About PWL Partnership
Making places, engaging people, inspired by nature
We are a team of landscape architects, urban designers, and site planners.
Since 1976, PWL Partnership has transformed built and natural environments into vibrant and memorable destinations in ways that honour the cultural, historic and environmental attributes of place.
Each PWL project is infused with research and rooted in context resulting in thoughtful, site-responsive places. We believe even the boldest landscape architectural statement needs to be practical in function, so we begin every project by considering its anticipated users and then create spaces that will be enriched by future generations. Our goal is to have every landscape be truly regenerative— to give more than it takes.
For us, every project is an opportunity to tell a story—one stamped with history, firmly rooted in the present, and pointing towards a long, sustainable future. That’s why every project we create is unique.
In our first 40 years, we were behind some of the most significant developments in Metro Vancouver—from False Creek to Coal Harbour. We contributed a full range of services from site planning to community engagement, visual details to building positioning. Now, as we grow, we are putting our stamp on placemaking projects across North America, creating opportunities for dense populations and nature to thrive together.
We are social and environmental advocates. We recognize we are new to this land. In our design process, we acknowledge and learn from the Indigenous Peoples. Our responsibility as advocates is not only a business best practice but a way of life. For every project, big and small, we are committed to making a positive social and environmental impact.
We aspire to create places that are meaningful. To us, creating meaningful places means discovering the stories of the place and telling those stories through the landscape; inspiring communities and enhancing human connection to place; ensuring our projects perform ecological, social and economic services; and understanding and honouring the inherent rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples.
We are thoughtful, innovative, and believe in the power of collaborative and creative problem solving. We prioritize inclusion and active participation by team members in design development. By putting in the extra effort required to draw out unique perspectives, we make space, advocating and amplifying the quieter voices. Continuously growing and developing our collective expertise is important to us.
We acknowledge that racism and systemic injustices exist. We recognize that landscape architecture as a profession has played an indisputable part in forming the social fabric of cities and is historically complicit in the reification of systemic racism in our dominant culture today. We recognize that we must do better. Systemic racism and brutality against people of colour has hit a tipping point, and it is clear and vital that we push further, faster.
Sustainability in our practice
Sustainability at the core of our values at PWL Partnership. We strive for societal and environmental betterment through the practice and advocacy of sustainable planning, landscape architecture and urban design. As landscape architects, we believe our profession plays a vital role in local responses to global issues, such as climate change. We firmly believe it is our responsibility, as individuals and as a business, to make mindful decisions that will protect our planet for future generations. We pursue meaningful projects where we believe we can make positive change, creating robust outdoor spaces and contribute to the social health and well-being of the communities they serve.
Strategically balanced in areas of expertise, the PWL team integrates creative problem solving and innovation using —context-sensitive design skills, with ecological and technical knowledge. We add value by critically identifying opportunities to implement progressive rainwater management techniques use low-carbon construction materials and regenerate natural ecosystems.
Certifications and Expertise
Industry initiatives that measure environmental impact are valuable tools that measure our effectiveness in reaching project sustainability goals. PWL continues to be at the forefront of gaining and applying innovative practices from sustainable certifications. Our involvement in industry-leading projects demonstrates that the PWL team values and prioritizes novel approaches to sustainable design and our enduring commitment to treading responsibly on the land. PWL is a member of the Canadian Green Building Council. Our staff professionals are trained and certified in LEED®AP, LEED® Green Associates, Green Shores, Sustainable Sites®, and Salmon-Safe sustainability metrics programs.
The company began in 1976—a young city with an abundance of undeveloped waterfront, Vancouver was chosen to host the 1986 World’s Fair—and founding partner Jeff Philips used the opportunity to launch a landscape architecture practice.
Work on the World's Fair drew burgeoning landscape architect Margot Long to Vancouver. A fellow University of Oregon alum and former protégé of Don Vaughan—arguably the father of landscape architecture in BC—Margot joined Jeff’s growing practice in 1986.
That year the world discovered Vancouver. As more people set their sights on the city, landscape architects became indispensable, reimagining the city’s industrial waterfront into the foundation of a livable, urban community. Every step of the way, PWL Partnership has influenced the development of the city and beyond.
Don Wuori also joined in 1986, and the firm became Philips Wuori Long. As the firm grew, as did diversity and the breadth of design excellence in planning, urban design and landscape architecture. Bruce Hemstock (1997) and Chris Sterry (2002) joined as principal partners, the firm’s name evolved to reflect the broad partnership and our increasingly diverse work. Expanding into new project types—including urban design and planning—we set a foundation for the future.
