Certain experiences we’ve had working with communities have shaped how we think about our work, what is our role as a designer and advocate. What can we bring to a situation by virtue of coming from the outside, as we often do? What can we learn from a site? What can people there teach us?


It’s important to join communities we work with so we can gain their trust, get to learn their priorities, values, deep passions, and hot buttons. It’s the same with their sites. One of the great values of being new to the problem and the site is the fresh eyes that we can bring to what is really powerful, beautiful, and provocative. These features or qualities may be so familiar that they have been hiding in plain sight.


We hate importations. We’re always looking for those things that the city is already made of, that make cities unique, turning the familiar into the strange and beautiful experiences that resonate with native culture and create vivid memories that could never exist anywhere else.


Healthy design processes are shaped by deep engagement with the client and community, learning their stories and experiences, not just what they wrote on a note card. In the end, the project is about a communal vision that is forged by the values of the public it will serve. Our job then becomes translating that vision into a physical, material sensibility that resonates with people, that feels both familiar and new at the same time. It’s about the hard work of making things fit and cohere, making them practical, logical, affordable, and something you never forget!

Who We Are

TLS Berkeley

Tom Leader

Principal / Founder

Tom Leader is founder and principal of TLS Landscape Architecture in Berkeley, CA. For nearly 35 years, Tom has grounded his practice in an authentic understanding and appreciation of culture, ecology, craftsmanship and design. Sincere in his exploration of the creative process, Tom has remained on the cutting edge of design innovation, his work widely recognized for excellence. Since founding TLS in 2001, Tom has sought to create “original, tangible experiences” of place in such award-winning projects as Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and RIVERFIRST in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and through his provocative site works and art installations. A former partner at Peter Walker + Partners, Tom received a BA in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley and MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


He received the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome in 1998/99 and was a finalist for the Smithsonian National Design Award in 2011. The work of TLS has been featured in various museum exhibitions including “Shanghai Carpet”, in MoMA New York’s 2007 “Groundswell”, concerning international landscape design. Tom lectures widely and the work of TLS is published frequently. Tom serves the Bay Area community as a member of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission Design Review Board as well as the City of Richmond Design Review Board. A Richmond resident, Tom leads the firm’s pro bono planning work for the future of the 35 mile Richmond shoreline looking at the intersection of sea level rise and seismic stability planning. This year he was elected to the College of Fellows of the ASLA.

Kathryn Drinkhouse

Senior Associate

Technical Director

For over 20 years, Kathryn has collaborated with creative and talented professionals, bringing projects to fruition. She enjoys the opportunities, team work, problem solving, and new challenges presented by each project. Moving projects from design through documentation and construction, she has helped build a variety of environments including large regional parks; public urban parks; downtown streetscapes; high-rise mixed-use developments; major league ball parks; institutional and educational campuses; and single-family residences. She loves getting projects built and watching ideas bloom, come to life, and evolve into new spaces for enjoyment. After graduating from the University of Florida, Kathryn has been able to do this with Sasaki Associates; Patricia O’Brien Landscape Architecture; Peter Walker and Partners; Martha Schwartz/Ken Smith/David Meyer Landscape Architects; and is now three years into her tenure with Tom Leader Studio.

Pablo Alfaro


Pablo’s life has been always shaped by landscape. He was born during one of the biggest floods in Santiago de Chile in 1982, grew up next to the Andes, surfed in the cold waters of the Humboldt current, and studied architecture surrounded by nature in a colonial “casa Patio.” There he did his thesis about fog collection as a sustainable landscape infrastructure to provide water in the Atacama Desert. After obtaining his architecture degree in 2008 he worked in several important landscape infrastructure and public architecture projects in Chile, most of them funded by the Chilean government. His search for arid landscapes of fog brought him to California where he earned an MLA degree from UC Berkeley.


Pablo doesn’t believe in a division between architecture and landscape, hence his work consistently creates linkages between the two disciplines. He’s been awarded the Stephen Lenci Award for Architecture and Landscape Architecture Research, the Randy Hester Award for Ecological Democracy 2015, the ASLA Certificate of Honor, and the ASLA Honor Award 2016 for his project FOGFEST, featured on the cover of LAM Magazine.


