UCLA Mildred Mathais Botanical Garden

UCLA Mildred Mathais Botanical Garden

Established in 1929, the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is located on a hilly site with a natural ravine and creek bed that contribute to its interest and charm. Named for Dr. Mathias, an accomplished botany professor at UCLA, the garden and arboretum has made significant contributions to the discipline of botany. Studio-MLA collaborated with Lehrer Architects on the development of a new public entrance and entry procession into the garden. The improvements include a visible new entrance that provides a more effective connection to the campus, a grand staircase and accessible ramp that leads to a new exhibit garden and event space (Lower Plaza), and new restrooms. Additional improvements contemplated for the future include a 6,000 sf welcome center building, relocation and reconfiguration of existing maintenance facilities, and exhibit structures and interpretive signage throughout the garden.

Consistent with the Conceptual Master Plan for the botanical garden, which identified opportunities to enhance and preserve this important campus resource, the project preserved the core of the garden as a subtropical botanical collection, strengthened the academic/educational uses of the facility, and enhanced the garden as an amenity to contribute to the quality of life of the University community. The Studio-MLA / Lehrer Architects design for the street frontage and new entrance are highly visible and provide an open view into the existing garden from Charles E. Young Drive and Tiverton Avenue. Sculptural trees and a Garden Entry Plaza invite visitors into the garden and La Kretz Garden Pavillion. The accessible ramp takes advantage of the site topography to lead visitors into the expansive Lower Plaza, which serves as an informal gathering space, event space, and entrance to the existing botany building. The proposed plant material takes its cue from the garden’s existing collections.


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


7.5 acres


Los Angeles, California


Conceptual Master Plan 2012
La Kretz Garden Pavilion Construction 2016
Garden Vision Plan 2017
Fundraising Package 2019
Stream Restoration 2023

Project team

  • Lehrer Architects Architect (La Kretz Garden Pavilion)
  • Psomas Civil Engineer (La Kretz Garden Pavilion)
  • William Koh and Associates Structural Engineer (La Kretz Garden Pavilion)
  • Donald F. Dickerson Associates M/E/P Engineer (La Kretz Garden Pavilion)
  • KGM Architectural Lighting Lighting Designer (La Kretz Garden Pavilion)