The firm of Scatliff + Murray + Miller began as Scatliff & Rech Landscape Architects, incorporated in 1989, as a partnership between Michael Scatliff and Ken Rech. Scatliff, a 1984 graduate of the University of Manitoba’s landscape architecture master’s programme, had previously worked in Winnipeg with the Lombard North Group and in Bermuda with Cooper & Gardner Architects. Rech had formerly been employed with Hilderman Feir Witty and Associates (from 1976-79) and then with his own practice. He left his partnership with Scatliff and returned to private practice in 1991.
Early work for Scatliff & Rech included the award-winning design of the Assiniboine Riverwalk, which featured an unpaved waterside pathway edged in rough Tyndall stone curbing, intended to accommodate spring and summer flooding. Following the departure of Rech, the firm also completed two other projects near the Riverwalk: Bonnycastle Park and the Norwood Bridges Project. The first of these – partly inspired by Scatliff’s experiences at the lake – features a rectangular pond with fountains, a decorative curving path and, originally, a spray of mist and a Leo Mol sculpture of geese. The park, which also includes an amphitheatre and linkage to Assiniboine River, won a a 1995 Canadian Society Landscape Architecture (CSLA) National Design Award. The Norwood Bridges Project – a replacement to Arthur Stoughton’s 1931 Norwood and Main bridges – was an innovative expansion of the programme of a typical bridge, complete with bowed middle-sections arching over the rivers beneath, decorative planters, benches and detailing harkening to the era of the original bridge. The assignment was also notable for the firm’s pioneering use of three-dimensional computer rendering, which won a 1997 CSLA National Honour award, while signalling an area of future specialization. Important contributions on these commissions came from Cheryl Oakden, a 1989 University of Manitoba Landscape Architecture graduate, and Deron Miller, a 1992 graduate of the same program. In 1998, Derek Murray, a 1990 University of Manitoba Landscape Architecture graduate, joined the firm. The partnership of Murray and Miller with Scatliff was acknowledged with the firm’s new name after the year 2000.
Other notable projects by the firm include: Bluestem Nature Park (1991), winner of a CSLA National Design Award; the Kaministiquia Waterfront (Thunder Bay, 1994), which links existing urban areas to Lake Superior; the redevelopment of the Winnipeg City Hall Courtyard (2003); and the Forks Promenade (2007), a landscaped path which symbolically re-establishes the historic connection of Broadway and Provencher Boulevard. Scatliff + Murray + Miller continued also their involvement with Winnipeg’s riverbank development with the design of the city’s Waterfront Drive (2006; with KGS Group), which won a Consulting Engineers of Manitoba award for Design Excellence, as well as a Regional Honour Award by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. More recently, the firm – which now employs over thirty specialists working in its Winnipeg, Calgary and Beijing offices – has participated in such designs as those of the Gordon Bell High School green space, the Assiniboine Park Qualico Family Centre and the Assiniboine Park Children’s Garden, all 2011.