OJB Landscape Architecture is Celebrating Its 30th Anniversary
“This milestone is a testament to the talent and dedication of our team throughout our 30-year history,” said Jim Burnett, Founder and President of OJB. “A lot has changed since 1989 when OJB was founded, but one thing that hasn’t is our dedication to design excellence and our commitment to clients and collaborators.”
Founded in Houston in 1989, OJB has spent the past 30 years designing landscapes that create unique and unforgettable sensory experiences. There have been many challenges and rewards as the firm has grown and evolved through the years. The firm and its projects have been recognized with numerous national design awards. Over the last decade, OJB’s innovative design concepts have been recognized by several organizations including, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for Firm of the Year award in 2015, and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), for the urban open space design award 3 of the last 5 years.
Inspired by a personal health crisis early in his career, Jim directed OJB’s initial focus towards transforming healing healthcare design. Through his personal experience on medical campuses, and examination of patient encounters with their institutional surroundings, Jim found that the austere environments fostered a focus on ‘illness’ instead of ‘wellness.’ With an altered perspective on healing, the firm’s innovative approach to restorative healthcare design allow patients, their families and hospital staff to experience the beauty of nature in a sometimes-institutional environment. Through serene courtyards, beautiful nature campus walks and tranquil gardens, OJB focuses on creating experiences that allow visitors, caregivers, and patients to reflect, rest and heal.
As the firm evolved, Jim wanted the firm’s projects to have a strong emphasis on promoting healthy living. OJB believes landscapes have the power to heal and restore communities, and it became the firm’s priority to revitalize cities through the creation of open green spaces, both public and private. Well-designed green spaces and connections to these spaces are crucial to making urban environments more habitable, and healthier.
“We live in a very busy world and we believe that nature and landscapes can make a big difference in people’s lives. We analyze how nature can heal, transform, change and restore. Our roots can be seen in all of our projects,” says Jim Burnett.
OJB’s engaging public spaces, including landscapes for creative offices, cultural institutions, academic campuses, civic spaces and mixed-use projects, have restored connections between disparate neighborhoods. Our imaginative designs and programming efforts have captured the hearts of all ages and demographics, demonstrating OJB’s commitment to the aesthetic and economic transformation of our cities.
Firm Growth and the Future
Over time, OJB has grown dramatically in staff size, office space, firm capabilities and project scope since the firm’s humble beginnings. In 2001, OJB opened a second office in San Diego to expand OJB’s reach to the west coast. Since then, Jim and the leadership team have continued to guide OJB through a period of extraordinary growth. In the last 10 years, the firm has grown to over 90 employees and opened additional offices in Boston, Dallas and Philadelphia.
We’ve seen many changes in the industry, as well as in our client’s needs. Technology has evolved and our team is constantly learning and adopting new design programs and digital technologies. Also, the recent growth of the OJB team has strengthened the firm and allowed us to expand its expertise. Most recently we launched our Activation and Continuing Care services, in order to strengthen the firm’s commitment to our clients and provide a more comprehensive approach to innovative design work.
OJB is proud to celebrate our first 30 years, and is excited about the future. We are optimistic that our coming success will be built on the foundation of past achievements, unremitting improvement, and our commitment to exceed client expectations. OJB will build on current momentum to create designs that inspire, and succeed in transforming environments.