Andrew Hill, PLA, CLARB
Senior Director, Landscape Architecture
From an early age, Andrew knew he wanted to be an architect but the path to landscape architecture evolved gradually – eventually intersecting with his love of golf and the design of courses. Twenty-five years later, Andrew’s land development experience extends well beyond this initial inspiration and now spans a variety of industries including healthcare, residential, commercial, and recreational. Typically brought in at the inception of a project to discuss overall direction and strategic planning, he leads a multi-disciplined team of experts in developing concepts and potential phasing for our clients. His creative vision for a project and understanding of the natural lay of the land allow his designs to comply with environmental restrictions, providing minimal disturbance to create aesthetically and environmentally conscious developments. Learn more about Andrew below:
What led you to this profession: I initially wanted to be a golf-course architect and went to school to study Landscape Architecture with that intent. During my junior year of college, I visited one of the largest golf-course architects in the profession and learned of how small his team was. I decided at that point to broaden my interests and began pursuing spatial planning and urban design.
What is the most difficult aspect of work in Landscape Architecture: Budget and maintenance. A lot of clients have high expectations but not the budget to accomplish those expectations. We also see a lot of well-designed spaces that have been poorly taken care of due to lack of maintenance dollars or the contractors not understanding what the intent of the design was in the first place – causing the initial design to look poor as well.
What is your favorite aspect of work in Landscape Architecture: I really enjoy the collaborative process to create spaces that people want to experience and what can often provide them with memories for a lifetime.
What is your favorite example of Landscape Architecture: Peter Walker is my favorite Landscape Architect so pretty much anything designed by him tops my list. Of his work, my favorite – “The Children’s Park” in San Diego – has a great mixture of design techniques that flow together seamlessly.
What is the biggest challenge that the Landscape Architecture industry is facing today: I think any service that is considered “non-essential” is currently a low priority for clients during our current economical climate. If you have a project with multiple services scoped, the functional engineering and building services are necessary in terms of budget. The aesthetic components that might be considered non-essential will see budgets removed and reduced significantly.
What are some trends that you see on the horizon for the Landscape Architecture industry: Outdoor recreation and outdoor gathering areas are an upward trend we’re seeing. This is creating the need/desire for owners and developers to incorporate outdoor space into their projects whether commercial, office, multi-family or mixed use. Additionally, municipalities are striving to create connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, giving them additional travel options, which is resulting in nearly every municipality implementing interconnected greenway systems within their communities.
What differentiates CESO from the competition in the Landscape Architecture space: CESO’s Landscape Architecture team is made up of team members with a lot of geographical experience in terms of regional familiarity and culture. Whether it be the UK, South America, or across the US, the Landscape Architecture team has worked in pretty much any market you could think of, which allows for adaptability in terms of project location.
Who do you look up to most and why: My parents are always people I have respected and appreciated for being good people and providing a great life for my brother and I. Professionally, I’ve always looked up to Jim Dalton who I considered to be a great mentor, designer, and person. Additionally, the 3 owners of the first firm I worked at were instrumental in my career. They were entrepreneurial, intelligent, hard-working and grew the company significantly.
Best advice you could give to up and coming leaders: Have an open mind, learn that there are multiple ways to achieve the end result, and always check your ego at the door.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation spot: I love when I have the opportunity to travel home to England where I grew up, but my family also loves to rent a lake house each summer and spend time together on the lake. We love the lake life!
What is something that your colleagues may be surprised to learn about you: I am a massive heavy metal fan. Most people listen to soft music when they want to wind down, I prefer to put on some headphones and listen to rock music. It takes me to a good place.