Lawrence Halprin’s 100th birthday

Charles Birnbaum (Photographer), Lawrence Halprin at Sea Ranch, 2008 Courtesy of Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Charles Birnbaum (Photographer), Lawrence Halprin at Sea Ranch, 2008
Courtesy of Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation

The pioneering landscape architect was born 100 years ago today in New York City. Lawrence Halprin grew up in Brooklyn, and spent three years on a kibbutz in Israel before attending Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. After apprenticing with Thomas Church,  Halprin opened his own office in San Francisco in 1949. Amongst his innovations is the design process known as the RSVP Cycles (the subject of our current exhibition, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971 on view through July 3). This method is marked by attention to human scale, user experience, and the social impact of design; these strengths were likely fueled by the work of his wife, dancer Anna Halprin. Prolific throughout his life, major projects include the Sea Ranch community in California; Levi’s Plaza, Stern Grove, and Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco; Sproul Plaza at the University of California; and numerous projects in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Washington DC, and Israel.

In honor of Halprin’s 100th, The Cultural Landscape Foundation is presenting a series of tours of landscapes designed by Halprin and his firm. These tours will kick off on July 23 with a tour of Stern Grove in San Francisco. Visit www.TCLF.org for a complete list.

Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971 in on view through July 3 at the California Historical Society’s San Francisco Headquarters.

Jason Herrington

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