We are landscape architects and urban designers.

We are dedicated to planning and designing meaningful outdoor places.

Bow Market , Somerville, MA

Bow Market, Somerville, MA

Merritt Chase is a landscape architecture and urban design firm founded by designers Chris Merritt and Nina Chase. We work locally and have been recognized nationally for our public space designs, placemaking initiatives, and research. We believe in the power and value of great urban outdoor places. Streets, plazas, gardens, parks, and waterfronts are the communal spaces that make cities lively and diverse, and we are dedicated to positioning these urban landscapes as the foundational building blocks of cities. 

We work at multiple scales and phases of projects, from conceptual master plans to constructed spaces, from temporary installations to permanent landscapes. We seek projects that layer research, culture, ecologies, and economies to create unexpected public spaces in cities. We work with clients and communities through a clear design process to realize innovative and thoughtful public spaces. While we have expertise in landscape architecture and urban design, we recognize that residents know their own environments best. Our process-based approach provides stakeholders with a framework for making decisions and results in sustainable public spaces that are unique to their context and reflect the residents that inhabit them.

We invite you to connect with us to learn more. 

Merritt Chase is a woman-owned business and is Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certified. 

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Chris Merritt, ASLA

Founder + Principal

Chris is trained as a landscape architect whose work focuses on landscape design projects with implementation in complex infrastructural, ecological, and cultural contexts. He has a particular interest in the craft, form, and material of landscape projects that express unique character and high quality. His previous project experience ranges from planning and urban design to detailed site design with public agencies, institutions, and private developers.

Chris has received recognition of his work with awards from the Urban Land Institute, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His work has been in exhibits in Boston, New York, and London and has been published in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Environment and Landscape Architecture of Korea, and a variety of online media publications.

Chris studied landscape architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Purdue University. For his academic work, Chris was named an Olmsted Scholar, Harvard Community Service Fellow, and was a Research Associate with the Harvard GSD's Office for Urbanization. He has lectured and been a design critic at schools in Boston, Florida, and Indiana.

Chris is also the co-founder of a monthly event series in Orlando, Florida focused on urban issues titled "Rethinking the City."


Nich Steinkraus

Landscape Designer

Nich is a landscape and planting designer with Merritt Chase. With almost a decade of professional landscape architecture experience working with firms including OLIN, Sasaki, and David Rubin Land Collective, Nich has worked on projects in the United States, Mexico, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, and China. His work encompasses a wide range of typologies including residential, campus, urban, governmental, as well as various design competitions. His planting designs incorporate the form, color, and texture of native and adapted midwest plant species. His designs focus on the relationships between planting species as the seasons progress, while also creating habitat and food sources for native fauna. His passion for design is observable in his utilization of bold gestures of simple planting palettes. Nich studied landscape architecture and horticulture at Purdue University, during which he was awarded a Student Honor Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects' Indiana Chapter and the Donald J. Molnar Scholarship Award.

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Nina Chase, PLA, ASLA

Founder + Principal 

Nina is a founding principal of Merritt Chase. Nina works as a landscape architect and urban designer, positioning outdoor public spaces as foundational building blocks for cities. Nina is a registered landscape architect and formerly the Senior Project Manager at Riverlife, a non-profit planning organization in Pittsburgh, PA, and an Associate at Sasaki in Boston, MA. Nina’s perspective on design and construction is informed by her background as both a client and a consultant. She has experience leading innovative design projects while managing stakeholder expectations, budgets, permits, and construction processes. 

While at Sasaki, Nina coordinated the urban design and landscape guidelines for Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC and the concept design for the Strip District Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, PA. Nina was also on the design and construction team for Sasaki's award winning temporary pop-up park, The Lawn on D. Nina led Sasaki's Sea Change: Boston research initiative, exploring design solutions to sea level rise in Boston and was a key member of Sasaki's HUD funded Rebuild by Design team.

A graduate of Harvard's Graduate School of Design and West Virginia University, Nina was named "Landscape Architect to Watch" by Green Building & Design Magazine and her mobile pop-up park concept, Kit of Parks, was named a winner of the 2016 KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge. Her graduate work along the Chicago River received a 2012 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Honor Award

Nina's professional experience is additionally informed by a commitment to the design and planning community through teaching, writing and volunteering. Nina has lectured at MIT and Rhode Island School of Design, and she has served as a design critic at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Toronto.  Nina currently sits on the national Landscape Architecture Foundation Board, the City of Pittsburgh's Contextual Design Advisory Panel (CDAP), and the Lawrenceville Corporation Board. She is an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. Her recent speaking engagements include the LAbash 2017 Keynote, Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Days, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation's Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future "Emerging Voices" Panel.