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A Virtual Exhibit of
The Sea Ranch Archives

The Architectural Legacy of The Sea Ranch

Marker Building
Marker Building along Highway One

Marker Building
The Knipp-Stengel Barn

Honoring the 50th anniversary of The Sea Ranch, the Archives Committee presents a selection of images from our collection to illustrate the architectural legacy of The Sea Ranch.

In The Sea Ranch...Diary of an Idea, renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin reflected on the architectural goals held by the designers of The Sea Ranch: "Our most difficult task was to find a way for people to inhabit this magnificent and natural system in numbers without destroying the very reason for people to come here." In musing upon wonderful places that he had visited around the world, Halprin noted that "All of these wonderful places had a certain character, an organic wholeness, and almost mystical oneness with the earth out of which they seemed to have grown...It was this character that I hoped we might achieve at Sea Ranch; a feeling of overall place, a feeling of a community in which the whole was much more important and more dominant than its parts...if we could link buildings and nature into an organic whole..." Lawrence Halprin, The Sea Ranch...Diary of an Idea. Berkeley, CA: Spacemaker Press, 2002. pp. 27, 29.)

"At their best, the buildings work with the ecology of the place, interacting with the land and the climate in ways that make it livable, without obliterating its essential character. Nearly always the awareness of nature remains prominent; in some parts, just barely, in most parts triumphantly so. In the midst of this extended landscape there are many sites and buildings of real distinction, genuinely creative interpretations of what it can mean to build in this particular place-architecture that rewards close attention." (Donlyn Lyndon and Jim Alinder, The Sea Ranch; Essays by Donald Canty and Lawrence Halprin. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004. p. 14.)

This virtual exhibit looks at some of those buildings that reward close attention. For a comprehensive and well-illustrated look at the architecture of The Sea Ranch, consult Lyndon and Alinder's book cited above (A new edition, The Sea Ranch: Fifty Years of Architecture, Landscape, Place, and Community on the Northern California Coast, is available at the Four-Eyed Frog bookstore in Gualala.

Condo One CourtyardCondo One Courtyard Moonraker graphicMoonraker Graphic

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