SALT Landscape Architects is a Los Angeles-based design studio that creates enduring, engaging, and innovative landscapes at a range of scales. The firm’s name, derived from “salt of the earth,” reflects the grounding and site-specific nature that we strive for in all of our projects. We believe well designed landscapes should be poetic, dynamic, and evolving, as well as ecologically sensitive. Our designs are rooted in the unique character of a site’s individual spatial qualities, environment, history and context. Our spaces express the specific enduring qualities of their distinctive location, serves the needs of the users, and connects visitors to the land and environment.
We believe collaboration produces better projects. We work closely with clients and communities to fully understand their objectives and desires for the project and carefully study the existing environmental conditions such as microclimates, soil, topography, wind, and sun patterns that inform the final design. Our realized projects are the product of an open process through which we engage in an ongoing dialogue with the client and community from concept through construction. Through this collaboration, the innovative use of materials, the integration of sustainable strategies, and a sensitivity to the specific site, we create meaningful and memorable spaces.
SALT Landscape Architects
423 Gin Ling Way+1 (213) 234-0057
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Allen Compton is the founder and principal of SALT Landscape Architects, a studio recognized for designing insightful landscape projects that respond to their context and connect people to the site. He is a licensed landscape architect in the states of California, Texas, and Michigan, and a member of ASLA. He was recently elected vice-chair of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He is currently providing pro-bono consulting to the Take Back the Boulevard initiative, where he is helping community leaders shape a plan to bring Complete Street improvements to Colorado Boulevard, in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Council District 14 Median Advisory Committee, where he is helping to develop a sustainable, low-water, and low-maintenance planting strategy for medians in the district. Allen is also the co-founder of Los Angeles Landscape Architects (LALA), a programming and networking group focused on landscape issues.
Mike Tramutola is a Landscape Architect and Senior Associate at SALT. With previous experience at Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles and Hargreaves Associates in San Francisco, Mike has completed projects at a wide range of scales from urban to domestic, winning awards in Design, Innovation and Sustainability. In service of clients such as the General Services Administration, California Institute of Technology, Woodbury University, Stanford University, NBCUniversal, Kilroy, and Snap, Mike has developed detail design, written development guidelines, and overseen the construction of streestcapes, plazas, courtyards, playgrounds, and parks. Mike enjoys all aspects of the design process, but particularly loves working closely with fabricators and installers during construction to ensure project quality. A graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Virginia, Mike has been a visiting design critic at USC, Woodbury, and California College of the Arts and serves as a mentor to design graduates and high school students.
Associate Sarah Lindell has been at SALT since 2013, bringing previous experience from AHBE Landscape Architects and GreenTree Landscaping. Her diverse background in landscape architecture and landscape contracting along with experience as a sculptor and fabricator in monumental public art contribute a unique point of view and skill set to her work. Over the past 12 years, Sarah has been involved in a wide variety of public and private projects in the Los Angeles area ranging from parks and institutional to open space and habitat restoration. She has facilitated community-based workshops, created children’s playgrounds, event venues, and designed highschool campus landscapes with outdoor performance spaces. As a committed advocate of sustainable design, Sarah was a part of a pilot team that helped field-test the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) rating system, working to incorporate sustainability into the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes.
Grace Sullano is an associate with over 10 years of experience in the design industry. As a native Angelino, Grace became interested in creating landscapes and spaces that are encompass the lifestyle and diversity unique to Los Angeles. Her experience embrace wide range of landscape projects including retail, creative campuses, high-end residential and commercial projects.
Along with landscape design Grace has drawn from her experiences in marketing-event design and producing her own fashion line. She has worked at Los Angeles based Architecture and Design offices including Plac-e, Orange Street Studio, John Kaliski Architects. She holds a BFA from Otis College of Art & Design.
