The View from Halprin’s Studio
A landscape giant looks back at his roots. They go deep.
By John King
Michael Macor, San Francisco Chronicle
It is altogether appropriate that Mount Tamalpais dominates
the view through the window above the drafting table in Lawrence Halprin’s new
northern California studio and that Corte Madera Creek rolls into the bay a few
dozen yards away.
Those elements—timeless earth and shifting tides—define our
region’s geography. They also run through the best work by Halprin, FASLA, a
landscape architect whose long career shows how limiting that phrase can be.
Halprin spent the past eight years at an office in Levi
Plaza, an urbane complex that’s memorable because of how his grounds enfold
Levi’s redbrick walls: Sierra stone and tumbling water and a handful of
generous willows distill the northern California landscape into one beguiling
tableau. Last summer, though, Halprin traded San Francisco for this perch in
Larkspur, California. And while he still has a handful of clients, he’s
devoting more time to watercolor paintings and his autobiography.
“We’re sort of winding down a little bit,” says Halprin, who
turned 90 in July. “Just waiting for clients we like.”
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