Kushal Lachhwani


Born and raised in a billion plus country, India – Kushal is always in quest for inclusive and aesthetic landscapes which are able to pacify humans and other species living among chaotic cities and stressed out environments. Before studying landscape architecture, he was trained as an architect and since then has believed in eliminating the distinction between two fields. He takes his inspiration from works of Sri Lankan architect-Geoffrey Bawa and likes to design spaces indoor, outdoor and in between.


Kushal continuously educates himself with travel and has explored working in several geographies and projects including non-profit research in Delhi, school in Himalayas, urban plazas in Thailand, exhibitions in Netherlands and Market Street in San Francisco. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, India and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded the Geraldine Scott Travel fellowship to study landscapes in motion (view from the train), ASLA certificate of Honor, CA (2016). He is also a TATA scholar and his work has been exhibited in 2012 Architecture Biennale, Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is a theater enthusiast; likes to cook Indian and Thai food and his favorite cities are Bombay, Bangkok and Barcelona.

Qianyu (QE) Li


After spending four years working in New England, Qianyu moved to California and joined TLS in 2019, bringing her prior experience on a wide range of projects from high-end residential, urban plaza, and campus planning. Qianyu holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Landscape Gardening from Beijing Forestry University.


Qianyu feels most alive in the presence of the beautiful landscape for it triggers her to think why it is beautiful and how to carry the beauty through her work. Qianyu believes having a good design strategy to begin is important, but the process of investigation on sculpting space and material performance turns a creative idea into a satisfying result.


Qianyu is a licensed landscape architect in Maine and California. She loves tennis and has been playing USTA matches for many years.


Wanpeng Zu


Wanpeng is really interested in working as a landscape architect to care about the public space both locally and internationally from different aspects. With the background of Architecture and Urban Design, Wanpeng is used to working with the design methods to think about better relationships between people, program, and place by manipulating space according to both clients’ and citizen’s demands, and think about other social issues for a better, safer, more just and diverse life in the future. Wanpeng’s prior interests in taking photos and sculpture has given her deep knowledge of beauty and materials and an enthusiasm for details.


Wanpeng earned a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Bachelor of Urban Planning from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. Besides, her work has been exhibited during Amman Design Week in Jordan and on the Columbia University Website and Abstract.


Prior joining TLS, Wanpeng worked as an Architect at No Architecture, PLLC in NYC with multiple projects in Switzerland and NYC, where she figured out her role as an all-around designer and a fast-paced communicator. She also worked as an Urban Designer both in NYC and China.

Jiawen Chen


Born and raised in a scenic city of China, Hangzhou, Jiawen spent numerous weekend excursions into the mountainous lake circles. She thus grew up with a mystical connection to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. She studied environmental design at Tongji University to explore the power of nature, followed by obtaining her MLA degree from the Harvard GSD.


Jiawen has a broad interest on topics from geopolitical territory to ecologies. Her work Korea Remade has been awarded the 2018 ASLA Student Award of Excellence. She was also awarded an ASLA Honor Award at the same year for her work Bloom! A Dynamic Landscape Biological System.


Jiawen loves Pikachu, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, and Unaju(grilled eel over rice).



Zhaowei Yu

Project Designer

As a landscape designer, Zhaowei’s work often merges natural and cultural aesthetics with the care of social engagement. Through his academic and professional career, Zhaowei’s interest in productive landscape and social equity has afforded work and research in a variety of projects including ‘Book Farming: Addiction to plant ‘ and ‘From Meadowlands to Saltlands’.


Zhaowei earned a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Engineering at Landscape Architecture from Harbin Institute of Technology, China. Prior to joining TLS in 2019, He interned at KWLS in Charlottesville, 2.ink Studio in Portland, and Studio-MLA in Los Angeles. He is also a living space observer and photographer, intrigued by both natural and urban landscapes.


Yushan Li

Project Designer

Yushan holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences in Horticulture from Zhejiang University. Before joining TLS in 2020, she interned at HOK New York office during the summer of 2019, focusing on her skills in urban design, campus planning, and BIM software.


Born and raised in a tropical city of China, her childhood was surrounded by huge trees and diverse flowers. This inspired her to study in horticulture and the aesthetic of planting. During her three years of studying at U Penn, she increased her skills in computer-aided topics from large-scale landscape and urban planning to parametric design and geospatial analysis.


