Halprin Residence

1950s-80s • Kentfield, CA

During the early 1950s, the Halprins purchased a four-acre property on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. Architect William Wurster designed the main residence, and Halprin designed a multi-leveled landscape that responded to the mountainous topography.

The signature element has come to be known as the “Dance Deck.” It was conceived to allow his wife, Anna, to continue her work as a choreographer and teacher from home while their two daughters were young. The shape of the deck responds to the immediate context, eschewing the bowl-like shape of traditional outdoor amphitheaters. The deck was built around the existing trees on the steep hillside and opens onto the views of the hilly, wooded surroundings. Anna still leads weekly dance classes on the deck.

Anna with daughters on the Dance Deck

The Halprin residence is the home of two American masters – Anna and Lawrence Halprin – who, operating independently and collaboratively, have made exceptional contributions to postwar America as practitioners in their respective fields, and as teachers, instructors and mentors.   Given its significance, the residence should be documented to HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey) standards.



Design Team

William Wurster (architect)
Arch Lauterer (dance deck consultant)


N/A- Private residence

N/A- Private residence


Info ScaleNational Register of Historic Places

Learn more about the Landslide program...



Featured Photographer

Tom Fox
Fox is a principal and former Director of Media Services for SWA Group, where he managed the imaging group. In his landscape photography, he seeks to represent the intent of the designer through his camera lens. His photography has been honored with several notable awards including the Merit of Excellence from the Brooks Institute of Photography and the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Excellence in Landscape Architectural Photography Award.