“ While being aware of the broader concerns of the contemporary artistic and cultural communities, my long term goal is to find a discreet voice within landscape architecture to address and articulate the ways in which we perceive, give meaning to and understand our environment.”
- Nancy Owens
RLA, LEED AP, FOUNDING PRINCIPAL
Nancy Owens is an artist and lead designer of the award-winning landscape architecture firm Nancy Owens Studio PLLC. Her commitment to the planning and design of public spaces inspired Nancy to establish a studio that balances innovative thinking with the need for functional, contextual and sustainable solutions. She served on her local community board for 13 years where she was a park advocate on advisory boards for major New York public spaces including the Hudson River Park, Governors Island, the East River Waterfront, and the Greening of Greenwich Street in TriBeCa.
Nancy conceived the designs and lead a multidisciplinary team of designers, ecologists, architects, and affiliated professionals for three new, major New York City parks: Fort Totten North Park in Queens, Estella Diggs Park in the Bronx, and Gateway Estates in Brooklyn. She is currently working on the major reconstruction of Astoria Park in Queens, as part of NYC’s Anchor Park’s Initiative.
RLA, LEED Green associate, landscape architect
Michael Koontz has designed and implemented a broad range of projects throughout the world. During his career in the public and private sectors, Michael has worked on parks, plazas, waterfronts, streetscapes, cultural institutions, civic institutions, and rooftop terraces. He currently serves as Senior Associate for Nancy Owens Studio PLLC, overseeing all design work and has been instrumental in applying resilient, ecological, and socially sustainable design principles to the firm’s portfolio. Michael has acquired and maintained a career long interest in public urban plazas and waterfront parks.
RLA, LEED AP, landscape architect
Anne Berman has designed and implemented a broad range of projects throughout the United States. During her career in the public and private sectors, Anne has worked on parks, plazas, streetscapes, cultural institutions and resorts. She has served as senior landscape architect for Nancy Owens Studio PLLC since the firm’s inception and has been instrumental in the design of regenerative landscapes which improve the natural function of urban sites. Her interest in landscape history informs her work on the planning and design of historic sites.
RLA, LEED AP, ISA, landscape architect
Amy Sommer is an experienced landscape architect with a diverse range of project experience including parks, streetscapes, plazas, greenways, college campuses and green roofs. As a senior member of the Nancy Owens Studio team since 2014, Amy has provided knowledge and experience in construction documentation and oversight and coordinating multidisciplinary teams of consultants. She has managed large complex projects including the new Gateway Estates Playground and Comfort Station, which was constructed on an urban fill site in Brooklyn, and the $30-million reconstruction of Astoria Park, one of NYC Parks’ Anchor Parks Initiative projects.
Michael Hussey joined Nancy Owens Studio in 2016 as a landscape designer and project manager. Michael received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Boston Architectural College (BAC), where he developed a distinct passion for urban design and public spaces. Prior to joining Nancy Owens Studio, Michael has worked on high-end residential, institutional, and urban design projects in the Greater Boston Area.
Since joining Nancy Owens Studio, Michael has provided graphic and construction document support for a variety of NYC Parks and DDC projects, including the reconstruction of Astoria Park. He is currently serving as project manager of the reconstruction of Crocheron Ballfields and Lawrence Playground in Queens.
Diana Tao, a landscape designer at Nancy Owens Studio since 2017, and holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Previously, she studied architecture and urbanism at Smith College.
Diana, a native New Yorker, is interested in the social aspects of public spaces, and in revitalizing urban culture in her hometown. Since joining Nancy Owens Studio, she has worked on master plans for public landscapes, including Astoria Park and the Fort Totten FDNY Training Academy.
CONSULTING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
John Duda is a senior landscape Architect with over 35 years experience with projects throughout the eastern and southern United States, He has extensive knowledge in all aspects of the profession with a specialization in construction documentation and administration. He has participated in a variety of project typologies at various scales over the course of his professional career with extensive experience in park and sports facility design, playground design, transportation and urban infrastructure, downtown redevelopment, and multi -family housing. Over the past 20 years he has developed a close working relationship with numerous public agencies throughout the New York area. John is currently a consultant to Nancy Owens Studio for technical oversite and quality control of construction documents.
Laurel Marx is a graphic designer working with Nancy Owens Studio PLLC on projects for NYC Parks. Seeking creative solutions through working collaboratively on projects, she specializes in the arts, education and public service. Her signature lies in combining images and text to create vibrant work with a clean and direct sensibility. Her guiding philosophy is that design be engaging, focused, and tell the story.
Gail Karlsson is an environmental consultant and editor working with Nancy Owens Studio PLLC (NOS) on projects for NYC Parks. She has reviewed and edited master plans for Astoria Park and Fort Totten, as well as interpretative signage for the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, the Collect Pond Park in lower Manhattan, and the Jerome Wetland Walk at the Allen Shandler Recreation Area in Van Cortland Park. She also collaborated with NOS and Laurel Marx Design on a 2009 publication and presentation “Will Climate Risks Change the Map of NYC?”. For over 20 years she has written, edited, and produced publications on environmental issues for the United Nations Development Programme and other international organizations.
Sophie Buskin is the studio manager by day and an artist and musician by night. She helps make sure the machine stays well oiled by aiding the Nancy Owens Studio team with whatever they need. She grew up playing in the New York City parks and playgrounds and is passionate about their design and maintenance. She especially enjoys being able to participate in community design workshops.