Pamela Burton

Pamela Burton Oral History

The life, career, and design philosophy of Santa Monica-based landscape architect Pamela Burton is the subject of the seventeenth oral history in the award-winning Pioneers of American Landscape Design® Oral History Project series.

Founding her firm shortly after graduation from the University of California, Los Angeles, Burton was influenced by Modernist and contemporary architects, artists, and landscape architects throughout her decades-long career. Burton studied architecture at UCLA under notable legends like Charles Moore and Bill Mitchell to earn her Master’s Degree in Architecture, starting her own practice in 1975. Burton is a prolific designer of residential, commercial, and civic landscapes, many in Southern California. Her designs are influenced by a site-specific layout and plant palette, a wide range of guiding principles from California modernism, her love of art, and passion for sustainability. Notably, Burton designed the grounds of several homes by architect Richard Neutra. Through her writing and myriad commissions for public and private projects alike, she has become a leading figure in the profession, especially in her native Southern California. In 2006 she became a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Her extensive career and her ecologically sensitive and artistically inclined approach were the subject of Pamela Burton Landscapes, a hardbound volume published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. 

Oral History Framework

Video clips are divided into three categories: BIOGRAPHY, DESIGN, and PROJECTS.

Each clip is between one and five minutes long.

Interview: Pamela Burton was interviewed by Charles A. Birnbaum in June 2019.

Pamela Burton Oral History Transcript

Reflections: The Cultural Landscape Foundation contacted Burton's colleagues and professional associates to share their stories and memories.

Pamela Burton Reflections


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  Production Credits and Acknowledgments