Exhibition

The Sea Ranch

Architecture, Environment, and Idealism

December 22, 2018–April 28, 2019

Floor 6

Distinctive architecture, uninhibited ocean views, bold supergraphics, shared open space, and meditative tranquility—these were the beginnings of the Sea Ranch, a beacon of Modernism on the Northern California coast. Designed by a small group of Bay Area architects and designers in the early 1960s, the development was envisioned as a progressive, inclusive community, guided by the idealistic principles of good design, economy of space, and harmony with the natural environment.

This exhibition brings together original sketches and drawings from the project's designers, along with archival images, photographs of the Sea Ranch today, and a full-scale architectural replica. The environmentally attentive design philosophies explored at the Sea Ranch, along with the now-iconic graphics, resonated globally and continue to influence architecture and design today.

Major support for The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism is provided by The Coastal Real Estate Company – Liisberg & Kalinoski.
Coastal Real Estate Company

Generous support is provided by the Estate of Arnold A. Grossman, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The Sanger Family Architecture and Design Exhibition Fund, and the Diane and Howard Zack Fund for Architecture and Design.

Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.

Header image: (mobile) South entrance marker, Black Point Barn, and Condominium One; Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz; photographed by Morley Baer, 1965; © 2018 the Morley Baer Photography Trust, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Exhibition Preview

  • Sea Ranch faded map

    Lawrence Halprin, Locational Score for The Sea Ranch, 1981; Lawrence Halprin Collection, The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

  • black and white landscape photo of a wooden building

    South entrance marker, Black Point Barn, and Condominium One; Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz; photographed by Morley Baer, 1965; © 2018 the Morley Baer Photography Trust, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

  • Sea Ranch brochure

    Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Sea Ranch Design Brochure, ca. 1965; collection SFMOMA, gift of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon; © Barbara Stauffacher Solomon

  • Sea Ranch people at a beach walking balancing on wood bark

    Anna and Lawrence Halprin, Experiments in Environment workshop, ca. 1968; Lawrence Halprin Collection, The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

  • a bird's eye view of sea ranch with fog

    Aerial view of The Sea Ranch; photo: 2015, Iwan Baan

  • Sea Ranch Ecoscore timeline

    Lawrence Halprin, Sea Ranch Ecoscore, ca. 1968; Lawrence Halprin Collection, The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

  • Sea Ranch interior with graphic design

    Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Moonraker Athletic Center interior supergraphics, 1966; photo: 2016, © Leslie Williamson

  • a sketch on faded paper

    MLTW (Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, and Whitaker), Condominium One, 1965; collection SFMOMA, gift of William Turnbull; © MLTW

Exhibition Catalogue

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.