Urban Oasis

Marco Barrantes and Michelle Matthews of La Loma Development transform the local landscape one property at a time.

Since 2007, the Pasadena-based sustainable design and urban landscape architecture firm La Loma Development Co. has turned schools, parks, museums, residential properties and other landscapes into beautiful, environmentally sound Gardens of Eden. 

Now they’ve begun converting the property once utilized by historic Paul’s Auto in Northwest Pasadena, which serves as their headquarters.
The 30,000-square-foot auto mechanic yard and warehouse on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Washington Boulevard is now being used as a center for green job training, ecological skills, sustainable development, urban architecture, permaculture, art and food systems.

Hillside Redesign

La Loma featured on the September Issue of Landscape Contractor magazine

My Garden: Pasadena Transformed

A weed-covered lot in Southern California, owned by Caltrans, is completely redone by a couple who live adjacent to the garden, complete with native varieties, a citrus grove, and hundreds of new plants, creating a Mediterranean idyll.

This three-acre garden in Pasadena, California, is considered "My Garden" by Betty and Charles "Kicker" McKenney, who live in a townhouse adjacent to it. But the story of the garden is a bit more complicated than that.

An opening for science

Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale has come a long way since taking up residence on the property of a church 10 years ago.

Last week, the 460-student school - which a couple of years ago moved into its own separate campus on Grevillea Avenue - opened the doors to a brand-new, state-of-the-art science building.

A Public Monument to the Fruit Tree

The grass has grown in around a notable project at the northwest corner of campus, near Fairfax Avenue: The Public Fruit Theater, Los Angeles, 2010, designed and built by La Loma Development. La Loma collaborated with artist collective Fallen Fruit to build the theater as part of our year-long investigation EATLACMA, which concluded this past November. The Public Fruit Theater remains, as what landscape architect Marco Barrantes calls “a monument to the fruit tree.”


"Public Fruit Theater, Los Angeles, 2010," An Outdoor Installation at LACMA Until JUNE 30th, 2011




New collaboration between Fallen Fruit and La Loma Development creates a monument to the history of fruit trees in Los Angeles

LA Times: Special Issue: Fall Gardening

Marco Barrantes made his mom’s dream yard come true with Rancho La Loma, a vineyard and plant idyll.

Most parents have to beg or bribe their offspring to work in the garden, but not Pasadena resident Robin Stever. Upon returning home one day, she discovered her son Marco Barrantes cutting down trees and digging up their frontyard. For years Stever had dreamed about owning a vineyard and, lo and behold, her son had decided to act.

That surprise effort, begun in 2003 during Barrantes' summer break from his landscape architecture and urban planning studies at UC Berkeley, was his first step in transforming the nondescript 1-acre property into Rancho La Loma, a romantically rough-around-the-edges homestead that evokes early California, complete with a vineyard, orchard, vegetable garden and chickens.