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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 Portico Group

President: Michael Hamm
Size of firm: 40
Year founded: 1983
Annual revenues: $4.6 million
Specialties: Visitors centers, arboretums, botanical gardens, zoos and aquariums

The Portico Group continues to grow, adding 10 staff members in the last year, according to principal Dennis Meyer, and revenues projected to be up about $700,000 this year.

"A lot of client groups are taking much more seriously the fact that they should be providing an educational message-habitat preservation, global warming, protection of old growth forest. We provide a cross-disciplinary approach in appealing to a lot of these clients," said Meyer.

This trend is a good fit with the firms traditional specialties, according to president Michael Hamm.

"Theres a strong emphasis on public facilities, institutions and non-profits, for education and interpretation. Projects typically involve an exhibit, interpretation and story line," said Hamm. But the firm also does many more traditional projects, such as landscape architecture for several King County libraries.

The firm just completed a feasibility study for the Canopy Project, an ecosystem education center near Gold Beach. It was one of three Portico projects to receive a national award last year from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The firm has begun work on the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in the middle of the city of Las Vegas, a 180-acre site with a long history. It has always been an active well site for the city, but now it is being planned and designed to promote water conservation.

Ever since 1991, the office has been involved in Heritage Park, an expansion of the Capital Campus in Olympia, and there are two planned phases of construction left to come. A promenade along the lake shore will go out to bid this summer, said Meyer.

Another national award winner is Cascade Crest, an alpine habitat setting at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. The firm won a national merit award for a master plan for the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens.

These projects and others have enabled the firm to continue a search for one-of-a-kind projects that involve multiple layers of meaning.

"The firm is the primary consultant in the vast majority of the projects, and most of them are out of state," said Meyer, adding, "You dont see as much large scale land planning in the Northwest as opposed to elsewhere."

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