Yushan enjoys many different kinds of exercise, craves delicious food, and listening to beautiful music.



Shanshan Bai

Project Designer

Shanshan earned a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architecture from Tongji University in China.


Shanshan is interested in landscape design in various scale and types. Prior joining TLS, Shanshan worked at a landscape firm in NYC where her focus was on construction details and planting design of small-scale urban projects. While the study in University of Pennsylvania and internship in SWA Group, she has built up the interested in large scale landscape and urban design projects.


Shanshan is used to starting a project from the relationship of urban context and culture background and then comprehensively going from large framework to detail of design. What’s more, with the architecture background, she is also interested in space study and parametric design.

Sarah Chase

Studio Coordinator

Sarah has a background in art and love for organizing. She escaped from New Jersey over 15 years ago and settled on the west coast. She received her BFA from Alfred University and has experience managing offices for non-profit organizations, tech companies, and studio artists. She also enjoys painting, gardening, and hiking with her dogs Bug and Willa. Her interest in gardening and art is focused on pollinators and low water plants that support them.

Tom McMillan

Consulting Principal

Since completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture at UC Berkeley in 1973, Tom has worked almost exclusively as an architect for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in San Francisco. Beginning there as a designer, he gradually shifted into work with a technical emphasis, eventually becoming a technical studio director. Tom honed his expertise in site development based on opportunities to work on several large projects with major site components requiring coordinating the architecture with civil engineers and landscape architects.


During his 35-year tenure at SOM, Tom led several award-winning projects. Tom recently left the firm to pursue other passions, which—in addition to cycling and fishing—include landscape architecture. In his role as a consulting principal, Tom brings his years of experience and technical skills as an architect to TLS’s projects, helping to ensure their workability, affordability, constructability, longevity, and delight.

TLS Shanghai

Ivan Valin

Associate / Shanghai Office General Manager


Ivan is currently based in Hong Kong, where he is helping to establish a regional TLS office. Before moving overseas Ivan worked at the TLS Berkeley studio, where he was involved in numerous projects including Railroad Park East Gate and the San Bernardino Courthouse. In Hong Kong, he was a Senior Associate at AECOM, where he directed high-profile government and commercial projects in Hong Kong and China.


Ivan is currently an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches graduate design studios and leads seminars on construction technology and strategic landscape master planning. His design and research work explore issues of water and landscape ecology in tropical cities, as well as landscape planning practices in peri-urban areas. Ivan’s work has been exhibited internationally with the National Building Museum, the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale.


Ivan holds both a Master in Architecture degree and a Master in Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was the recipient of the G. Hoshi Prize and the J.K. Branner Traveling Fellowship.

Huan Zheng

Senior Associate


Huan Zheng, RA joined TLS Shanghai in 2017. With background in both architecture and landscape architecture, Huan is interested in various project types and scales, and has always been seeking balance between built and natural environment. 


Before settling in Shanghai, Huan was an Architect and Project Manager at Bercy Chen Studio in Austin, Texas. She has experience in designing and managing projects from concept phase through final occupancy. The highly integrated design/build approach helps her understand the challenges and possibilities in innovative design and construction. She has worked on a range of projects including master planning, residential, office, hospitality, public parks and private gardens, etc.


Huan is a Registered Architect in Texas, USA. She holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor in Architecture from Zhejiang University in China.

Wenyan Wang

China Marketing Representative

Shanghai Office Administration Supervisor

Wenyan joined TLS Shanghai in 2019. Before that Wenyan worked as a Landscape Architect in both China and New Zealand for eight years. She has rich experiences in branding, marketing, project management and coordination with clients and design teams.


She enjoys working with small teams in a vivid and creative design studio, where she can help the team to make the work life enjoyable and pleasant.

Yang Yu

Technical Leader, Asia Practice

Yang has been engaged in the landscape design for more than ten years in several well-known landscape design institutes in China. With plenty management experience in project operation, Yang accumulated dozens of public projects, commercial and residential projects experience from concept to construction stage.


After years of design practice, Yang has accumulated abundant knowledge of aesthetics, construction, materials, and technology. He also familiar with codes of practice and strive for perfection in technical details.