For the last decade, Grant Brumpton, Derek Lee, and Jason Wegman have rounded out our team of principals, deepening our pool of expertise, strengthening our work in sustainability and planning, and solidifying our international reputation. In 2020, PWL welcomed our newest partner, Katya Yushmanova. The second female partner since Margot Long, Katya’s partnership demonstrates PWL's commitment to the maintenance of an inclusive and diverse workplace and leadership team. Every partner at PWL brings forward a unique perspective to our practice and the landscape architecture profession. Katya brings energy, perseverance and a talent for pushing ideas forward within the leadership team. Her plans to incorporate innovative research into the day to day operations of the company will further build tools and strategies to equip the company with multiple approaches to designing for resilience
With 40 years of experience behind us, PWL understands how to grow a successful organization, especially within today’s global challenges. Our firm, just like the longevity of our projects, is the result of fresh, adaptive practices, our expertise in stakeholder engagement, and our willingness to take calculated risks that strengthen the environment and surrounding communities. We are amazed at the ways our talented, mindful team finds new strategies to incorporate sustainability and make life better for project neighbours. Our ongoing evolution and boundary-pushing design will continue to define landscapes for another 40 years, and beyond.
Today it is almost impossible to walk through Vancouver without experiencing our portfolio—it continues to grow, both literally and figuratively. We are actively working towards Vancouver’s goal of being the greenest city in the world. In the process we’re extending our reach, making our indelible, visionary mark on landscapes from Seattle to Shanghai.
Selected Award Winning Projects
George Wainborn Park
CSLA National Citation Award 2006
Southeast False Creek
2013 Urban Land Institute Open Space Award
2010 United Nations Environment Program’s Livable Communities Best Built Project Award
2010 Canadian Institute of Planners Planning Excellence Award
2009 CSLA National Merit Award
2009 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie Award
2009 Waterfront Center Honor Award
2006 Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Urban Design Award
Vancouver Convention Centre
2017 CaGBC Leadership Award for Existing Building
2013 AIA Institute Honour Award for Architecture
2011 World Architecture News Effectiveness Award
2011 AIA/COTE Top 10 Green Projects Award
2010 Design Exchange Awards Gold
2010 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Award of Excellence
2010 CSLA National Merit Award
Westminster Pier Park
2015 Waterfront Center Honor Award
2015 Royal City Builders Award - Landscape Design
2014 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Urban Design Award
2013 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) Regional Honour Award
2013 International Downtown Association Public Space Downtown Pinnacle Award
Trottier Observatory + Science Courtyard
2017 CSLA National Award of Excellence, Small-Scale Public Landscape
2016 Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: Illumination Awards
CSLA National Merit Award
Coal Harbour Neighbourhood
2013 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design
2003 Waterfront Center Honor Award
River District Neighbourhood
2008 CSLA National Honour Award
2007 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie Award
2007 Canadian Institute of Planners Planning Excellence Award
2007 Smart Growth’s Smarty Award
2010 CSLA Regional Honour Award
2009 World Record-Breaking LEED-ND Platinum Certification
2008 World-Record-Breaking LEED Platinum New Construction
Vancouver Waterfront Master Plan + Park
2019 Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and River Institute (COPRI): Project Excellence Award - Small Project
2020 International Lighting Design Awards: Award of Excellence
Independent Living Seniors Residences
Tapestry Seniors Residence
2012 Urban Development Institute: Mid-Rise Residential
2011 Georgie Awards: Best Multi-Family Landscape Design
2011 Georgie Awards: Sustainable and Innovative Community Award
Re:Connect: Visualizing the Viaducts
2011 Re:CONNECT an open ideas competition: Visualizing the Viaducts People's Choice Award
2011 Re:CONNECT an open ideas competition: Visualizing the Viaducts Award of Merit
Marguerite House, Laurier House, McClure House, Matthews House, Devonshire House at Quilchena Park
2002 Urban Development Institute: Excellence in Urban Development Award Low-Rise Multi-Family Development
Stanley Park Lost Lagoon, Salmon Stream and Prospect Point
Stanley Park Salmon Stream:
2006 Waterfront Center: Honor Award
2006 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects: National Merit Award
Stanley Park Lost Lagoon Wetland:
2002 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects: Regional Honour Award
Ronald McDonald House
2016 Governor General's Medal in Architecture
Guildford Aquatic Centre
2016 Architectural Institute of British Columbia: Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Architecture Award
Granville Street Redesign
2012 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects: National Merit Award
2017 Urban Land Institute: Global Awards for Excellence
2016 Urban Development Institute: Mixed-Use
Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS)
2015 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada: Green Building Award;
2012 Architectural Institute of British Columbia Architectural Awards: Innovation Award