Profile | Kaki Martin

Kaki Martin_081715




Kaki is a landscape architect with nearly twenty years of practice experience. She joined Mark Klopfer (her former colleague at Hargreaves Associates) to form the Boston-based Klopfer Martin Design Group in 2007. Their eponymous practice has a primary focus on the interface of building and site within the urban landscape including the design of public parks, plazas, campus spaces, streetscapes, and downtown corridors and districts. The Steel Yard and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative Outdoor Classrooms—just two of the firm’s many award-winning projects—reveal a design process and philosophy across all of our work that is responsive to both site and user needs, and celebrate a keen devotion to texturally rich landscapes.

Kaki received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Painting from Colby College. Furthering her interests, Ms. Martin is also a founding board member of Good Sports, a Boston based non-profit devoted to ensure that disadvantaged youth have the equipment they need to participate in organized athletic programs. Kaki is a current Board member of the Community Design Resource Center of Boston whose mission is to build better communities by making professional design services available pro bono to underserved clients.

She has taught in the Department of Landscape Architecture at RISD for several years.





Brigham and Women’s Hospital Landscape Master Plan

Current Work

One of the most prominent hospitals in the country, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is embedded in the Boston’s Longwood Medical Center district. Like many urban hospitals, it is challenged by the opposing forces of limited open space and the desire to offer its patients a premium environment for healing.

The new president’s initiative to bring nature into the hospital and provide patients, families, and staff with the restorative power of landscape is the driving vision of the project. Leading an interdisciplinary team that includes architecture, interiors, and wayfinding, KMDG is developing a landscape master plan that meets the specific goal of creating more robust exterior landscapes and better connecting interior spaces with nature.

The first phase of work focuses on significant moments of arrival for patients, starting with the campus parking garage and streetscape of the primary address on Francis Street. Phased projects include rooftop and on-structure landscapes of a new clinical and research tower, retrofitting existing roofs with landscapes, and creation of healing and patient gardens. Interior projects include atrium landscapes and seating spaces along the central ‘pike’ that unites the campus across its entire length.


Brigham Building for the Future | Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Current Work

The landscape for the newest building to be added to the Brigham & Women’s Hospital campus is an integral part of the building’s drive for LEED Gold certification, and the KMDG-led, campus-wide, master planning integration of nature into patient/family experience. With nearly all of the landscape on roofs or underground structures, each space required technical expertise and understanding of building systems (waterproofing, wall assemblies, parapet and guardrail systems, structural loading constraints, drainage system knowledge) for customized solutions tailored to the varied constraints. The project also deployed storm water recharge strategies with permeable pavement, bioretention streetscapes, and utilization of recycled roof runoff to serve the HVAC cooling towers and provide irrigation.

At ground level, the landscape serves as a pedestrian spine across the BWH campus and provides a moment of respite for patients and employees. Additionally, an “infusion garden” gives patients a view out of the building to a continuously changing floral tapestry as they receive their infusion treatment.


75 Francis Café Expansion | Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Current Work

Creating landscape space where there currently is none, is part of the strategy of the Landscape Master Plan for the BWH and this project is no exception. Two new viewing gardens are being created on new rooftop being created as the result of a building expansion. Diners in the newly renovated cafeteria will have views of the gardens which are being designed with highly textured plant palette and seasonal change.


Outdoor Classrooms at Nine Boston Schools | Boston Schoolyard Initiative


Building on the success of several earlier pilot projects, we developed a “kit of parts” design approach to outdoor classrooms at Boston Public Schools sites to integrate the experience of outdoor learning into urban schoolyards. We’ve employed this approach at nine sites throughout Boston, each using the kit of elements and spatial strategies that enable teaching and allow for flexibility of use, but designed to work with the particular opportunities and constraints of that schoolyard.

The outdoor classrooms are small spaces carved out of the already limited space available on each school property. These spaces were underutilized areas of asphalt, concrete, or weedy, compacted earth before being converted into vibrant, green environments for teaching and learning. Supported by teacher training from the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, the greatest measure of success of these spaces has been their high level of use by classes in a variety of subjects: science, art, and writing, among others. These lively, textured and experiential spaces have engaged students and teachers, and have become both a resource and source of pride for the schools where they’re located.



Contact Kaki Martin