This winter, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will exhibit The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, a deep dive into the conceptual planning behind the iconic Sea Ranch development in Northern California.
Designed by Charles Moore, Joseph Esherick, William Turnbull, Lawrence Halprin, and Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Sea Ranch is considered a revolutionary effort that melded speculative suburban development with budding countercultural movements in an effort to “live lightly on the land.” The naturalistic development was planned in 1964 and driven by its conceptual opposition to the suburban American model of development that hardly considered site issues or natural beauty. Created by developer Al Boeke and a group of Bay Area architects, landscape architects and graphic designers, the project was listed along with other nearby works as a later example of the Bay Region Style, a localized variant of Modernism coined by Lewis Mumford in a controversial 1947 article he penned for The New Yorker.
The exhibition will showcase archival and contemporary photographs, original drawings and sketches of the initial designs as well as a full-scale architectural model created for the exhibition.
“In mid-20th century California, Modern architecture represented social progress,” said SFMOMA architecture and design curator Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher in a statement. “It signaled a shirking of tradition and bold new models for living. The Sea Ranch was envisioned as a place to embrace the land, a particularly moody and memorable land, that could expand California’s existing indoor-outdoor lifestyle.”
The exhibition runs December 22, 2018 through April 28, 2019.