A hundred miles north of San Francisco on California Coast Highway 1, the Sonoma County coast meets the Pacific Ocean in a magnificent display of nature. Waves crash upon the rocks or wash up on beautiful stretches of sandy beaches. This is the location of The Sea Ranch, an area covering several thousand acres of large, open meadows and forested natural settings interspersed with award-winning architecture. When the area, a sheep ranch well into the last century, was rediscovered for its beauty in the 1960s, it came to be envisioned as a home community that harmonized with the environment.
Renowned landscape designer Lawrence Halprin's master plan for The Sea Ranch community accordingly incorporated a set of building guidelines that minimized the visual as well as physical impact upon the landscape. Subsequent buildings by architects such as Joseph Esherick, Charles Moore, William Turnbull, Obie Bowman, Donlyn Lyndon, and others have been recognized worldwide for environmentally sensitive planning and architecture. They sparked a generation of imitators that became part of what is known as "The Sea Ranch style," epitomizing what many people imagine when they think of Northern Californian architecture.
This beautiful monograph, lavishly illustrated with over 300 newly commissioned photographs and including maps, plans, detailed descriptions of the houses, and essays by Donald Canty and Lawrence Halprin, presents the definitive record of The Sea Ranch community.