Contacts
 
















Stephen Billings Landscape Architecture
Santa Monica, Calif.

Stephen Billings has over 20 years of design and project management experience in architecture and landscape architecture. A graduate of the Syracuse University School of Architecture, he travelled west to work with Paulo Soleri, and later worked as an architectural designer with Dean Nota, Hodgetts and Fung, Rockefeller-Hricak, and Richard Meier and Partners. His interests in the intersection between architecture and landscape architecture led him to receive an MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and work with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in New York.

Stephen returned to Los Angeles in 2006 to work with Pamela Burton & Co., collaborating for eight years with Pamela Burton to design and manage over a hundred projects. In early 2015 he formed Stephen Billings Landscape Architecture to explore landscape architectural designs that incorporate ecology, water resource management, and sustainable design practices.

The firm has two project managers, Hans Baumann, MLA, a Swiss-American landscape architect and artist, and Sarah Ferreter, MLA, and two landscape designers, Jason Thompson, BLA, and Jessica Nguyen, BLA.



Beverly Hills Overlook, Beverly Hills, Calif.


This project was created while Stephen Billings was director of design at Pamela Burton and Co. The firm had the opportunity to connect two contemporary McClean Design homes through landscape. The homes are perched along a ridge with views of the entire Los Angeles basin. The clients wanted a pathway that would connect the two houses, but the slopes were too steep. The landscape architects worked with a consultant team to create an elevated walkway with planted areas, a small lawn for the children and an adult oriented lounge area. Native California shrubs and trees on the hillside help stabilize it. The new walkway meanders through mature oaks and sycamores trees. The feeling of walking through this landscape is exhilarating.

Other landscape elements include a dramatic entrance with cantilevered limestone pavers crossing a koi pond, several custom designed water features and intimate courtyard spaces and a green roof to integrate the architecture with the landscape.

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Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.


This project was created while Stephen Billings was director of design at Pamela Burton and Co. The landscape architects collaborated with Tishman Speyer Properties and Shimoda Design to revitalize and reimagine the 3 acres surrounding the former Hilton Headquarters. The building houses a well-known talent agency and entertainment companies in a highly visible part of Beverly Hills. From the street you step up to an elevated plaza or "stage" which has gently curving walls that enfold outdoor meeting rooms, a large gathering space and a catwalk that leads to the building lobbies. The stage is over a parking structure that required reinforcement and new waterproofing. The rolling topography was created out of foam and lightweight soil to obscure certain sightlines and reveal others. The dynamic, drought-tolerant planting palette consists of Mediterranean and California native materials.

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CSUN Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, Calif.


This project, created while Stephen Billings was director of design at Pamela Burton and Co., is at the entrance to the California State University at Northridge campus. Classrooms, a cafe and public auditoriums overlook the courtyard, which was designed to accommodate daytime performance classes, lectures and comfortable social spaces for evening events. Emily Green of the Los Angeles Times described the courtyard as a "Dr. Seuss-worthy assembly of succulents that achieves a tenfold reduction in the site's water use." A bosque of nearly 200 native trees planted on two sides of the site in soil repurposed from the building excavations masks neighboring buildings and provides a dramatic entry into the Performing Arts Center. It also offers animal habitat, shade and makes the space more intimate. Students like to use the space for film projects and impromptu performances. This landscape reduced water usage by nearly 90%.

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Malibu Overlook, Malibu, Calif.


Located in the hills above Malibu, this landscape was designed for an active, growing family. Outdoor amenity areas were designed to maximize the extents of the property and to take advantage of the incredible views of the ocean and the mountains. A gentle path goes around the property through fruit trees, a meadow and outdoor living spaces for the family. The garden incorporates plant materials native to the Santa Monica Mountains, and drought tolerant materials from around the world.

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As seen in LASN magazine, October 2017, Firms.






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