Thursday, 5 April 2007

Sea Ranch complex - Charles Moore

Charles Moore's Sea Ranch condominiums influenced a whole generation of architects - you can still see 'Sea Ranch' houses coming off the production lines today, but often with neither the deftness, the understanding or the landscape that Moore and his collaborators had at their disposal.

It's hard now to see it with fresh eyes uninfluenced by a generation of copyists, but when the first Sea Ranch condominium emerged blinking into the sunlight in 1965, it was a whole new thing under the sun, and a very good thing it was, and still is.

Milton Friedman thought so too; he was so excited when he saw the complex that he bought one himself. News on that here. Says 'corbusier' at Architecture and Morality:
Sea Ranch was probably one of the best-known examples of what is now called “green architecture”. It didn’t incorporate as many environmentally-friendly materials as what is available today, but its response to the site’s microclimate, its use of local renewable materials for its structure and exterior as well as its application of native vegetation are common “green” strategies [and common bloody sense too, I might add].

To my knowledge, Friedman was not the kind of environmentalist in the sense that he would have favored rationing production by government decree. What seems apparent from his time spent at his 'Capitaf' retreat in Vermont and at Sea Ranch, was that he enjoyed nature for its spiritual and emotional power. He seemed to relish its simplicity and calm, which probably helped ensure his long life and his undiminished sense of humor.
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1 comment:

  1. Loved the place when I stayed there on my honeymoon. It just fits the Sonoma Coast with its sea mists, pines and the bleaching red cedar cladding.

    One of the architects in the Moore stable who designed the many theme dwellings there I beleive designed a place 30 years ahead of its time in NZ.
    --Takaro Lodge in the Upukeroa Valley out of Te Anau. The owner was sent broke by the meddling of a Labour politician, [one Bill Rowling]

    Sadly Takaro has been revamped in a fit of post modern touchy feely primary colour shite and rebirthed as a 'peace resort' They can do what they like there in all freedom but the crime was to interior decorate something organic that seemed to grow from its surroundings and breathe in the same manner as Sea Ranch


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