Mayer/Reed’s Grant High School Modernization received an Honor Award in the general design category at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Oregon 2022 Design Awards soirée on October 7th. Landscape architects and students from around Oregon gathered for the first time in two years to celebrate outstanding works of landscape architecture and environmental planning in our state.
The modernization of Grant High School’s building, led by Mahlum Architects, coupled with our site design work on the 10.2-acre campus, demonstrates how bold spatial solutions can create community, overcome social disadvantage, achieve sustainability and enable equal access to learning environments. Beyond the physical modernization of an aging historic landmark building, our team achieved goals set by Portland Public Schools for engagement, equity and inclusion in the community-based planning and design process.
Jurors appreciated the close working relationship of landscape and architecture in creating new physical, ecological and social connections that replace the former maze of unsafe, inaccessible and unused outdoor spaces. One juror noted: “…A clear collaborative effort between the architect and landscape architect where the courtyards highlight the landscape architect’s contribution, nicely developed spaces for students to thrive. Visual clarity on the site is a great improvement to the campus.”
We at Mayer/Reed, along with the entire Grant High School team, are honored to have been a part of improving this significant community asset that has set up a legacy for future generations to enjoy.
We’re delighted to announce the promotion of Shannon Simms, ASLA to associate principal and shareholder. With her expertise as a landscape architect and urban designer, Shannon leads planning and design of complex, urban environments for recreation and active transportation. Her recent projects include the Green Loop Concepts (Portland, OR), Southwest Corridor Light Rail Urban Design (Portland to Tualatin, OR), Ebey Waterfront Trail, Master Plan & Phase 1 (Marysville, WA) and St. Helens Riverfront Park (St. Helens, OR).
Shannon holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University. She is a past vice president of member services for Oregon ASLA and has mentored design students as an adjunct instructor for urban design and landscape programs at the University of Oregon.
Mayer/Reed is marking the next chapter of our interdisciplinary design leadership—honoring a legacy of design excellence and promoting from within.
Kathy Fry, SEGD and Jeramie Shane, ASLA lead the visual communications and landscape architecture groups respectively and continue to work side-by-side to evolve Mayer/Reed’s collaborative approach to forward-thinking design. Together with Shannon Simms, ASLA, who was recently promoted to associate principal and shareholder, they see a future filled with possibilities where the studio’s integrated disciplines thrive through curiosity and cross-pollination.
“We’re designing for an ever-changing world,” says Jeramie, “and we’re cultivating a studio that encourages pressing beyond what we know to what might be revealed through a creative process. Listening, collaboration and making space for tinkering and iteration is a mindset.”
“As we navigate evolving technologies, new social patterns and climate change with our clients, we’re guided by our long-standing core values,” adds Kathy. “We’re talking about enduring, resilient and adaptive design—key for the health and well-being of our communities and environment.”
Founding partner Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA remains focused on client relations, projects and design mentorship. “I’m reflecting on the people who inspired me and encouraged me to find my voice in design. In turn, I’m continuing to express my passion for the profession as a mentor and encouraging women to lead with their strong design sensibilities.”
“Carol has been an inspiration to so many people including me,” notes Shannon. “Her influence is far reaching. I’m honored to be a part of the firm’s ongoing success as a women-owned business.”