Recently, SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art had a design exhibit on Sea Ranch, a development in Northern California that had an enormous impact on architecture and design.
I had no idea. I was dismissive at first, as if they were enshrining something as common as dirt. Yet it was one of those eye-opening “AH HA!” moments where I felt like I discovered the archetypal origin of much of the suburban landscape of my youth.
It is the mark of genius to design something so perfect it seems in hindsight to be self-evident, so practical it is widely embraced without modification, and so influential it becomes, well, kind of boring.
Innumerable condos copied it (poorly) and this building hardly looks remarkable today. That said, this is a very welcoming living environment that blends high modernism with an earthy woodsy casual feel so masterfully that I personally would be delighted to inhabit it.
“Today, it is widely known as one of the most significant landmarks of postwar American Architecture.”