Meet the landscape architects reshaping iconic Portland
With a recent awards sweep that includes national recognition from the American Society of Landscape Architects and five nods from ASLA's Oregon chapter, Melinda Graham and Jonathan Beaver are celebrating 2.ink Studio's diversity of work and the new generation of landscape architects coming up behind them.
Graham, the firm's owner, and Beaver, principal and lead designer, came to landscape architecture from very different paths. Graham majored in psychology and biology and was doing temp work as a field biologist in Australia when she met an urban planner and realized she liked the mix of land, people and creativity. She went back to school and earned a master's degree in landscape architecture.
Beaver's interest in landscape architecture took root during his childhood when he would explore botanical gardens during travels with his mother. He was majoring in math during college and exploring a career in architecture, which led him to attend a lecture by a professor who had recently returned from visiting European gardens.
"It just kind of clicked in a way. I think I literally changed my major the next day," said Beaver, who earned degrees in landscape architecture and fine arts with an emphasis in sculpture. His interest in sculpture continues to play a part in his design work today.
The pair worked at Walker Macy and Murase Associates together before establishing 2.ink Studio in 2006. The firm specializes in civic, education and healthcare projects as well as mixed-use development, parks and private experimental gardens. It received a 2018 ASLA Honor Award for YARD, a mixed-use building at the east end of the Burnside Bridge that features a sloped green roof.
Other recent kudos include Oregon ASLA Honor Awards for SINBIN, a Portland private residence that combined an artists' retreat, skate bowl, recording studio and playground; Cully Park, a 25-acre park in Northeast Portland that transformed an abandoned landfill into a community playground, garden, sports fields and gathering place; and a Lake Oswego private garden called Big Rock Candy Mountain.
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