STUDIO MALA is a boutique landscape architecture practice based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2017 by Catherine Grey, after working in architecture and landscape architecture for over a decade. The philosophy of the firm is derived from the Japanese concept of MA which honors the intangible power of space between parts.
STUDIO MALA is invested in creating modern architectural frameworks for adaptive and dynamic landscapes that have a unique sense of place. We focus on pairing simple forms with a diverse horticultural mix to balance clean lines, color and texture. Environmentally friendly materials and construction techniques are woven throughout the designs and low-water use plants are utilized as much as possible. The firm works primarily in the Bay Area with a focus in residential design.
Catherine Grey started her career as an architectural designer in Phoenix, Arizona. There she was exposed to the virtues of good desert architecture that features a symbiotic relationship between structures and nature to mitigate the intense climate. Her time in the desert also informs her horticultural design, prefacing diverse plant mixes that require low maintenance to fussy monocultures. Catherine has her masters in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley and practiced landscape architecture under prominent Bay Area firms before starting her own practice. She worked for Ron Lutsko for many years and saw the impact simple gestures have in shaping memorable landscapes. Catherine strives to attain balance and continuity in all her designs to connect people with landscapes.