Yang always willing to explore the spiritual core of the site, grasping the project scale and quality. By seeking new solutions in the process of design and construction, he brings more profound connotation to the project.

Shuping Ye

Senior Planting Designer

Shuping worked as a Planting Designer for nearly 15 years. She shows her design understanding and site control abilities in a unique way especially in planting design. Bring her specialty in site management and landscape design in public space, parks, planning projects. With plenty working experiences of domestic landscape engineering company and overseas design company, she manages her knowledge and experiences to create unique planting chapters of landscape design.

Wei Fan


Wei Fan has a deep interest in the role of landscape architecture in shaping and changing urban public life. He has always been interested in the interaction between design, phenomenon, and theoretic interpretation. He holds a PhD in Landscape Architecture from Tongji University.

Si Zheng


Si enjoys working at multiple scales from designing street sculpture plaza to planning former military airbase. What attracts him about landscape architecture is the diversity and comprehensiveness, he is passionate about learning and researching the topographical, cultural, political and social attributes of the sites and developing design decisions from them. With prior work and study experience in Shanghai, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Tokyo and Berlin, his research approaches include but are not limited to urbanism, landscape and art, urban public space, brownfield revitalization, airport landscape and post-military landscape.


Si holds a master degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington.

Mengyao Xing

Project Designer

Mengyao’s personal background focusing on the field of Landscape Architecture could be described as a journey of searching and defining the nodes between the different fields. Instead of being limited by exclusive space problems, she chose to focus on the relationship between the Landscape architecture and its relative domains.


She believes that “Interdisciplinarity is the future of Landscape Architect’s profession”, She constantly tries to put this principle into practice through diverse projects at different scales and dimensions.


She holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Leibniz University Hannover in Germany and a BA in Landscape Architecture from Nanjing Forestry University in China.

Ying Wei

Project Designer

With her professional and international landscape and sustainable design background, Ying joined TLS in 2019. She previously worked in Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl for 5 years and studied in Birmingham City University with master’s degree in UK.


Ying is good at using the European advanced technology for sustainable landscape design, ecological design and bio-engineering design in Chinese projects. Her strong background applied in public projects and green framework design, from streetscape scope to river landscape design in Tianjin, Changchun, Shenzhen.

Wenlin Zhou

Shanghai Office Administrator

Wenlin joined TLS Shanghai in 2020. She has proactive working attitude and optimistic personality. Before her career in TLS, she had worked as Admin officer in 4A company for 3 years. She is good at organizing activities with creative ideas.


Wenlin never neglects any details with enthusiasm of life. To join a famous Landscape Architecture company as TLS is a very fresh start to her. She is happy to support in logistics section and create a comfortable working environment to team members.



WLA Merit Award in Concept – Analysis & Planning, The Grand Bayway


WLA Honor Award in Concept – Large Design, Green Ring Campus


ASLA-NCC Design (Park, Recreation, Trails, Open Space) Merit Award, Baiyangdian Waterfront Park


ASLA-NCC Analysis and Planning Merit Award, Richmond Bayway


ASLA-NCC Analysis and Planning Merit Award, The Grand Bayway



International Design Awards, Silver in Architecture Categories / Landscape, Baiyangdian Waterfront Park, Bronze in Architecture Categories / Landmarks, symbolic structures, memorials, public parks



International Competition Winner, Hangzhou Sanjianghui Riverfront



Landscape Architecture Finalist, Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum Smithsonian, National Design Awards.


International Competition Winner, Hangzhou Steelworks Park


International Competition Winner, Shanghai Hongqiao Urban Planning


International Competition Winner, Jingzhang Railway Park


International Competition Winner, Shenzhen Super Headquarters



Nanchang VR City  Spark Design Award 2019/ Bronze Award w/SOM


Xiong’ an New Area International Competition First Prize w/SOM


ASLA-NCC Research, Planning, Analysis and Communication Honor Award,  Sanlin Valley Park


ASLA Honor Award, Analysis and Planning , +StL: Growing an Urban Mosaic in St Louis with Object Territories, and [dhd] derek hoeferlin design


ASLA Alabama  Merit Award for Planning, One Pratt Park


Kunming Wujiaba Central Park Competition First Prize



Shanghai Sanlin Bund Ecological Park International Competition First Prize, Shanghai Sanlin Eco Valley



