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David Thorne Landscape Architect

Photo: Agnieszka Jakubowicz

Regions Served

  • San Francisco & Bay Area

David Thorne Landscape Architect is a full-service landscape architecture firm specializing in custom residential design. Established by David Thorne in 1983, DTLA believes in a collaborative working relationship to create one-of-a-kind landscapes that reflects the personality of our clients and enhances the architecture of the home. Our interactive design process results in landscape designs as unique as the homeowner behind each and every project and we thrive on maintaining exceptional standards throughout.

As a California-based firm, we offer our clients custom design services that integrate ecologically appropriate options into a timeless and functional landscape design. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond designing a water-wise garden. Making conscious materials choices, employing site-appropriate grading and planting practices, maintaining regional site identity, and fostering soil health are just some of the important aspects we consider.

Our staff has a wide breadth of relevant experience and skills to draw upon during the design process. Our team includes award-winning designers, master gardeners, and seasoned project managers. We utilize a variety of methods, from hand-drawn sketches and illustrations to advanced programs for creating technical drawings, 3D models, and videos to aid the design process. At DTLA, we combine artistic vision, strong working relationships with our collaborators and the practical infrastructure to create timeless exterior spaces that enhance and enrich our client’s lives.

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  • David Thorne


  • 3315 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Featured Projects

East Bay Pastoral

Encircled by golden hillsides populated with native oaks, this expansive site sits nestled in a valley, with a seasonal creek flowing through, providing plentiful opportunities for outdoor living for the family and future grandchildren. The valley floor was large enough to fit the home, as well as spaces for multiple activities including swimming, putting & chipping greens, bocce ball, basketball, firepits for evening hang-outs, quiet reflection, entertaining, and gardening.

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(Visited 134 times, 1 visits today)
Photo: Paul Dyer


Modern sophistication and a minimalist color palette became the guiding principles for this update. With the home deeply set within a sheltered site, we unconventionally located a trellis-shaded outdoor kitchen and firepit living room near the house entry, with easy flow from the indoor kitchen. Swaths of drought-tolerant planting enliven the landscape with rhythms of texture and movement. Natural stone walls and paving add a stately sophistication to the lush landscaping, and enhance the crisp lines of the house architecture.

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(Visited 134 times, 1 visits today)
Photos: Marion Brenner


Masses of native California grasses seamlessly blend into the hillside while also providing year-round visual interest. Corten steel walls provide texture, bold form, and rustic color serving as the perfect foil between the constructed environment and the uncultivated hillside. A sleek and narrow pool coping draws the eye to the horizon and maximizes the serenity of the space.

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(Visited 134 times, 1 visits today)
Photo: Agnieszka Jakubowicz


Serene and comfortable, surrounded by stately trees, this urban oasis is unpretentious and family-friendly, yet sophisticated with its subtle material hues and landscape palette of white & shades of green. The clients wanted to develop as much of the steep site as possible, creating level areas for their family’s play, as well as for regular outdoor entertaining. The result is a landscape that feels like it has always been here, with multiple areas of indoor/outdoor flow—both intimate and grand spaces encourage togetherness and enjoyment of moonlit nights.

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(Visited 134 times, 1 visits today)
Photos: Agnieszka jakubowicz


This garden was designed to be low-water use & drought tolerant featuring many California native and Mediterranean climate plants. A mix of ornamental and California-native shrubs joins the native plants already established on-site to create a sense of solitude while the native grass lawn connects the garden with the vineyard and horse pastures across the street and oak-studded hills in the background.

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Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama


DTLA had an amazing opportunity to redesign this landscape that put us on the map over 35 years ago, and we were thrilled to work with the new homeowners and Architect John Malick & Associates to create an exquisite space featuring a neoclassical pavilion built with cast-stone and hand-carved Florentine statuary. A large picture window is centered looking out over the pavilion and pool providing a focal point for our Clients to enjoy day and night through all seasons. This project was also an opportunity to really focus on the finishes and details—the paving patterns, wrought-iron arbor, design and tile selection for the custom medallion on the pool floor, the lighting and the Mediterranean plant selection with a touch of formality all contribute to the overall aesthetic. An elegant gem of a collaboration.

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(Visited 134 times, 1 visits today)
Photos: Agnieszka jakubowicz