JOANNA PERTZ – Founder + Principal
Joanna Pertz, RLA, brings an artistic sensibility and environmental expertise to shape elegant designs and a thoughtful practice.
Joanna received her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with Honors and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Fine Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz.
As Founder and Principal of JPLA, Joanna extends her unique design vision into all aspects of the firm’s work. She draws inspirations for design from the details of the world around us, and cares deeply about how design informs our experience. Her approach to each project involves an interplay between site specific analysis, conceptual exploration, and our client’s goals for each project. Joanna leads the practice through close collaboration with her staff to generate new ideas for each project, building upon extensive knowledge in the field of landscape architecture.
Prior to starting her own practice, Joanna was an Associate at HLW International, LLP and a Design Manager at Quennell Rothschild and Partners, LLP. She also worked as an Apprentice Stone Carver in Texas, assisting the production of large-scale urban sculpture before entering architectural practice.
Building on her background in the arts and years of professional practice, Joanna brings a conceptual and technical rigor to her work to create beautiful, highly crafted landscapes.
RACHEL WHITESIDE – Project Manager
Rachel brings to the team a diverse skill set that includes a facility with construction detailing and the research tools needed to gain an advanced understanding of the materials and technologies of landscape. With a background in Fine Arts, Rachel has an eye for design and a graphic sensibility that she brings to each project from concept design through construction documents. At JPLA, Rachel is working on Tres Puentes, HBO, Alumni Courtyard at NYU Langone Medical Center, Coney Island Head Start and NYCHA Triborough.
Since receiving her MLA from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Rachel has worked in NYC where she built her experience on a range of local and international projects at a variety of scales and project types. Rachel brings experience working on waterfront projects such as Beale Street Landing in Memphis Tennessee, an 8-acre public waterfront park on the Mississippi River (at Balmori Associates) and Reflections at Keppel Bay, a 20-acre luxury residential development in Singapore (at Hargreaves Associates with Studio Daniel Libeskind). Other relevant experience includes the LEED platinum Syracuse Center of Excellence (at Hargreaves Associates with Toshiko Mori Architects) and Queens Botanical Garden educational wetland landscape (Scape Landscape Architecture with NYC DDC).
ANNA CERAULO-JALAZO – Landscape Designer
At JPLA, Anna has been involved in planting and playground design, construction documentation and specifications, 2D illustrative rendering, 3D model making and construction administration. She has been integral to maintenance oversight operations, developing documentation to insure the success of maintenance oversight contracts at NYU Langone Medical Center and at Penn South Mutual Redevelopment Houses. Current projects include CCNY Schiff House Daycare, NOVO Foundation, Hudson River Park Pier 84 Dog Run, and multiple School Construction Authority playground projects.
Prior to joining JPLA, Anna served as a Sustainability Fellow at the University of New Hampshire where she spearheaded an interdisciplinary overhaul of the campus Landscape Master Plan. Her multidisciplinary background in landscape architecture, psychology and gender studies facilitated a dynamic and integrative process toward the development of guidelines for sustainable and resilient landscape planning, design, installation and maintenance practices campus wide.
Having worked in the fields of landscape design, landscape maintenance, planning and horticulture, Anna brings an enthusiasm for projects that bridge silos to produce novel outcomes. She is currently in pursuit of licensure, having taken Section 1 of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.
Anna received her Master of Landscape Architecture from the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a second major in Women’s and Gender Studies from Stony Brook University.
Justin Robertson – Landscape Designer