Designtel - Donnell Garden

Donnell Garden [1948]

Thomas Church

Thomas Church’s modernist icon boats a famously free-form, kidney-shaped pool with sprawling landscapes designed with Lawrence Halprin and architect George Rockrise. Church, who was one of the leading landscape architects of the time, propelled Northern California into the sun-saturated Modern age, with the Donnell Garden remaining emblematic of both the architect’s portfolio and, more broadly, its time. With a stark Adeline Kent sculpture to the pool’s interior serving as a miniature (inhabitable) island, Church’s array of b-spline type curves sit to a 45° grid, with the overlaying of paths and geometries affording a calculated complexity reminiscent of the work of Oscar Niemeyer.


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