O|CB Celebrates the New Year with New Staff + Promotions

As 2018 begins, we are thrilled to extend congratulations to recently promoted staff and welcome a new addition to our talented, dedicated team!

John L. Pearson has been promoted to Senior Associate. With over 10 years of professional experience, John has been with O|CB for 6 years.  A graduate of UC Berkeley, John has proven himself to be an invaluable team member contributing to all facets of the practice and working on a range of projects including university and corporate campuses. Currently, John is overseeing the landscape construction of  Stanford University’s new 35-acre campus in Redwood City.

Kathleen O’Leary has been promoted to Associate. Kathleen joined O|CB in 2016 after receiving her Master of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley and quickly demonstrated her ability to spearhead projects of all scales, from custom site furnishing design to the complex design documentation of large scale sites. Kathleen’s recent project work includes completing the construction documents for the 12-acre Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Phase 1 Improvements which is scheduled to commence construction in 2018.

Meghann Dubie has been promoted to Office Manager. Meghann joined O|CB in 2011 as Studio Coordinator.  Meghann has a background in theatrical stage management and has used that experience to help keep our busy studio running smoothly. In her new role of Office Manager, Meghann will continue to continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the studio while expanding her role in business development and accounting support. 

O|CB also welcomes a new staff member, Katie Bissett, RLA, who has joined O|CB as an Associate.  Katie has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Idaho and a Master of Art in Digital Media Studies from the University of Houston Clear Lake. At her prior firm, Katie managed academic, healthcare, hospitality, and residential projects of significant scale and design complexity. One of her new roles will be Project Manager for O|CB’s work on the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Building at UCSF's Mission Bay Campus. 

Breaking the BIM Code

O|CB Principal Meghen Quinn talks about the challenges and advantages of working with BIM technology. 

Earlier this year Meghen spoke with Landscape Architecture Magazine’s Brian Barth about how she has learned to embrace the BIM process as a landscape architect. 

Meghen began using  BIM software in 2011 while working alongside architects in an interdisciplinary studio.  She quickly began to find ways to manipulate the program's building features for site work.  Since joining O|CB in early 2017 she has been a driving force in the adoption of BIM in O|CB's work. 

The full article can be found in the August 2017 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine and online at


Stanford breaks ground on O|CB designed Satellite Campus


New Redwood City Campus sets the standard for green infrastructure in the region.


Stanford University has officially broken ground on their first major expansion beyond the main campus.  O|CB spearheaded the site planning and design for the new Stanford Redwood City Campus.  The new campus will house primarily non-academic functions.  O|CB placed particular emphasis on place-making strategies throughout the site, working closely with Stanford to define and implement outdoor amenity spaces for dining, meeting, exercising and socializing.  

Phase I will include office space, a child care center, a parking garage, a fitness center, and a dining pavilion—all configured around a central Greenway and 2.4 acres of publicly accessible open space which enhances connectivity between the adjacent communities and the new campus.   The public ‘heart’ of the campus will be an oak-shaded piazza and transit center which fronts Broadway Street.   Outdoor dining areas, informal performance spaces, mobile food services and various transit modes—including a possible future trolley to downtown Redwood City—will create an active street-life for campus visitors, employees and neighborhood residents.

O|CB’s water savvy landscape design contended with technical issues ranging from soil compaction and contamination to reclaimed water for irrigation with a high salt and chemical compound content that many plants will not tolerate. In fact, Redwood trees, Redwood City’s name sake, won’t grow in reclaimed water, and native plants do not necessarily grow in non-native soils. To create an adaptive landscape responsive to the site’s challenges, O|CB partnered with a horticulturist to develop a palette of plant species resilient enough to withstand and succeed on the new Stanford campus. The resulting landscape will be a tapestry of native plant species interwoven with plant species adapted to our region.  The finished product will be a beautiful landscape suited to the local climate and particularly tolerant of the on-site soil and water conditions.

To learn more about this project visit Architect Newspaper and The Mercury News for more coverage.

O|CB Projects are among Curbed SF’s Most Beautiful Wedding Venues


A recent Curbed SF list named Rincon Park and the Chapel at the future site of the Treasure Island Cultural Park as some of the most beautiful San Francisco Wedding Locations.  

Completed in 2002, Rincon Park and the Cupid’s Span sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen remain an iconic San Francisco location.  Situated at the foot of Folsom Street, Rincon Park completes the open space edge on San Francisco’s central waterfront.  The park is situated on a tilted plane of green, giving way to a sweeping view of the bay. 

Treasure Island Cultural Park is planned as part of the larger Treasure Island Redevelopment project.  The park aims to be a focal point and civic gathering space for the growing Treasure Island community.  It will provide an idyllic setting for the existing World War II-era Chapel and many future weddings to come. 

Check out CurbedSF’s full list here

The Fields Park in World Landscape Architecture Magazine


O|CB designed Fields Park featured in the March issue of World Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Earlier this year Cheryl spoke with World Landscape Architecture about the design process for a 3.5 acre urban park in Portland, OR that has become both a destination for the rapidly renewing Pearl District and a connection to its past. The full conversation with Cheryl is available here.  

