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Special Issues


Anderson & Ray
Barker Landscape
Thomas Rengstorf
Robert Foley
Jones & Jones
Hough Beck & Baird
Belt Collins
Worthy and Associates
Heier Design Group
Talley & Kolb
Swift & Co


The Berger Partnership

President: Tom Berger
Size of firm: 34
Year founded: 1971
Annual revenues:$2.6 million
Specialties: All landscape architecture, including commercial, multi-use projects, residential projects, schools and parks.

For 28 years the Berger Partnership grew at a fairly consistent pace, said principal Jeff Girvin. But growth has accelerated in the last two years. And Girvin knows that his firm is not alone. Like Berger, "All of the landscape firms we know are looking for space"

"We added five in the last year," said Girvin. "Were out of room. We would have grown by 10."

Along with contemplating a move from the Eastlake office it has occupied since 1971, the firm as promoted two new partners. "Their voices need to be heard," said Girvin. "Its a great time to move to a new place."

Girvin considers the current demand for landscape architecture to be a direct response to the economy and the amount of disposable income that people command. "There are more exciting projects out there, more opportunities for richer use of materials, and more challenge in design," he said.

Environmental considerations have come to the forefront in many project types, said Girvin. "We have to pay particular attention to wetlands, runoff and stormwater. (Clients) cant afford to put it into a vault underground. It has to be an amenity."

The firm has been forced to pick and choose clients this year, and environmenTalley conscious ones are at the top of the list.

The Berger Partnership is working on the Environmental Learning Center on Bainbridge Island. It is also at work on Sound Transit projects on Broadway and in Kent and Tukwila. Other large projects include the historic Lincoln Reservoir on Capitol Hill, master planning for the Seattle Center and redevelopment of Space Needle and the Experience Music Project.

In interviewing young graduates for hire, Girvin has noticed that there has been a big emphasis on technology skills in education, and that concerns him. "Were looking for designers," he said, noting that being able to sketch by hand is still very important to clients. Knowledge of landscape construction is also very important, "getting the right people to the right jobs at the right time."

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