During her 25 years of professional experience, Karen Krolewski has developed talents that span the breadth of landscape architecture and fine arts. Karen’s projects showcase a unique blend of technical expertise and aesthetic appeal. Insightful design ability and superior technical acumen afford her exceptional problem-solving abilities, and her successes range from creatively reusing existing site materials to full compliance with the most complex and challenging technical codes.
Karen is often Prime Landscape Architect and she showcases her organizational and leadership abilities in complex public projects. Her credits include parks and playgrounds, high-density multifamily housing, educational facilities and community-based spaces.
Inclusive play design is Karen’s primary interest. Not only is she a recognized lecturer on the topic, but she also aspires to incorporate universal access above and beyond ADA codes. Her vision may be seen in projects that include the ASLA award-winning Rotary PlayGarden.
What do you do at PGAdesign?
As a Principal at PGAdesign, my work focuses on green schoolyards, multi-family housing projects, and playgrounds. Designing inclusive, playful spaces are at the heart of my work. In addition to design, I enjoy the technical aspects of the work such as developing details, ensuring ADA compliance, and designing stormwater treatment systems.
Recently I joined the Bay-Friendly Coalition where I hope to further promote chemical-free and water-wise landscape design.
What do you like about the firm?
The team at PGAdesign is truly passionate about our work, as we’ve seen first-hand the impact that thoughtfully designed spaces can have on people’s lives.
Where did you go to school?
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in photography from Cornell University. From there I went on to obtain a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Why did you decide to go into landscape architecture?
I was studying fine arts when I realized I could apply my love of design and gardening to a profession that benefits communities and the environment.
What’s your favorite recreation spot?
I enjoy taking long hikes throughout the Bay Area with my husband and our dachshund Winnie. One favorite destination is King Mountain in Larkspur where a 500-foot climb is rewarded with breathtaking views of the East Bay.
What’s your favorite urban spot?
I love to go on urban hikes in San Francisco, finding the hilliest spot and discovering urban parks I never knew existed. Best are the ones where housing blends into native habitat.