Oehme, van Sweden & Associates

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Oehme, van Sweden & Associates (OvS) is a Washington, D.C. based landscape architecture firm known for their designs for memorials, parks, public gardens, universities, and private buildings in the eastern United States. The firm helped popularize the "New American Garden" style, which included increased use of ornamental grasses in landscapes. The Form is named after the founders Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden. Notable projects include the landscape architecture for the Federal Reserve, World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Friendship Garden of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.; North Point Park (Cambridge, Massachusetts); the Alderman Library Quadrangle at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and the Azalea Garden of the New York Botanical Garden.[1]

Design philosophy[edit]

Oehme, van Sweden's appreciation of nature and its processes inspires the firm's "New American Garden" style, as exemplified by the design of the Friendship Garden at the United States National Arboretum; the design demonstrates the ideals of low-input landscaping: a diversity of beautiful plants with limited inputs of pesticides, fertilizer, water, and maintenance.[2] The firm seeks to integrate new projects and plantings into natural landscapes and ecosystems, fitting each design into its existing context.[3]

The professional staff consists of twelve landscape architects.[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

The firm's project to improve the landscaping for a block of townhomes in the Ellen Wilson neighborhood of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., was recognized with an American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 1998.[1] The firm was also honored that year with a Residential Design Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for their work on a residential Coastal Island Retreat on Spring Island, South Carolina.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Portfolio". Oehme, van Sweden & Associates. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Friendship Garden: Low Maintenance and Lovely". United States National Arboretum. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Ruane, Michael E. (April 2012). "MLK Memorial fits in with its surroundings". The Washington Post Cherry Blossom Special Section 2012. 
  4. ^ "Residential Design Honor Award". ASLA 2008 Professional Awards. American Society of Landscape Architects. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 

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