At the northern border of Sonoma County, California, vineyards turn into farmlands grazed by sheep. The wind picks up and the Highway 1 coast gets wilder. Beaches full of driftwood and tide pools are accessed via steep striated cliffs and abutted by redwood forests and lively rivers. Here, amid the spectacular visual collision of nature and nurture, is where one finds the Sea Ranch.Master planned by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and designed by architects Joseph Esherick, Donlyn Lyndon, Charles Moore, William Turnbull Jr., and Richard Whitaker in the 1960s, the environmentally focused housing development spans 53 acres of this Northern California coastline. Homes characterized by pitched roofs and wooden shingles cut from Douglas fir and redwood—now more than 2,200—dot the sea grass and native flower-filled landscape that inspired them. In 1968, the North Building
and its 17 guest suites were designed in the same California modernist style as a hotel for intrepid tourists at the Sea Ranch Lodge. While the creative spirit of the place endures, it became clear its structures needed a 21st century restoration.
In 2019, the beloved destination closed for a total rehaul. Charles de Lisle and Terremoto renewed the Lodge’s public spaces and landscape, bringing design-minded travelers and locals alike flocking again to its eateries, shop, and sunset deck. On July 1, San Francisco–based NICOLEHOLLIS unveiled the final piece of the five-year project: a complete refresh of the hotel rooms that balances legacy, ecology, and contemporary hospitality.
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