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Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects

SAY IT LOUD - United Nations 
SAY IT LOUD - United Nations World Wide
SAY IT LOUD - NOMA 50th Exhibition

New York Based Designer

What excites you in the work you do?

It’s always a rush to find the germ of a concept, and see how it can take shape. The inspiration can be anything, yet it’s never arbitrary. Sometimes an idea evolves from a programmatic need; sometimes it arises from our client’s story or mission; sometimes from the quality of light and shade in a certain place, at a particular time of day. However it derives, the idea must be strong enough to drive the direction of the design solution. Our job is to place this idea within the context of place, so that the idea and the site work together.


The great designer, Elizabeth J. Kennedy, ASLA is recognized for her expertise in preserving cultural landscapes through creative sustainable design. A Design Trust for Public Space research fellow, juror for the ASLA 2018 Student Awards, and a graduate of Cornell University, she leads Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, PLLC—a collaborative and inter-discipline social justice practice noted for excellence in innovative landscape preservation, development and management.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?
My dad and uncle were architects, and I literally grew up in the profession. When I was 14, I read an article that mentioned “landscape architecture,” and realized there was a design career that captured everything in which I was interested.

What do you do?
Twenty-five years ago I started and still direct a small landscape architecture firm in Brooklyn that works with non-profit organizations that serve communities and the public. We design, we manage, we advise and we teach.

What excites you in the work you do?
I love finding the germ of a concept and seeing how it can take shape. The inspiration can be anything— a programmatic need, the client’s back story; sometimes even the quality of light and shade in a certain place, at a particular time of day.

Who or what inspires you professionally?
When I was young, the people who pushed me to do more, want more, dream more, were lions of the industry, and I wanted to achieve what they achieved. Now, as I’m older and wear many hats, my goals are different, and our clients inspire me.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?
I’m proud EKLA provides young professionals a chance to explore client service through design. We started to win awards the minute we focused on mission-driven public work, and it’s gratifying when the project serves the client well.

Featured Project Name: 
The Brooklyn Navy Yard BLDG 3 Roof Farm
Featured Project Location: 
Brooklyn, NY
Featured Project Completion Date: 
May 2012

Role in Featured Project: 
Landscape Architect
Featured Project Description:
In 2011 EKLA designed this 60,000 square-foot industrial roof retrofit to entirely retain the first inch of water generated during rainstorm events while supporting an acre of food production—reducing stormwater discharge to the local CSO by more than 1,000,000 gallons per year. Built in 2012, the firm’s prototype for Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard set NYC Department of Environmental Protection standards for agriculture projects funded by its Office of Green 

Photography Credit:

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