Winner of International Competition, Lion Mountain Park



MIPIM Asia Best Chinese Futura Project Gold Award, Wuhan Erqi

ASLA-MN Merit Award for Analysis and Planning, RiverFirst



SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture, Open Space and Planning and Design Award, Stanford Medical School



ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award, Railroad Park



ASLA Alabama Honor Award, Railroad Park

Cooper Hewitt Museum National Design Award, Finalist



ASLA Honor Award, Pool Pavilion Forest

ASLA Honor Award, Stabiae Archaeological Park

ASLA-NCC Merit Award, Parkmerced



“Master plan for Birmingham’s Parkside aims to connect neighborhoods, enhance walkability,”   Keisa Sharpe, Alabama Newscenter


“Kevin Daly Architects wins competition to design Houston Endowment headquarters,”  Sydney Franklin, The Architects Newspaper


“Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge,”  Zoe Siegel, Multiplier


“Final Designs of the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge,”  Zoe Siegel edited by Tina Tian, LAF Landscape Architecture Frontiers


“SOM and TLS Design China’s Model City of the Future,”  Niall Patrick Walsh, Arch Daily


“City of Life, The Chinese City of the Future(Next),” Andrea Antolin Garcia, Elle Décor – Spain


“Shanghai Sanlin Valley Park – Landscape Design of an Urban Green Wedge,” Wenmo Zhang, Xiaoye Xing, Jiawen chen and Yuqing Nie, LAF Landscape Architecture Frontiers



“For a world of rising sea levels, a showcase of proposed solutions,” John King, San Francisco Chronicle


“Tooling Up,” Sarah Cowles, Landscape Architecture Magazine


“Imagine the Future San Francisco Bay Shoreline,” Zach St George, Bay Nature Magazine


“36 Hours in Birmingham,” Chaney Kwak, New York Times



Rebuilding the American City, David Gamble and Patty Heyda



“2 Concepts for Shaping Region’s Future Shoreline,” John King, San Francisco Chronicle

30:30 Landscape Architecture, Meaghan Kombol



Curating at the Edge: Artists Respond to the U.S./Mexico Border, Kate Bonansinga

“Everybody’s Territory,” Beth Dunlop, Landscape Architecture Magazine



“Birmingham Aims for Efficient Urban Renewal with $17.5M Rail Park,” Suzanne Labarre, Fast Company



Tom Leader Studio: Three Projects, Jason Kentner, Source Books in Landscape Architecture



Pool Pavilion Forest, cover story, Landscape Architecture Magazine



“Messing with Perfection,” ID Magazine



Next Generation Architecture, Joseph Rosa, Rizzoli

“Avant Gardens,” New York Times Arts section



Pool Pavilion Forest, Dialogue Magazine



“Railyard Remake in Santa Fe,” Competitions Magazine

“Sediment,” Landscape Journal, Vol. 21

“Fresh Ideas?” Landscape Architecture Magazine



“Revelatory Landsacpes,” SFMOMA exhibition catalog



Richmond Bayway, Meeting of the Minds, Richmond, CA

“Emerald Networks: Reviving the Legacy of City Parks,” Northeastern University, Boston, MA



“Crafting Architecture: Concept, Sketch, Model,” Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, CA



Snagged, Gallery Installation, University of Texas, El Paso

Compost, Gallery Installation, Ohio State University



National Design Triennial, “Design Life Now,” Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum



“Entry 2006,” Zollverein Design Museum



“Groundswell,” Museum of Modern Art, New York



“Temporal Map of Rome,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, acquired for Permanent Collection

“Earth Economics,” ArchiLab, Orleans, France



“Revelatory Landscapes,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury finalized the Transparency in Coverage Rule (TiC) requiring health insurers and employer self-insured health plans to create a member-facing price comparison tool and post publicly-available machine-readable files by July 1, 2022. These files must include in-network negotiated payment rates and historical out-of-network charges for covered items and services, including prescription drugs.


The Kaiser machine-readable files can be found here: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/front-door/machine-readable.
The Anthem machine-readable files can be found here: https://www.anthem.com/ca/machine-readable-file/search
The Sutter machine-readable files can be found here: Sutter Health – Healthcare Cost Transparency