Halprin, Lawrence

Halprin, Lawrence

(1916–  ) landscape architect, writer; born in New York City. A disciple of Thomas Church, he founded his West coast firm in 1949, focusing on people's "spatial experience" of open areas and redesigning urban spaces like Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco to attract pedestrians, using multiple levels and fountains.

Halprin, Lawrence

(1916–2009)
A landscape architect and environmental planner based in the San Francisco Bay area, Halprin designed Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (illus.), in Washington, DC. He was married to a dancer, the former Anna Schuman, and described his blend of modernism, environmentalism, and movement as a choreography. Before committing to a design, he often held a workshop with different constituencies—artists, community activists, clients, and developers—to gauge emotional responses to different places. His many projects included the plazas and grand fountains of Portland, OR; Seattle, WA Freeway Park; Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, MN; and the Approach to Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, CA dedicated in 2005. One of his most prominent projects that required great environmental sensitivity was Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, CA, a development of 1,500 homes on 5,000 acres. Halprin preserved and enhanced the natural features of the site, planting more than a half-million trees. It was the subject of his 1995 book The Sea Ranch: Diary of an Idea. Halprin wrote nearly a dozen books during the course of his career on projects and the process of design.