TOPOS joins WLA as a partner

National Chinese Musical Center – Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China
Image Credit: TOPOS Landscape Architects

WLA is happy to announce that TOPOS, a landscape architecture and planning firm, has joined WLA as a partner. It is through the support of landscape professionals and the industry that WLA can continue great projects, news, information, profiles, job listings and advocate on behalf of the landscape architecture industry.

In classical Greek etymology “topos” refers to a common place, an activity locus. TOPOS Landscape Architecture and Planning is driven by the broad potential of site-specific placemaking in facilitating synergistic relationships between the community and economic development, environmental health and art and culture. Places that incrementally address global challenges on a local scale.

Lakeside Garden – Qiandao Lake, Hangzhou, China
Image Credit: Qi Xi / TOPOS Landscape Architects

Broadly capable as a boutique design studio, the firm seeks such aspirational synergies from the outset in its planning work, through to site-specific design and crafted construction details.

Seaside Garden – Twin Moon Bay, China
Image Credit: Arch Exist

TOPOS was founded in California, USA in 2012 and has since grown to over twenty-five principled staff in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Shenzhen, China. Design professionals represent diverse backgrounds: landscape architecture, planning, architecture, interior design, fine arts, horticulture, civil engineering, environmental science, and economics.

Rock Pool – Twin Moon Bay, China
Image Credit: TOPOS Landscape Architects

The firm has steadfastly pursued an unpretentious and performance-driven expression, while creating enduring outcomes with a consistent commitment to core design values:

  • Landscapes that fulfill big ideas, address design problems, and perform well.
  • Landscapes that represent and celebrate each site’s unique place in the world.
  • Landscapes that tell stories about place, people, culture, and history.
  • Landscapes that are rigorously crafted and are enduring.

TOPOS’s design approach emphasizes compelling and responsible relationships between project sites and their context – environmentally, socially, and culturally. Each solution brings its site to life, maximizing assets and overcoming liabilities. A diverse portfolio of acclaimed planning and landscape design projects include resort and urban hotels, commercial and mixed-use development, parks and waterfront open spaces, residences, national museums, and cultural and art centers. While diverse, all projects subscribe to consistent values and focus on crafted placemaking.

Mountain City Green Chain – Chongqing, China
Image Credit: TOPOS Landscape Architects and CCTN

The firm is especially well-versed in executing complex multi-disciplinary projects. TOPOS is dedicated to listening carefully to clients, consultants, and stakeholders. We believe that innovation, performance, and long-term value are derived from respectful but probing dialogue.

TOPOS’s design is rooted in Southern California’s design and craft traditions and is together influenced by Eastern culture. Highly resolved, well-crafted detail design is a hallmark of the firm’s work. The role of landscape art in telling stories and reinforcing design intent is integral to its approach.

TOPOS typically searches for the critical problem to solve on each project. The intent is to correctly frame the key issue(s) that must be addressed for the project to be transformative: What is the essence of each project, and how do we creatively manifest it? This foundation-setting process assures the most distinctively appropriate approach to each TOPOS design.

Company profile text credit: Charles Ware

About Damian Holmes 3308 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at