The story of Arterra

Arterra set its first roots from the chance introduction of Kate Stickley and Vera Gates in 1994. When they met, Kate and Vera had both launched individual practices after many years at large national firms, where they worked on large scale planning and the site design of resorts and communities in the States and around the world. They each yearned for a more personal relationship with the people who experienced their gardens and wanted to delve deep into the craft of designing the land. Residential landscapes were the perfect scale in which to see their designs come to life in a meaningful way.

The following eight years of collaboration forged a strong bond of respect, friendship and an appreciation for the fine balance of raising families while building a practice. It was clear that they held the same resolve: to create legacy gardens in a collaborative studio and culture of knowledge building. In 2003 they formalized their partnership and founded Arterra Landscape Architects. The name Arterra was created from the core meaning of their work: Art + Terra (Latin for Earth).

Designing the business grew to be just as important as the work they loved. Kate and Vera lead and mentored their team in business thinking, as well as design. In 2011, Gretchen Whittier joined the partnership. Her keen eye for design and marketing added a new dimension to Arterra. As projects gained exposure through articles published and awards received, the studio grew to fifteen. At the end of 2016, Vera retired to focus on her second love, painting. Today, Kate and Gretchen lead the firm with the spark and drive of a firmly established design practice. Along with the team at Arterra, they are committed to building a better world, one landscape at a time.

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