Blog
   May 26, 2015

Staff from Otak’s Portland, Vancouver, and Redmond offices attended the 22nd American Trails International Trails Symposium at the Oregon Convention Center last week. Conference sessions highlighted a variety of trails from around the world, and one of the sessions dealt with Otak’s Redmond Central Connector project in Redmond, Washington. Otak also had a booth at the conference showcasing some of our recent trail projects.

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   May 13, 2015

Otakians joined over 3,000 other people to celebrate the Foster Floodplain Natural Area (formerly East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project) during this year’s East Portland Sunday Parkway. Members of our water and natural resources team ran a stream simulation table on loan from River Restoration Northwest. The stream simulation table allowed kids (and adults) to ‘play engineer’ by shaping various river forms, adding flow obstructions such as culverts and large woody debris, and building a dam or two. The table shows how rivers respond to human modifications and is an engaging way to show the value of floodplain restoration projects. Otak staff also informed visitors about the design and function of the Natural Area, which is now in its third year of vegetative maintenance. To date, the project has exceeded expectations and has prevented flooding of Foster Road.

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   May 6, 2015

Otak will be hosting a Young Architects Forum at our Portland office tomorrow, May 7, from 5:30-7:30. Come enjoy food and drinks while meeting with your peers in the industry!

Our office is located on SW Third and Yamhill at 808 SW Third Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97204.

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   May 5, 2015

Otak was a sponsor of this year’s Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON) Spring Industry Support Conference in Salem, Oregon. Oregon ON is a statewide association of affordable housing and community development organizations that provide housing and economic opportunity for working families, people with disabilities, seniors, and others struggling to meet their needs in communities throughout Oregon. Otak’s Jennifer Nye and Amy Scheckla-Cox attended the conference and spoke with representatives from various nonprofits, public agencies, and affordable housing advocates. Otak has been involved in many affordable housing projects, and we are proud supporters of Oregon ON’s mission.

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   May 5, 2015

Otak’s Don Hanson recently co-chaired the City of Portland’s Southeast Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The 27-member committee held 14 meetings to discuss and review a draft of the Southeast Quadrant Proposed Plan. The committee recently held its final meeting and recommended the proposed plan to the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

The Southeast Quadrant Plan is part of the City’s ongoing Central City 2035 (CC2035) project to update the City’s plan and policies. Otak was also involved in the West Quadrant portion of CC2035 through leading a week-long design charrette. Don Hanson, a long-time Portlander, has served on a number of committees and commissions for the City, including the Planning and Sustainability Commission, Development Review Advisory Committee, Stakeholder Advisory Group for Vision 2000, Urban Renewal District Status Committee, and the Citizen Advisory Committee reviewing the Title 34 Land Development Ordinance.

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   April 28, 2015

Otak’s Amber Swanson and Ben Bortolazzo delivered a presentation at the AIA Portland’s Fast ForWARD event last week. Organized by the AIA Portland’s Forum for Women in Architecture and Related Design (ForWARD), presenters delivered pecha kucha presentations – 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each – on the theme of “Getting From Point A to Point B: From public transit to grand stairways to innovation – How design can compel people to move forward.”

Amber and Ben spoke about Otak’s Southwest Corridor Connector project, which involved moving pedestrians and cyclists to and from future rapid transit stops along SW Barbur and/or SW Naito to the Lair/Marquam Hill area. After studying the site’s history and meeting with stakeholders and the general public, Otak created two concepts that take advantage of the picturesque forest hillside and incorporate scenic views of the river and the city.

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   April 24, 2015

The United State Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently published “BLM Tech Note 446: The Use of Color for Camouflage Concealment of Facilities.” The BLM hired Otak to evaluate advanced camouflage technology in the field to determine the suitability of this technology and application methods to serve as a visual mitigation for oil and gas facilities. Otak helped coordinate and develop camouflage patterns and color combinations in different landscapes to preserve landscape character. The document is a result of numerous field studies conducted over an 11-year period.

To view the document, please click here.

 

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   April 23, 2015

In celebration of Earth Day, a group of Otakians and their family members participated in the Oaks Bottom Restoration and Cleanup in Portland. They joined Portland Surfrider, Portland Parks & Recreation, and other volunteers in enhancing the Oaks Bottom wetlands and forest by cleaning the area and planting native plants. It was a fun way to celebrate Earth Day by improving our environment and connecting with our community!

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   April 16, 2015

Otak's Ben Bortolazzo and Ron Dean will present a Pecha Kucha presentation on Otak's Southwest Corridor Connector project on Tuesday, April 21, at 6pm at AIA Portland on 403 NW 11th Ave. in Portland. The event is free and light refreshments will be provided. Come check it out!

For more information about AIA Portland, please click here.

 

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   April 1, 2015

The Oregon Chapter of APWA held their Spring Conference at the Valley River Inn in Eugene. Otak usually hosts a booth at each APWA conference where we display photos of our recent and local projects, but due to the increasing popularity of the conference and the smaller event space this year, the exhibit spaces were full by the time Otak signed up! In lieu of a booth, Otak joined two other firms that did not receive booths to host a pizza and game evening where attendees could team up and heckle each other over a fun game of miniature golf. Otak maintains involvement in APWA through conference attendance, as well as participation in subcommittees such as Sustainability, Water Resources, and the Young Professionals Network.

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