WLA Magazine 30 is out now.  

Why Ecodistricts Could Save the Future of Cities

  Parks, pedestrian promenades, and rooftop gardens form the backbone of West 2nd District’s green infrastructure

Parks, pedestrian promenades, and rooftop gardens form the backbone of West 2nd District’s green infrastructure

Resilience is the name of the game if American cities want to remain adaptable in the face of change.  So what is an ecodistrict and why does it matter?

While the term was coined decades ago in Europe, we’ve only recently started referring to urban resilience zones as ecodistricts here in the United States.  Portland coined the term with the creation of the Lloyd EcoDistrict, a model for sustainability in the US.

In simple terms, an ecodistrict is a habitable, energy-independent, self-contained zone that recycles its waste, cleans and creates clean water, and supports an urban forest that in turn generates clean air and other social and ecological benefits.  These urban resilient zones operate independently of the larger urban grid.  The idea behind this can be boiled down to a basic biological tenet:  diversity means strength.  If a city were composed of a patchwork of these independent resilient zones, no single event could impact everyone to the same drastic extent.  An additional advantage of this patchwork of sustainable resilient zones is the significant decrease in the city’s total waste.   

O|CB is proud to be working on West 2nd District, the first ecodistrict in the high desert biome whose bioregional impact and function will be significant and pronounced.  When it is completed in ten years, the project will stand as an example of landscape urbanism and civic innovation, making Reno the Biggest, Greenest, Little City in the West.  In alignment with its goals for environmentally and socially equitable spaces, the West 2nd District emphasizes landscape architecture as a key component of the project’s infrastructure design.  The result is a complete system with an expected 30% to 40% water reclamation rate, critical in a water lean future.

Martin Pedersen posits that landscape architects can help save the world. While we’re admittedly partial, we wholeheartedly agree with him.  It will take some serious dialogue and interdisciplinary collaboration to get things moving in the right direction but ecodistricts are an example of how things can work out well.  When science and design meet, and practitioners share a holistic approach and a vision for the long game, we are collectively stronger.


Learn more about our work on the West 2nd District.

Anything but Ordinary: Extraordinary Playscapes Opening Reception

 Playground Passport exhibit beacon outside The Fields Park play area

Playground Passport exhibit beacon outside The Fields Park play area

O|CB joined the Design Museum Foundation in Portland to celebrate the opening of their latest exhibition.

On October 6th, O|CB’s Jorge Abich joined over a hundred guests for the opening of Extraordinary Playscapes at Pacific Northwest College of the Arts.  

Extraordinary Playscapes is the Design Museum Foundation’s national exhibition and education program, exploring the latest thinking in playground design while presenting how vital free play is to childhood development, thriving communities, and social equity. Attendees were encouraged to sit, play, and interact with over 40 international playgrounds, drawings, models, installations, and more. Each of these featured displays highlight advancements in the design and creation of active playscapes around the world.

We were proud to have our project, The Fields Park, featured in the Playground Passport, a guide to Portland parks that exemplify successful and innovative playgrounds. Steve Koch, our local landscape architect for the project, joined us at the opening reception. Special thanks to Sam Aquillano and his staff at the Design Museum for producing such a wonderful event, and to Gary Datka of Portland Parks & Recreation for recommending The Fields Park for inclusion. For more photos from the opening reception, click the gallery at left.

The exhibition is on view at the Pacific Northwest College of Art through December 17. Check out the Design Museum Foundation and PNCA for the latest information on future events - we hear the exhibit is traveling to San Francisco soon!

Extraordinary Playscapes 
Exhibit through December 17
Open daily 9am – 8pm

Pacific Northwest College of Art
511 NW Broadway Portland, OR 97209


The Anderson Collection at Stanford University Wins Design Award

 View of the Anderson Collection from the Cantor Arts Center Photo ©Timothy Griffith

View of the Anderson Collection from the Cantor Arts Center
Photo ©Timothy Griffith

The design team was awarded the 2016 Design Award of Excellence from SARA NY (Society of American Registered Architects, New York Council) for their work on the new gallery.

The design team led by Ennead Architects, with site planning and design by O|CB, was awarded the 2016 Design Award of Excellence from SARA NY (Society of America Registered Architects, New York Council) for their work on the Anderson Collection.

The new gallery at Stanford University houses the private modern art collection of the Anderson family. The landscape complements the modern Pavilion-style design by Ennead Architects, seamlessly completing a grove setting for the gallery on what was once a parking lot.  A flourishing bioswale on the building’s north side integrates stormwater and provides habitat zones.  O|CB completed this project as part of its broader efforts on the Arts Precinct Master Plan, which included the design of the McMurtry Art and Art History Building with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The Anderson Collection previously received an Award of Excellence in the 2015 AIA New York State Design Awards