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Category Archives: San Francisco

sea-ranch-architecture

Sea Ranch Architecture Explored

The Sea Ranch is located on an extraordinary site along the Pacific Coast Highway, along a ten-mile stretch of the rugged cliffs near San Francisco. It reflects the earliest innovations in environmentally conscious designs.

It all began with the site acquisition by developer Al Boeke. The site was originally a working sheep ranch. Boeke and his partner Richard Neutra had a vision to do something different and make an impact with the development. The Sea Ranch project quickly grew with a roster of architects which included Lawrence Halprin, Joseph Esherick Obie Bowman and others. Halprin’s master plan would define the design aesthetic and disrupted the design standard of the time, which was cookie-cutter planned communities after World War II.

The driving influence of the Sea Ranch was based on the life experience of Halprin, who had spent childhood summers on a kibbutz near Haifa, Israel. His vision was that people would live “lightly” on the land, just as the indigenous people of the region had. Some felt that the Sea Ranch was a reflection of the laid-back utopian West Coast lifestyle. The truth be told, the project was purely about design and the relationship to the land. The project details were about certain tastes, light and color, while being sensitive to the local culture, climate and place. Through the design, the Sea Ranch design left open the meadows and set back the buildings from the bluffs, creating a communal landscape. The structures were clad in unfinished wood, which was allowed to fade to gray with skylights in the roofs to capture the views of the redwood forests. The design team made the buildings part of the landscape instead of buildings that just sat on open land.

The Sea Ranch will continue to influence architects, designers and visionaries for decades to come.   

From the ADG Jobsite

Weathered beauty…

adg-custom-lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

Alfred Eichler, The Architect of California

The work of Alfred Eichler reflected the spirit and diversity of California. During his time as an architect for the state, Eichler designed buildings which reflected the everyday lives of a ‘modern’ citizen. There was no grandiose flash in his design, but a subtle sophistication that people just felt comfortable with. Even though his name is not widely known, his projects dot the landscape of this great state and serve the people who call it home.

Alfred Eichler was born to Dr. Alfred Eichler Sr. and Laura Eichler in Shadyside, Missouri in 1895. Just after his birth, his parents moved the family to San Francisco, where he grew up with his siblings. At age 13, Eichler contracted spinal meningitis, which left him deaf. However, his disability didn’t hamper his motivation or drive for creative success in the future. Eichler attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco before studying at Columbia University and the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in New York. After completing his studies, he went on to serve his country in the Navy, where he functioned as a civil architect during WWI. After his service in the Navy, Eichler worked in private firms in New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. He was later hired as the Senior Architectural Designer for the Division of Architecture of California’s Department of Public Works. In 1949, he was promoted to Supervisory Architect in the Design Section until his retirement in 1963.

List of Notable Projects

  • San Quentin State Prison – Hospital addition
  • San Quentin State Prison – Cell block & solitary confinement
  • San Quentin State Prison – Dormitory & prison yard
  • San Quentin State Prison – Women’s cell block
  • California Institution for Women  – Tehachapi
  • Folsom State Prison – New cell blocks
  • Folsom State Prison – Chinese and Negro Dormitory
  • State Reform School – Preston School of Industry
  • Fred C. Nelles School for Boys – Gymnasium
  • Ventura School for Girls
  • Stockton State Hospital
  • Camarillo State Hospital
  • Napa State Hospital
  • Mendocino State Hospital

His work went well beyond prison and hospital designs. He completed work for state parks, the State Fair Ground, Veterans Homes and the Sacramento Tower Bridge. One of the most notable parts of his work were the drawings and watercolor renderings of his projects. Each one was a simply stated and clean rendering, but deeply creative and artistic. The watercolors especially captured the essence and feel of the specific structure he was depicting. The watercolors of public use buildings accurately reflected the colors of California. On the other hand, the renderings of confinement facilities were more more dark and somber, reflecting the spirit of the work.

Learn more about Alfred Richler here.

   From the Factory Floor

Design for a new hotel in San Luis Obispo launching this year! 

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

san francisco architecture

San Francisco Architecture: What Defines the City by the Bay

 

“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears
is said to be seen in San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city and possess
all the attractions of the next world.”
― Oscar Wilde

The architecture of San Francisco is not so much known for defining a particular architectural style. Between its interesting and challenging variations in geography and topology, and its tumultuous history, San Francisco is known worldwide for an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture.

Part of what makes the city so beautiful is the diversity of its architecture. The oldest architecture in San Francisco is the Victorian style. The locals love a nice row of intact Victorians, but they are not surprised by the sight of a Victorian nestled up against anything from mission to modern. As quirky as it may be, there is love for this beautiful city and its architecture.

The city is uniquely picturesque. Its scenic attractions include the largest cultivated urban park in the country, Golden Gate Park and its notoriously steep streets. It is also known for sophisticated cultural innovation and experimentation. San Francisco was the gathering place of the Beat Generation in the 1950s and a focal point of the 1960s counterculture. Still known for its cultural attractions, the Bay Area is also famous for its concentration of cutting-edge high-technology firms, which have drawn even more new residents to this amazing city.

The historic center of San Francisco is the northeast part of the city anchored by Market Street and the waterfront. It is here that the Financial District is centered, with Union Square, the principal shopping and hotel district, and the Tenderloin nearby. Cable cars carry riders up steep inclines to the summit of Nob Hill, once the home of the city’s business tycoons, and down to the waterfront tourist attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39, where many restaurants feature Dungeness crab from a still-active fishing industry.

This area also features Russian Hill, which is a residential neighborhood with the famous Lombard Street. North Beach is the city’s Little Italy and the former center of the Beat Generation, and Telegraph Hill, which features Coit Tower. The adjacent area to Russian Hill and North Beach is San Francisco’s Chinatown, which is the oldest in the United States. The South of Market, which was once San Francisco’s industrial core, has seen significant redevelopment following the construction of AT&T Park and an infusion of startup companies. New skyscrapers, live-work lofts, and condominiums dot the area. Further development is taking place just to the south in the Mission Bay area.

From the ADG Job Site

It’s all in the details…

Unnamed

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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