Architects and Designers
Lawrence Halprin, renowned landscape architect, drew on the Pomo Indian's earlier philosophy, "live lightly on the land," in his contribution to the overall master plan for The Sea Ranch Community. The plan incorporates a set of building guidelines that require homes to be designed and sited to blend all structures onto the natural setting and minimize the visual as well as physical impact upon the landscape.The name itself reflects a continuity and respect for the past, as Rancho Del Mar has simply been translated into the English equivalent, The Sea Ranch, which has become world-renowned for being environmentally sensitive.
The architectural firm MLTW (Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, William Turnbull, and Richard Whitaker) created the unique Sea Ranch design with Condominium I, near Bihler's Point, and a number of the early homes. Joe Esherick developed the concept of the "Hedgerow Homes" along Black Point Reach and also designed the first phase of The Sea Ranch Lodge. Robert Muir Graves, recognized as one of the foremost golf course architects, blended a Scottish Links style, championship length, course into the natural landscape.
In May, 1991, Charles Moore was presented the Gold Medal Award of the American Institute of Architects, architecture's highest honor. This was in recognition of decades of an unfailing pursuit of design excellence, education, and professionalism. At the same time, The Sea Ranch Condominium I Unit was awarded the AIA's Twenty-Five Year Award. This award is given each year to a building project, completed 25 to 35 years ago, which exemplifies a design of enduring significance that has withstood the test of time. Other buildings so honored include Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, both in New York City, and Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The 1991 Honor Awards Jury noted that Sea Ranch is "profoundly conscious of the natural drama of its coastal site" and has "formed an alliance of architecture and nature that has inspired and captivated a generation of architects."