Published 2019

Ground Studio is proud to announce the launch of our new monograph Bernard Trainor / Ground Studio Landscapes.

Ground Studio’s newest book celebrates the wild and elemental landscapes of California, from the craggy coasts of Big Sur to the fertile hills of Sonoma wine country. Their award-winning work combines an awareness of regional context with materials, collaboration, and deep connection to the land. Beautifully photographed and documented with full-color plans, the projects in this survey of their recent work include a range of scale, from compact urban gardens to expansive rural sites. Ground Studio’s regional, sustainable approach inspires wonder and respect for nature as it aims to preserve and restore it.


Published 2013

We are pleased to share news that Princeton Architectural Press has published a monograph featuring our landscapes. Landprints showcases ten of the most ambitious and inspiring landscapes through gorgeous photography and a critical analysis of the firm and these individual projects by author Susan Heeger.

“If you’ve hiked the wilderness of California, following trails through the state’s Coast Range or climbing rocky bluffs above the beach, you’ve seen the enormity of its reach, the force of the heaving, twisting land, the fuzzy meadows and sharp ridges; you’ve heard the ocean’s crashing tides and the land’s sleepy, sun-drunk silence. In these places, the light can be hard and pitiless, and the heat crippling. But when the Pacific fog seeps inland from the ocean, the views become soft, and the cold is stunning. It’s not always a gentle world, but it’s exhilarating and elemental.

This elemental charge sparks the landscapes of Bernard Trainor, an Australian-born designer who has made it his life’s work to honor California’s spirit in gardens across the state. Neither a naturalist nor an architect, he uses the tools of both professions to create places that are at home on hilltops and craggy seasides, but hospitable to the people living there too. He’s an observer of the land, not only of what exists now but what has been and might have been—rolling grasslands shot with wildflowers in the spring; or sprawling acres around tile-roofed ranchos, where cattle once grazed.”


Gardens Illustrated Feature

BIG SKIES High on a hillside on the rugged Californian coast, designer Bernard Trainor harnesses sweeping views to create a stunning space for lovers of the great outdoors. High up on a ridge, along the rugged stretch of coastal California known as Big Sur, an intriguing, glass-fronted house perches over a singular, south-facing garden. This unique position affords an eye-popping panorama, taking in everything from the Santa Lucia Mountains in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. Seeing these changes of terrain in one view is like “having two pages of a book open at the same time,” […]

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Dwell Magazine Feature

FORCE OF NATURE The flora comes first at a leafy enclave just minutes from downtown Palo Alto. Recently retired and ready to downsize, Paul and Melonie Brophy found a lot in Palo Alto that gave them the chance to start fresh. Their glass, concrete, and wood house, designed by Feldman Architecture, seems to float above a landscape by Bernard Trainor. Of the board-formed concrete wall, architect Taisuke Ikegami says, “It connects the building to the ground place while allowing the house to be a landscape element.” The house was a “fall-down,” the lot long neglected. But as soon as Paul […]

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Gardens Illustrated Feature

HOME FRONT In his private garden in California, designer Bernard Trainor explores new plants and possibilities. Though he has now settled in the USA, and comes originally from Australia, landscape designer. Bernard Trainor began to develop his core ideas about plants and place in Britain. As a young horticultural apprentice, he came to the UK to work with the late, great Beth Chatto, and his experience in her Essex garden was life changing. “I’d thought about planting for climate before, but working with Beth cemented those ideas,” he says. “She was also just the best person, with incredible values and […]

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Retrospect feature

Prairie House One of the guiding principles of California modernist architecture is that the built and natural landscapes relate. When Bernard Trainor, one of the Bay Area’s leading landscape designers, visited a 20-acre Sonoma County vineyard, he saw terrain that could be brought into perfect dialogue with the property’s new private home. The sleek, sculptural residence, designed by San Francisco’s Swatt I Miers Architects, was perched high upon a knoll, surrounded by majestic blue oaks and pinot noir vineyards. Trainor and his firm created a dynamic landscape in which hardscaping and softscaping intersect, artfully framing the modernist structure. Here, stone […]

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