th to support section lectures and events. The weather was gorgeous that Friday afternoon and everyone enjoyed the event. The Delta Construction team took first place this year and none of the golfers were able to hit a hole-in-one to win a car, airfare, golf clubs or TV.

Special thanks to our sponsors: LandscapeForms, Cameron McCarthy, VISCO, Inc., OBEC Consulting Engineers, Rain Bird Corporation, Bandon Crossings, Northwest Playground, The Toro Company and Oakdale Cellars. We also want to thank Jake Risley, RLA for joining the WVS committee to help organize the event. (His team came in second this year, missing it by the tie-breaker yet again! There’s always next year Jake!)

First Place: Dale Fortner, Stan Pickett, Troy Hanson and Drew Conlon
Second Place: Jake Risley, Nate Risley, Rick Brown and Allan Martin
Third Place: Colin McArthur, Craig Hammond, Jason Gillies, Justin Cutter



photos courtesy of Nicole Ankeney

Emerging Professionals 101 Series Recap

Local Innovation in Greenroofs: Wildlife, Plants and Technology
A Green Roof Tour and Roundtable Discussion

On June 13, 25 ASLA and AIA emerging professionals (EP’s) met to tour three greenroofs in downtown Portland. Thanks to the gracious hospitality of the building management, sponsors, and a great organizing committee, the group was able to access the Hamilton West Apartments, Ladd Tower, and The Indigo Building rooftops, something that most non-residents can’t do every day.

At the Hamilton West Apartments the group saw the design that was the model for many northwest greenroofs and serves as a sort of laboratory for the City of Portland to test the benefits of treating roofs in this manner. The next two stops, Ladd Tower and The Indigo Building are more recent additions (2009), and combine social and ecological elements in some very cool designs. Walking through these spaces, one could tell that residents made use of their roof access on a regular basis. Clever designers took steps to make the space comfortable in many types of weather by adding wind-blocking glass railings and places to get out of sun/drizzle. Maybe it just was that the EP group was blessed with a rare sunny evening in June, but the views from each of the buildings was outstanding and let one see Portland in a whole different light.

Not content with just touring these greenroofs, the committee had someone meet the group at each stop to speak about the design and any challenges they may have faced during construction. It was a great opportunity to hear what worked and what didn’t, and to ask questions while on-site. After the EP group finished the tour, the evening ended with food and beverages at the AIA building, and all enjoyed the presentation from Columbia Green Director of Technical Sales and Programs, Tim Nash. Tim provided the group an overview of greenroof technology and construction methods and fielded questions from attendees. Judging from the lively question and answer time following Mr. Nash’s presentation, architects and landscape architects were eager to learn more about making the most of our rooftops.

Does all this sound like a fun and educational way to explore Portland? If you would like to learn more about upcoming events, look for the “EP” category of events on our calendar.


Hamilton West Apartments
1212 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR

Hamilton West: the grand-daddy of greenroofs in the northwest. Casey Cunningham, from the City of Portland, spoke to the group and explained that although this roof does serve as roof access and open space for residents, it is primarily a testing ground for the City. Tests have been conducted over the years to measure things like water runoff, bird migration/feeding, and gauging how the age of the roof changes the test results.


Ladd Tower
1300 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR

Ladd Tower: Tim Nash, from Columbia Green, met the group at this building. The first roof that the group saw did not include soaring views, but was rather cozy, tucked between the building and another wall. The stop was highlighted with a trip up to the roof, where even residents don’t get to visit. Fantastic views, but very windy. The group learned of the importance of taking the wind into account during design.


The Indigo at TwelveWest
430 SW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR

Indigo: Trent Thelen met the EP group at The Indigo to show us this very social space. Trent led the group through the construction highs and lows; what worked and what did not. Apparently residents were enjoying the design so extravagantly that they actually had to put limits on use of the roof.





Photos above courtesy of Christopher Olin, text by Rebecca Wahlstrom


columbia-green-logoColumbia Green
Contact: Tim Nash, Director Technical Sales & Programs 503.327.8723 | timn@columbia-green.com



willamette-graystone-logoWillamette Graystone

Contact: Gale Schroeder, Architectural Sales Representative 503.472.6010 | gales@willamettegraystone.com