BIO: CLARK STEVENS, ARCHITECT
B. S. Arch., University of Michigan, M. S. Arch. (with distinction), Harvard University
Clark Stevens is a teacher, conservationist, and architect specializing in design for culturally and ecologically critical places. Ecological restoration to create recreational, educational, economic and spiritual value is at the core of his design practice. He is the architect of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project and the recently released Liberty Canyon Wildlife Overpass, which will be the largest of its kind in the world. In addition to his architectural practice, New West Land Company, Inc., Clark serves as Executive Officer of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.
DEGREES & TEACHING
Clark received degrees with distinction from Harvard University (M Arch), where he received the Julia Amory Appleton Fellowship, and the University of Michigan (B.S. in Arch). As a visiting faculty member, he held the Eero Saarinen Chair at the University of Michigan, was the Charles Moore Visiting Professor at the University of Texas, and Professor of Practice at Woodbury University. Other teaching includes positions at USC, SCI-Arc, U Penn (architecture), and UCLA (landscape architecture). He developed the Rural Design curriculum in his two years as Visiting Critic from Practice at Montana State, developing the approach that is the basis of his current research and practice in place-appropriate architecture.
His professional honors include Progressive Architecture, Sunset Magazine, Wood Design, National and State AIA Awards. He was selected as Juror for the AIA National Design Awards, Nominated for the Cooper Hewitt Award for Landscape, and selected for the Interiors Magazine “40 under 40”. Clark was one of a 10-person architect team that received the European Gold and Global Silver Prize in the 2006 Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. His project “The Bear’s Walk” was exhibited by invitation at the 2008 Venice Biennale. In 2015 his Little Lost Cabin was the Wall Street Journal’s House of the Week, and Finalist for its Home of the Year.
Clark's work has been featured in the Los Angeles and New York Times, Vanity Fair, Men’s Vogue, Architecture, on the cover of Architectural Digest and Dwell magazines, and in segments on the A&E, Travel, and HGTV networks. His design for what will be the largest wildlife overpass in the world was featured on CBS This Morning. His authored works include Stillpoints: RoTo Architecture and contributed essay for Center 14: On Landscape Urbanism. Clark serves on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Board of Governors, is an instructor for and “Friend” of the Arid Lands Institute, a past advisory board member of Montana Audubon and a Life Member of Trout Unlimited.
NEW WEST LAND COMPANY /
Place-Appropriate Inhabitation / Land Stewardship Consulting
Achieving The Balance Between Habitat And Inhabitation
New West Land Company is a full service organization providing land-use design, planning and architectural services, and conservation-oriented investment and development strategies. We promote the idea that inhabitation should exist in accord with habitat, and work with private owners, communities, land trusts and conservation developers to plan for the cultural, ecological and economic sustainability of the lands that they steward.
Prior to the founding of New West Land, Stevens was principal and co-owner of the critically-acclaimed architectural practice RoTo from 1991-2006, and completed a range of residential, educational, cultural, and hospitality/eco-tourism projects, designing buildings, landscapes and communities with both non-profit and private sector clients.
This uniquely varied practice taught him that excellence in architecture was only possible in the context of excellence in landscape, excellence in landscape could only exist in the context of true community in the land, and that these qualities were promoted or precluded by the choices made throughout the development and design process.
As both conservationist and architect, he recognized that the conservation and creation of the best possible architecture of habitats, landscapes, places and buildings would require a professional move 'upstream' in the design process to the point at which the most critical land-use choices are made, and the seeds of meaningful inhabitation can be planted; that is, to the true inception of a project, the point at which the values that inform its purpose and ultimately direct its outcome are defined.
New West Land Company defines a new variety of professional services
...that are not bound by conventional understanding and preconceptions of the role of an architect, land planner, or conservationist.
The goal of our work - healthy re-engagement with the Land - derives from sustained action on physical, cultural, economic and spiritual levels.
An important component of our land planning practice is 'pure restoration' of critical habitats ranging from spring creeks to urban estuaries, funded both by public agencies and private conservationists. Restoration and enhancement is a goal of all of our land planning efforts, and an important element in the value-adding aspects of our architecture and development design. One of the best tools available for effecting timely and strategic conservation efforts is, ironically, 'conservation development'. This type of development - what we call place-appropriate inhabitation - can not only bring resources to enhance and protect threatened places of critical cultural and ecological value, but also design for the type of informed human community that will assure its stewardship well beyond the life of the project itself.
Our work to date has served to remind us that human community is a part of - rather than merely impacting upon - natural systems.
This has further focused our work from the strategic deployment of human land uses as tools for the protection of the natural and cultural, to an effort to link these systems to the preservation and creation of storied landscapes, places imbued with meaning and spirit. In order to best work within these landscapes, the land planning component of our practice is now primarily focused on two fronts:
- Design Support For Strategic Conservation Investment:
- The Identification Of Threatened Rural & Near-Wilderness Landscapes of critical ecological importance and
- The Development Of Strategies to ensure that they are enhanced, protected in perpetuity and returned to the conservation marketplace with added value.
- Design of Conservation-Based Rural Communities & Eco-Tourism / Resort Venues:
- Rural Areas, particularly in the mountain west and Hawaiian islands are the focus of significant growth, bringing both stresses to, and opportunities to enhance and protect rural and indigenous cultures and ecological fabric
- Eco-Tourism, the fastest growing segment of the resort industry, is focused on culturally and ecologically unique (i.e. beautiful) places, provides a unique opportunity to bring strategic capital and sustainable land use practice to critical and often very large landscapes, maximizing the protection of natural systems while sustaining and enhancing local culture and world culture through appropriate exchange.