“When I see sycamores, I love them, because they’re not really yellow, they’re not really gold, they’re a little bit brown. They speak of death and rebirth. And they cast this amazing golden glow. So, when we bring that to the city, we’re bringing an amazing piece of art from our ecology into the city.”
Katherine Spitz is an artist, a licensed architect, and a licensed landscape architect. She enjoys working on complex projects that reflect her expertise in all three disciplines. Ms. Spitz works with plants as if they were paint on a canvas while shaping the project to the client’s specific needs. She views the Southern California suburban landscape as a laboratory for the creation of urban spaces that maintain their connection to a larger geography.
Her concern for pedestrian safety and convenience is evident in her design of city streets. Ms. Spitz designs city streets to be beautiful, safe, and reflect the character of their communities. She is a proponent of widening sidewalks, adding benches for people to rest and trees to provide shade. On Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, she added a center median and narrowed traffic lanes from each side of the street, forcing traffic to slow down.
At the Ford Amphitheater which is built in a small canyon in Los Angeles, Ms. Spitz was commissioned to redesign the entrance, making it accessible to handicapped people. She designed the space using native trees and shrubs which, she says, are the only plants that will survive that environment long term.
Ms. Spitz has a B.A. in Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She holds a Master’s in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Katie lives in color, because she has painter blood in her…. And we used colored glass in the garden, because I wanted a garden where there was always color in a non-phony way.”
Client, Writer and Urban Designer
“Katie is able to use both hard scape and soft scape, really effectively. Some of that may come from the fact that she’s an architect and a landscape architect”
City Architect Santa Monica