Architect, Landscape Architect, Urban Designer, Land Use Planner, Environmental Observer

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hat's Off To Larry !!! ..........

No, not me...

Lawrence Halprin
who recently turned 93 -

Lawrence Halprin (born July 1, 1916 in New York City) is a prolific and accomplished American landscape architect and educator.

Halprin grew up in New York and spent three of his teenage years in Palestine on a kibbutz. He earned a degree in plant sciences from Cornell University. In 1935 Halprin returned to the US to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Design under Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and landscape architect Christopher Tunnard. In 1944 Halprin was commissioned in the US Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. He was assigned to the destroyer Morris in the Pacific which was struck by a kamikaze attack. After surviving the destruction of the Morris, Halprin was sent to San Francisco on leave. It was here he would stay following his discharge.

Following an apprenticeship with landscape architect Thomas Church, collaborating with Church on the seminal Dewey Donnell Garden (El Novillero) in Sonoma County California and helping to develop the contemporary California Style garden concept, Halprin opened his own office in 1949. Since 1976 he has been a partner with Sue Yung Li Ikeda.

Halprin's wife, accomplished avant-garde dancer Anna Halprin, is a long-time collaborator, with whom he has explored the common areas between choreography and the way users move through a public space. They are the parents of Daria Halprin, an American psychologist, author, dancer, and actress.

Halprin's work is marked by his attention to human scale, user experience, and the social impact of his designs, in the egalitarian tradition of Frederick Law Olmsted. Halprin was the creative force behind the interactive, 'playable' civic fountains most common in the 1970s, an amenity which continues to greatly contribute to the pedestrian social experience in Portland Oregon, where "Ira's Fountain" is loved and well-used.

He is the co-creator with his his wife of the RSVP Cycle, a creative methodology that can be applied broadly across all disciplines.

- from Wikipedia

Among the major works of Lawrence Halprin's office
are open spaces and fountains -

(perhaps his major contribution to Landscape Architecture)

FDR Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Levi Strauss Plaza, San Francisco, CA

Freeway Park, Seattle, WA

Ira Keller Fountain, Portland, OR

..and where did all of this come from? Halprin loves to walk in the Sierra Mountains of California and sketch waterfalls and boulders... His sketchbooks are legendary -

I heard Larry Halprin say at an ASLA conference ...
"I don't work FOR architects,

I work WITH them !!"
. . .

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Recommended Books

  • - Precedents in Architecture
  • - City Comforts
  • - A Pattern Language
  • - The Architecture of Happiness
  • - Architectural Composition
  • - Design Language
  • - Elements of Garden Design
  • - Chambers for a Memory Palace