SQLA is an international Landscape Architecture, Site Planning and Urban Design firm dedicated to the art and craft of creating engaging environments with lasting presence for living, work and play. ​

Why we started: In 1996 Samuel Kim had the vision to create a unique and innovative landscape and architectural design group called Square Los Angeles. It was born of a love for landscape design with an infusion of natural, cultural, and healing elements crafted into the design. This approach quickly set them apart and under Samuel’s leadership, the studio has grown to employ a team of creative designers who bring innovative solutions to projects from large multi-family residential communities to universities, commercial centers, intimate residential gardens, and meticulously crafted sculptural works.

Why we do what we do: Whether real, abstract or virtual, we believe with a passion that nature is essential for healthy, resilient human environments. We design richly layered landscapes that are infused with natural, cultural and healing elements that foster social sustainability and enrich the spirit.

Why our designs make you feel good: Through creative explorations, we seek hands-on knowledge of the physical and psychological qualities of the raw materials of our trade through the process of designing and constructing sculptural works. This allows us to gain not only profound material intimacy, but also the technical skills to understand how elements of the earth and man-made raw materials may be layered, abstracted, assembled, or fabricated to produce artful and meaningful outcomes. We carefully weave a cohesive thread from conceptualization to realization, to form the backbone of our design process.

Why nature is our medicine? We approach design as the art and craft of sculpting space. Be it communal gathering space, a private outdoor room, or a garden sanctuary, we use the raw materials of nature—plants, water, rock, gravel, and wood—to define and create spaces that influence our emotions, thoughts, and realities, intensifying and enriching our experience of each space.

Why our designs embrace the moment: We design with life, creating spaces where life happens. Whether space for joyful celebration, contemplation, immersion, or play, we embrace the process of becoming and invite the heavens to transform them into places that continuously engage our senses, and ultimately, fill our spirits with that ineffable sense of being.

Where we show up in the world?

Several publications in:
— Street Furniture by Braun
— 1000 x Landscape Architecture by Braun
— Progressive Architecture
— Architectural Digest

Competitions and awards
— First place International Design Competition
— Korean Architecture Culture Grand Presidential Award
— Arbor Day Award’ from the National Arbor Day Foundation
— First place, In-Chon Song Hyun Regional Park Competition
— Urban Designer award for the Westwood Streetscape Plan
— Gold Nugget Award for Centerpointe Apartments and Recreational Facility
— Winner in the 1988 University Arboretum Davis Arts competition



Principal Designer

Samuel K. Kim is the founder and principal designer of SQLA Inc.. With over 30 years of design experience, Samuel has a unique and innovative approach to landscape and urban design, along with a wealth of experience on a wide variety of public, private and international landscape design projects. His areas of expertise include community master planning, site planning, streetscape urban design, specific leisure and entertainment, commercial, industrial, institutional and residential design projects. He is a registered licensed landscape architect in California and Nevada and holds a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Kitti (Bob)

Associate Designer

Bob has participated in a wide range projects since joining SQLA Inc. twelve years ago, including educational, streetscape, commercial, leisure and entertainment, and residential. He is responsible for the management and production of documents throughout all phases from schematic design and design development to construction documents, and his experience and skills have recently earned him the project management role on many of SQLA Inc’s key projects. Bob holds an A.S. in Architecture from Pasadena City College.

Sopon (Don)


Don is involved in all phases of project design especially in planting design, where his extensive knowledge of plant materials are effectively utilized. He holds an AA from Mt. San Antonio College.


Winslow Fritz ​


Kristen has been with SQLA for over a year, and works on a variety of projects, including design competition work and residential, residential community, commercial, and public projects. She has been responsible for presentations, presentation drawings, presentation packaging, schematic design, design development, and construction administration. She holds a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.


Yessenia Bobadilla


Yessenia recently graduated from Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Program. She is starting her career in this field and is exceptionally eager to grow and learn into her role. 

Bessy Barahona


Bessy has been working with SQLA for xx years. 

Myeong Si ​

Associate Designer

Kug Myeong Si has over 20 years of design experience on a wide range of large scale exterior and interior improvement projects. Since joining SQLA Inc. seven years ago, Kug has participated in numerous projects including streetscape, commercial, leisure and entertainment, and residential. He is responsible for presentation drawings, and management and production of documents through all phases from schematic design to design development and construction documents. Kug holds a B.S in Architectural Engineering at Dongkug University, Seoul, Korea.