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    8-1/2 x 10-1/2


    October 29, 2019

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About the Author

A graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard Graduate School of Design, James Lord is trained as both an architect and a landscape architect. Prior to opening Surfacedesign, he worked at the offices of Peter Walker and Partners, Martha Schwartz Partners, and Hargreaves Associates. His innovative design approach has established the firm as a leader in urban design and sustainability internationally. Roderick Wyllie leads the office's residential, estate, and vineyard design efforts, integrating a passion for craft and vast knowledge of plants and material construction into all phases of the design process. Roderick holds a BA in music from Harvard College and an MLA from the Graduate School of Design. Geoff di Girolamo directs the firm's large-scale urban design projects nationally and in Asia. Prior to joining Surfacedesign, he worked as an architect with SOM, Pei Cobb Freed, and Marta Fry Landscape Associates. He received a BA in art from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.Arch from UCLA.
Anita Berrizbeitia is professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the GSD.
Alan Maskin is a partner in Olson Kundig Architects in Seattle.


Material Landscapes

James A. Lord, Roderick Wyllie, Geoff di Girolamo; foreword by Alan Maskin; conversation with Anita Berrizbeitia

The first book to present the work of Surfacedesign, an innovative San Francisco landscape architecture and urban design firm with major public and private projects throughout the Bay Area and in Hawaii, Mexico, and New Zealand.

This monograph explores the design philosophy of the three partners of Surfacedesign, who are committed to solutions that emerge from the site itself and challenge conventional approaches to landscape. The work is informed by the vast openness and frontier spirit of the West, expressed in rugged materials and sustainable planting. Surfacedesign focuses on cultivating a sense of connection to the built and natural world, pushing people to engage with the landscape in new ways. The design approach emphasizes and celebrates the unique context and imaginative potential of each project. The studio’s process is rooted in asking novel questions and listening to a site and its users, a process that has led to engaging and inspiring landscapes that are rugged, contemporary, and crafted.

Twenty-five projects are presented, ranging in scale from the landscape approach to Auckland International Airport in New Zealand to intimate residential gardens in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Featured are Anaha, a Honolulu residential complex overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Land’s End Lookout in the Golden Gate National Recreation area, Barnacles, a community gathering space on the Embarcadero, restoration of the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, the first commercial winery in California, and the landscape for the Museum of Steel in Monterrey, Mexico, a repurposed foundry that now incorporates the largest green roof in Central America.