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.  

Quinn Landscape Architects merges with O|CB


Meghen Quinn, an expert in the planning and design of large-scale urban landscapes, joins O|CB as Principal.


We are pleased to announce that Meghen Quinn is joining O|CB to lead our design team alongside Founding Principal, Cheryl Barton, and Managing Principal, Paul Sieron. Meghen's firm, Quinn Landscape Architects, is merging with O|CB, bringing its staff and portfolio featuring a range of urban and institutional projects, including the Chandran Gallery and Northside Park in San Francisco, and the Glen Mor Student Apartments at University of California, Riverside. 

In her new role as Principal, Meghen will work on deepening our focus on green urbanism projects, guiding the development of complex public and institutional projects and the realization of new and revitalized landscapes. Meghen brings an experienced perspective and has a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that our clients face. We’re thrilled to add her and her colleagues, Jan Eiesland and Rachel Morelli, to our talented team where their expertise will advance our commitment to creating beautiful and resilient landscapes.

At O|CB, we believe that now more than ever we need to broaden the impact of landscape architectural practice and our focus on interdisciplinary collaboration to meet the complex needs of our time. We’re excited to be joining forces to design for the adaptive, contextual, and compelling sites that are paramount to the Anthropocene Era.

See our expanded team here


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