Great Basinand Evening Island, Chicago Botanic Garden

Oehme, van Sweden & Associates

Founded in 1975 by Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, this Washington, D.C. firm, now in its second generation, continues to design landscapes in the “New American Garden" style. This innovative approach to garden design departs from conventional styles of American landscape architecture, and the philosophy behind it was advanced and made popular by books and lectures by James van Sweden. The “New American Garden” is a metaphor for the American meadow. It reflects the year-round beauty of the natural landscape. Gardens are designed utilizing mass plantings of perennials and ornamental grasses as a foil to the carefully detailed hardscape elements. The garden for the Federal Reserve Board introduced this style to the national stage in 1977.

In addition to a large residential practice, other projects undertaken by the firm include the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Gardens of the Great Basin at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, the United States Embassy site in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the National Association of Realtors corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C.