Jamie Heitner is a Senior Designer at SALT with over 15 years of professional experience in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Jamie holds degrees in Architecture and Art History from Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
She has worked in both New York City and Los Angeles on public, institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Prior to working in design, Jamie interned as an objects art conservator at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ivy Pan holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College. She is interested in the social dimension of landscape construction, materials, and fabrication and its capacity to enhance the public realm.
As a landscape designer, Ivy works on a range of local projects ranging from a meditation retreat to tech campuses. Prior to joining SALT, she has worked at AECOM and interned with Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates.
Ellen Epley is a recent graduate from the Master of Landscape Architecture program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. A Tennessee native, her undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee centered around disaster mitigation, specifically regarding mountaintop mining.
Ellen was drawn to landscape architecture for its implicit mission to sustainably reconcile built and natural systems. Before working at SALT, she interned with Patrick Cullina Horticultural Design and Consulting in New York and Mia Lehrer Associates here in Los Angeles. She also externed at SCAPE Landscape Architecture in New York, and worked as a studio teaching assistant at the Graduate School of Design during her time there.
Jisoo Kim received Master in Landscape Architecture I Degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design and earned a Bachelor of Fine arts in Architectural Design from Parsons The New School for Design. While at Harvard, she was a research assistant investigating waterfront development strategies in Kalmar, Sweden and was an editorial team member of Platform 7 publication. Professionally, she worked on various project types and scales, ranging from master plans to residential developments, while working at StudioMDA, a New York based Architecture firm, Leblanc Jones Landscape Architects, a Boston based Landscape Architecture firm and Mia Lehrer + Associates, a Los Angeles based Architecture firm. Jisoo's professional and academic interests focus on expanding inherent contextual values of both nature and landscape, to heighten the natural and spatial interaction within the built environment through proactive design.
Jose Devora is a designer at SALT. With broad experience in landscape design, construction and maintenance, Jose has worked on high schools, housing, masterplans and has completed multiple residential projects.
His curiosity about environmental design emerged from his upbringing in the heterogeneous city of Los Angeles, and as a designer, he is interested in landscape architecture as a catalyst for ecological performance and social impact. Jose is a Graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and has previous experience at Stoss Landscape Urbanism.
Eri Yamagata has a Masters Degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design from Parsons The New School for Design. Her interests in fabrication and community engagement led to her involvement in public art installations in New York City and an exhibition at the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival in Japan.
Prior to joining SALT, she worked for three years at Future Green Studio, focused on material prototypes and urban flora. Her passion is designing dynamic interactions and performances amongst the community, ecology and culture of a site.
Hyunch Sung is drawn to the social, sculptural, and imaginative aspects of landscape and place. In her professional career, she has worked with both land artists and landscape architects and values engaging with the community and being a good listener.
Prior to coming to California, Hyunch designed playgrounds as a part of the New York Community Parks Initiative, and more recently has been working in Los Angeles on a diverse set of residential, commercial, civic, and institutional projects. She approaches each project with a desire to create something distinctive and resonant.
Hyunch studied literature and film theory at Amherst College and received her MLA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and is a senior designer at SALT.
HILDEGUN NILSSON VARHELYI
creative director - special projects
Hildegun Nilsson Varhelyi is a Swedish Landscape Architect and Graphic Designer. From 1987 to 1998, Hildegun was the creative director of the design studio Rififi, a company that she founded. At Riifi, she worked in marketing and brand strategy for national and international fashion retail companies such as H&M and Sisley/Benetton.
After training as a landscape architect, Hildegun worked with traditional landscape projects, both private and public, including several major inner city parks in Stockholm. Her combination of skills has been valuable in many projects, such as in wayfinding and information design for the City of Stockholm. Since 2007, Hildegun has been leading the development and design of the City of Stockholm’s annual floral scheme.
Through her background in marketing, Hildegun has a solid knowledge in visual communication and brand building. This - combined with a deep interest in the aesthetic, social, and ecological conditions of architecture - is the basis of her practice.