January 29, 2019

When Gary Reddick, president of award-winning architectural firm V3 Studio is asked why he was drawn to Otak, he talks about the Multnomah County Courthouse. “Otak is there, and everybody else isn’t,” said Gary. “Otak got chosen to manage construction of two of the largest building projects downtown—the courthouse and the Portland Building—and that says something about the company’s commitment to outstanding project management and client service.” Gary was attracted to the way Otak combines great design and solid project delivery to deliver the best service to our clients. 

Gary’s company, V3 Studios, is bringing their extensive experience to advance Otak’s vision of combining science and art, and architecture and engineering, into the way the firm designs and creates next-generation communities. Gary’s portfolio and experience elevate Otak’s design capabilities several notches, in addition to the legacy of senior designer Gary Larson. 

Recognized as a leader in design, V3’s award-winning work illustrates a passion and commitment to urban projects that are responsive to their locale and context, which complements Otak’s urban development work in hospitality and housing. Both Otak and V3 believe that projects have become too complicated for either art or science. Instead we must integrate art, structure, sustainability, and water management to design projects that serve our changing world.

Their work and expertise complement Otak’s portfolio of multifamily housing, high rises, master planning, and hospitality projects:

  • Gary Reddick, AIA: A recognized expert in urban planning and smart growth, Gary has dedicated his career to designing high-quality architecture and increasing the livability of communities in the United States and throughout the world. His multifamily housing, hospitality, and master planning designs span the globe. A leader in the field, he’s frequently asked to speak at conferences, universities, planning departments, and civil organizations on urban architecture and master planning. A graduate of the University of Oregon and well known in Portland as a civic leader and architect for 40 years, Gary is also an accomplished fine artist with over 250 repeat collectors around the world.

  • Chris Maykut: Specializing in international urban planning and building design from conceptualization through design development, Chris is dedicated to strengthening and engaging the built urban environment through pedestrian-oriented sustainable communities. His senior design experience includes master planning large, high- density mixed-use developments, small urban infill projects, and retail projects ranging from dense multi-story urban malls to pedestrian lifestyle centers in the United States and overseas. Chris graduated from the Portland State University School of Architecture.

  • Jason Marshall: Jason joined V3 Studios in 2018 after earning his master’s in architecture from UCLA and designing museums and single-family residences in Virginia, Tennessee, Nebraska, and California. He then expanded into hospitality, residential, retail, and mixed-use projects in the U.S. and internationally. The company he founded, Lime Design Collective, worked with big brands on exhibit and environment design, as well as retail and consumer experience. 

“Gary brings an exceptional 40-year history in Portland and beyond,” said Jim Hamann, Otak CEO. “We’re fortunate to have Gary and the V3 team join Otak and continue to elevate Otak’s design capabilities and portfolio.”

Otak’s inclusive architecture practice combines civil engineering, land use planning, and landscape architecture, with a focus on the art and science of development. This varied expertise allows the company to tap into resources quickly and apply them collaboratively, offering innovative design solutions that are both functional and cost-effective. Otak has a reputation for smart, creative design that integrates natural and built environments. By bringing this design philosophy into communities, Otak transforms the way people use, experience, and enjoy the spaces they inhabit. 

Architecture | Oregon | Sustainability | Make a Comment | View Comments (0)
   January 7, 2019


By Nick Grenfell

Fueled by excitement and several cups of hot chocolate, Cody Christianson, a senior project engineer at Loris, a division of Otak, attended a community thank you event, celebrating the successful completion of the Castle Creek Bridge/Hallam Street Improvement project in Aspen, Colorado. The event had a hot cocoa bar and site tours guided by the City of Aspen, Gould Construction, and the Otak/Loris design team.

The project team held the event to thank the Aspen community for their patience, participation, and understanding of the construction process, as well as to highlight the value of the critical capital asset project and close the loop on community education for the improvements and value added.

A large round of applause goes to PR Studio for assembling an event of this magnitude and for their diligent efforts in public involvement during project construction. Additional thanks go to the City of Aspen; members of the Otak/Loris design team, which consisted of Connect One Design, Z-Group Architects, KL&A, and RMH Group; and Gould Construction, for taking this project from conception to completion.

We were honored to be part of this important project, improving the community amenities in the City of Aspen.

Colorado | Engineering | Otak Denver | Transportation | Make a Comment | View Comments (0)
   January 2, 2019

By Mandi Roberts

Believing that diversity fosters innovation and strengthens our skills, we’re working to build a culture of equity and inclusion so everyone has a level playing field. Our professionals come from diverse backgrounds, and we regularly collaborate across the disciplines of planning, architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, project and construction management, natural resource sciences, and other areas of expertise. This interdisciplinary dynamic embraces equity, inclusion, and valuing each other’s unique perspectives. We continue to explore how to foster this aspect of our culture even more and to a greater level of depth throughout all our offices and teams.

To that end, Otak’s Executive Management Team (EMT) has been focusing on equity & inclusion in the past year. In October, the EMT participated in a workshop hosted by the Medici Group of New York. The workshop helped us learn more about how diversity can directly contribute to innovative ideas and our success in business.

Our thought leaders from Medici, Sharang Biswas and Juliana Echeverri, facilitated interesting discussions and group exercises, helping us experience first-hand the magic that can happen when diversity and inclusion overlap with innovation and strategy as shown in their signature approach graphic to the right.

The EMT participants broke into five small teams organized to include people of diverse disciplines, backgrounds, interests, ages, genders, geographic locations, and technical expertise. Each person shared information about themselves in short phrases and key words, writing on a large piece of paper in the form of a mind map. Then team members asked each other questions to gain a better understanding of each person’s story. The next step got participants’ ideas flowing—each team was asked to randomly pick two items on the mind map and come up with a new business-related idea or concept. The last step was to repeat the same exercise, but to brainstorm new ideas that were specific to an aspirational goal in Otak’s Strategic Plan:

Otak strives for client relationships that go beyond our work and develop into personal relationships

This process churned out some amazing and interesting ideas. EMT members had a blast getting to know each other better and sharing their unique ideas, making this monthly meeting one of the most interesting yet.

The Medici Group, founded by Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect (Harvard Business Press), a foundational book on innovation, and The Click Moment (Penguin Portfolio), helps companies activate diversity into an innovative edge by breaking down silos and leveraging diverse talents. Just as the Medici family catalyzed the Renaissance by bringing together people from different disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds, the Medici Group inspires the Renaissance of today.

Who were the Medicis?
The Medicis gained prominence in Italy in the early 15th century as wool merchants and bankers whose businesses were extremely profitable. They were leaders in business, politics, religion (three popes were Medicis), and the arts. Together with other prominent families, the Medicis inspired the Renaissance by funding creators from a wide range of disciplines—scientists, sculptors, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, architects, and others, who converged on the city of Florence, where they learned from one another, broke down barriers, and forged a new world based on new ideas.

When I spent time in Italy last summer with the University of Idaho Landscape Architecture program, we stayed in Florence for several days and visited Villa Medici, one of the many estates built by the family, as well as Renaissance-era architecture, gardens, and works of art throughout that region. This was an incredible experience, and I highly recommend walking in the footsteps of the Medicis for anyone seeking enlightenment about how embracing each other’s unique qualities can inspire our success as innovators.

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