Earth Sculptors: Arterra Landscape Architects on Paul Goldberger, Antonio Gaudí, and “The Painterly Approach”

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The fourth annual Architizer A+Awards program is now open for entries! Help us celebrate great architecture and get your designs recognized on a global stage: FIND OUT HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PROJECT HERE.

To celebrate the launch of this year’s A+Awards — the world’s largest awards program for architecture and products — we asked the winners from 2015 about the secrets behind their successes, the exciting new projects on their drawing boards, and their personal architectural inspirations. Today, it’s Kate Stickley’s turn, Founding Partner of Arterra Landscape Architects, who won the jury vote in the Private Garden typology for their idyllic Californian landscape design entitled “The Painterly Approach.”

Name: Kate Stickley

Firm: Arterra Landscape Architects

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Education: BS in Landscape Architecture, Michigan State University

1. What was it about your winning project that you think resonated most with voters?

I think the project’s emphasis on creating beauty out of practical solutions resonated with the jury. In California, especially, this is also a good time to [be] talking about low-water and drought-tolerant plantings and fire-resistant landscapes. The colorful plantings are eye-catching, too!

2. Since winning your A+Award, what’s the most exciting project you have been working on?

Oh, tough question. They are all exciting! Of particular note is a 1,000-acre cattle ranch where we are exploring how methods of permaculture can be used to restore native grasslands and sequester carbon, create sustainable agriculture through holistic graze-land management practices, study the application of small Pelton turbines for hydropower generation, restore wetlands and riparian corridors in addition to traditional site planning and design.

3. Which of this year’s A+Awards jurors do you find most compelling, and why?

Paul Goldberger. I grew up in a small city, and his reviews in the New York Times opened up my world to architecture and urban planning.

4. Among your fellow A+Award winners, which project is your favorite, and why?

Hog Pen Creek Residence, Artesia, and Knot House. Lake|Flato has a wonderful way of creating structures that are sensitive to the land as well as the needs of those who use them. It is especially inspiring that they reused the fallen pecan tree for furniture.

5. Who’s your design hero and/or favorite building, and why?

My design hero is Edward Stone, Jr. He led the way for landscape architects to lead design teams on complex land use and site-planning projects.

6. What do you find exciting about architecture and design right now?

The new technologies for water capture and use are really interesting and are great tools for our water-conscious designs. I also love finding new materials and their applications in the landscape.

7. Which city would you most like to visit next for its architecture?

Barcelona! A fabulous mix, from contemporary buildings to outrageously detailed Gaudí creations and creative outdoor parks and green spaces.

8. Which material do you most love designing with, and why?

The land. I love to grade sites to create land sculpture and landforms that are beautiful and solve functional problems.

Interested in getting featured as a winner next year and receiving recognition across a plethora of media platforms? ENTER THE 2016 A+AWARDS, NOW, TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE! The early entry deadline is october 30th.

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Photo: Ken Wyner - © Travis Price Architects

Hayes Residence // Travis Price Architects

WV, United States

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