On Our Shelves
This large-format and generously illustrated book captures the visionary approach to the land embraced in designs for The Sea Ranch, the planned community that has become a touchstone of 1960s West Coast modernism.
Situated on a ten-mile stretch of rugged Northern California coastline, The Sea Ranch was conceived by Alfred Boeke as a retreat from urban living with connection to nature as a guiding principle. This striking book examines the development of the site's master plan and iconic early designs through sketches, drawings, and contemporary and archival photographs of its astonishing landscapes and distinctive timber-framed structures. It features the work of architects Lawrence Halprin, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Charles Moore, William Turnbull, Donlyn Lyndon, Richard Whitaker, and Joseph Esherick. A collection of essays that consider The Sea Ranch in relation to popular leisure destinations and within the context of the architectural history of California are accompanied by conversations with designers and others associated with the project from its inception. This book showcases the exemplary balance between land stewardship and modernist architecture that has made The Sea Ranch a model for living in harmony with nature.
Copublished by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and DelMonico Books
About the Author
JENNIFER DUNLOP FLETCHER is the Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her previous books include Lebbeus Woods, Architect and A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living (Prestel).
JOSEPH BECKER is Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His previous books include Allied Works Architecture: Dwelling and Lebbeus Woods, Architect.
“This book takes a fresh look at the utopian dreams and commercial realities of one of the 1960s’ most influential mergers of architecture, landscape and supergraphics, all on a 10-mile rocky reach of northern California coastline.” –Curbed
“The book’s editors, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher and Joseph Becker, provide written recollections of the Sea Ranch experience from residents and creators. Solomon is quoted: “That was the whole idea, that good design was good for you, good to look at.” More academic essays offer critical responses to the development, intermingled with contemporaneous and commissioned photography so vivid that the salt-laden fog becomes almost palpable. The whole production sheds light on East Coast misgivings about this free-spirited West Coast vernacular modernism and the designers’ prescient notion that the craggy landscape was one well worth protecting.” –Architectural Record