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Principals

Vera Gates

Principal / Landscape Architect
Leed AP, Certified Green Building Professional

Vera grew up close to the land, on a farm in Northern Vermont.  There she learned the essential qualities of the natural landscape and the symbiotic relationship of natural systems. She also learned how to draw and paint and ride horses – passions she continues to pursue to this day.

Now living and working in the urban environs of San Francisco, Vera brings an agrarian sensibility and an artistic vision to her design work. She believes in crafting gardens In The Spirit of Place.  Her design vision is innovative and dramatic, with layers of purpose and meaning. Vera comes from a long line of storytellers, and believes that design is a manifestation of the telling of our stories.

Vera teaches Environmental Design and Landscape Graphics at U.C. Berkeley Extension in San Francisco.  She is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Green Building Professional. She specializes in the elegant design of complex, sustainable sites, the integration of the built and natural environments and the creation of human habitat.

After receiving a B.S. in Environmental Design from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Vera worked as a water features engineer and landscape designer on international resort projects. She opened her first practice in 1993, later partnering with Kate Stickley to found Arterra in 2003.  Living a repurposed life, Vera spends her free time painting, golfing and following the S.F. Giants.  Her son Oscar is attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he is studying Architecture.  Mom is very proud!