As Principal and Creative Director of Tierra Design, Franklin Po is passionate about the holistic integration of landscape and architecture. He creates viable amalgamations of these allied disciplines, removing the divide between the built form as monument and the landscape as garden, so as to enhance the quality of the environment for its users.
Franklin’s journey in design began after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of California, Irvine. Thereafter, he attended the UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Planning on a Welton Beckett Architects Fellowship, graduating in 1973 with a Masters Degree in Architecture with Design Excellence. Franklin practised for the next 20 years in Los Angeles. His work in California included the Tom Bradley International Terminal, UNOCAL Oil Museum, Carl Bean Aids Hospice and Angelus Plaza Elderly Housing. All of these have won AlA Awards of Excellence.
In 1993, Franklin returned home to Singapore, and founded Tierra Design two years later. Informed by his training as an architect, his work at Tierra has managed to incorporate landscape architecture, architecture and urban planning into a hybrid known as Landscape Urbanism. The studio has become known as a champion for urban vertical greening, and some key projects include the 15m high, 300m long hanging green tapestry at Changi International Airport Terminal 3, and the Loft condominium featuring modular lengths of vertical green panels, introduced for the first time in Singapore, as living green motifs for a granite clad wall. Other seminal works include the landscape design for Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, the Marina Barrage project and PARKROYAL on Pickering, which was highlighted at the World Green Roof Congress 2015 by Patrick Blanc as the one truly integrated green building he has encountered.
Franklin consciously endeavours to push the boundaries of landscape design beyond mere accessory or decoration. In the pursuit of Excellence, he finds important meaning in benefitting society as a whole.