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Meet Troy Sanders, RLA, Principal Landscape Architect at Think Architecture. Troy’s journey into landscape architecture was driven by a passion for creating outdoor spaces where people can gather and enjoy the natural environment. From a young age, Troy was fascinated by the ability to use organic materials to craft spaces that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

With 35 years of experience and a legacy of innovative projects, Troy’s extensive knowledge and creative solutions have profoundly shaped Think Architecture.

Troy Sanders headshot, principal landscape architect at Think Architecture

Expertise and Inspiration

When asked about his specific areas of focus or expertise, Troy highlighted his work in parks, open spaces, and land planning. “I love designing usable places that are relaxing and enjoyable,” he said. “Land planning is different; it’s like solving a complex puzzle with many pieces, such as ordinances and regulations, that require thoughtful solutions.”

Troy’s inspiration stems from Frederick Law Olmsted and Central Park in New York City. “I worked on a project in Central Park during graduate school and fell in love with his ability to create spaces that felt wild but were completely designed and built that way,” Troy shared. His influences extend beyond landscape architecture to art, music, and travel, with a particular love for visiting Europe’s palaces and estates with large-scale gardens.

Client Focus and Innovation

Troy’s innovative approach is exemplified by his work on Wardle Fields Regional Park, where he tackled the challenge of building a large-scale public splash pad during a long-term drought. “The solution was to work with engineers to capture the water from the splash pad, store it, and treat it to use for irrigating landscape and turf areas in the park, thus using the same water twice,” Troy explained.

Design Philosophy & Process

For Troy, the most rewarding aspect of the design process is seeing how people use and enjoy the spaces he creates. “I find it delightful that people use the park space in ways that are totally unexpected and weren’t my intention but allow for kids to use their creativity in play,” he noted.

Utah’s Open Space

Troy is excited about the proactive approach cities and counties in Salt Lake City and Utah are taking toward acquiring open space. “With more open space, there is a much more significant opportunity to connect a network of open spaces with trails that extend all around the Wasatch Front,” he said.

Landscape Architecture with Think Architecture in Salt Lake City

Looking Forward

Emerging trends and technologies, such as smart products to conserve water and electricity and new varieties of turf and irrigation methods, are shaping the industry. Troy sees these advancements as crucial for sustainable landscape architecture.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Outside of work, Troy loves to travel and is on a quest to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible. “If I’m not traveling, I’m usually planning my next trip while optimizing my itinerary and figuring out how to do it as inexpensively as possible,” he shared.

Troy Sanders continues to inspire and innovate in the field of landscape architecture, driven by his passion for creating beautiful, functional outdoor spaces and his commitment to sustainable design.