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Herman, Ron Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Statement
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Funding
  • Biographical Note
  • System of Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Collections
  • Project Index

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Berkeley. College of Environmental Design. Environmental Design Archives
    Title: Ron Herman Collection
    creator: Herman, Ron
    Identifier/Call Number: 2016-01
    Physical Description: 21 Cubic Feet: 8 cartons, 5 document boxes, 3 shoe boxes, 1 flat box, 43 flat files. Born-Digital materials: 80 discs and 1 DLT tape.
    Date (inclusive): 1962-2015
    Date (bulk): 1987-2015
    Abstract: The Ron Herman Collection spans the years 1962-2015 (bulk 1987-2015), and includes files created by landscape architect Ron Herman. The collection is organized into six series and documents Herman's career including his education, writings and research, and landscape architecture practice. The Personal Papers series is limited and consists only of a planting book Herman created as a student at UC Berkeley for Geraldine Knight Scott's class. Professional Papers is also small in scope, and includes a chapter written by Herman about Thomas Church, and a file of research collected by Herman about tropical gardens. The Office Records series consists of clippings profiling Herman and his projects for clients. The majority of collection materials are in the Project Records and Larry Ellison Projects series, and includes files, drawings, photographs, and slides. The final series conists of born digital materials created for Herman's practice.

    Access Statement

    Collection is open for research. Many of the Environmental Design Archives collections are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Born-digital materials are only accessible in the reading room.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Ron Herman Collection, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.


    Arrangement and description of this collection was funded by the donor.

    Biographical Note

    Ron Herman (1941-2018) was the son of a Southern California nurseryman and attended North Hollywood High School while working with his father developing gardens for many Hollywood personalities. He earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley (1964) studying with noted designers Garret Eckbo, Robert Royston and Lawrence Halprin, founders of the philosophy of landscape design that came to be known as California Style. He married Jenny Woo in 1981.
    Following graduation in 1964, Herman became a design associate with Robert Herrick Carter in Los Angeles where he worked on projects such as the Century City Hotel, the Hunt Foods Headquarters and the Union Oil Headquarters. It was there that he met landscape architect Thomas Church when Church's firm hired Carter's firm to develop construction drawings for the new Los Angeles County Museum. He then opened his own design office in Los Angeles. In 1967, at age twenty-four and with an established landscape design practice, Herman pursued graduate studies in Japan. He noted, "The three years of graduate work at the University of Kyoto during the 1960s changed my direction completely. I had seen pictures of Japanese gardens and thought they were precious. Studying them firsthand opened me up to the dynamics of the Japanese form, the interplay between the formal and the informal" (Herman biography, firm website). His success at the University of Kyoto led to a teaching position as Visiting Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley where he taught all areas of landscape architecture, including Japanese garden history while engaging in his design practice. Twenty years later in 1988, he left academia to concentrate on residential design. Herman has authored numerous papers on Japanese garden design including, A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto, co-authored with Marc Treib, which is often noted as an authoritative text on Kyoto's historic landscapes.
    In 1972, Herman partnered with his former UC Berkeley classmate Larry Carducci to start Carducci-Herman & Associates in Berkeley. The firm landed its biggest project in 1980 designing for a residential development known as Fairbanks-Ranch that covered 3,000 acres in north San Diego on land that had been owned by Hollywood stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Carducci and Herman amicably split ways in the late 1980s, and Herman continued with his own small practice. His firm has been engaged in planning and implementing gardens across the country. Residential projects include those for Larry Ellison, Joe Montana, Neil Young and numerous other sports, entertainment, and high-tech personalities. In the area of public landscapes, he completed the Oracle Corporation World Headquarters in Redwood City, CA, and designed the East Wing garden at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Although famed for his mastery of the Japanese form, his projects embody a broad range of style and invention.
    Herman was a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2008) and a UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design Distinguished Alumnus (2018). His writings and projects are in many publications, including Process Architecture 61: Landscape Design - New Wave in California (1985); New American Garden (1998); Pocket Gardens (2000); The New Garden Paradise: The Great Private Gardens of the World (2005); The Contemporary Garden (2009); and The Gardens of Ron Herman(2012); as well as the magazines House & Garden, Architectural Digest, and Fortune.
    Ron Herman biography on firm website, accessed 2016. (website no longer live)
    Padua, Mary G. "Remembering Ron Herman." The Cultural Landscape Foundation, 30 July 2018, tclf.org/remembering-ron-herman.

    System of Arrangement

    The collection is organized into six series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Office Records, Project Records, Larry Ellison Projects, and Born Digital. The Archivist made the decision to separate the Larry Ellison project materials from the Project Records series due to the high volume of archival materials relating to Ellison projects, and to assist future research requests by having these materials grouped together. Within each series, the archivist has imposed order where original order was not evident.

    Scope and Contents

    The Ron Herman Collection spans the years 1962-2015 (bulk 1987-2015), and is organized into six series documenting Herman's career including his education, writings and research, and landscape architecture practice. The Personal Papers (1962) series consists of a planting book Herman created as a student at UC Berkeley for Geraldine Knight Scott's class. Professional Papers (2000) is also small in scope, and includes a chapter written by Herman about Thomas Church, and a file of research collected by Herman about tropical gardens. The Office Records (1996-2009) series consists of clippings profiling Herman and his projects for clients.
    The largest series include Project Records (1987-2015) and Larry Ellison Projects (1988-2000). Project Records includes files, drawings, photographs and slides documenting Herman's work for numerous clients, and are primarily residential. Well-documented projects include the Wild Bird: Grimes Point residence in Big Sur, California (2005-2007), the Kirsch residence in Los Altos, CA (1996-2000), and the Overstreet residence in San Francisco (1997-2003). The Larry Ellison Projects series is comprehensive in scope and details Herman's work for Ellison on the Oracle World Headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA, and for three homes in the Bay Area, including his phenomenal Japanese-inspired design for Ellison's home in Woodside, CA. The Born Digital (2001-2010) series consists of records created for Herman's projects, and includes photographs and drawings.

    Related Collections

    Related Collections

    Project Index

    The following is a list of architectural projects from the Ron Herman Collection. For more complete information about collection contents for each project download the complete Project Index in an Excel spreadsheet format by going to Ron Herman Collection . For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index.  
    The project list below, derived from the Project Index, is arranged alphabetically by Project/Client Name and contains information, where available, about the location, date, project type, collaborators, photographers, and formats for each project in the collection.
    Project/Client Name (location, date, project type) Collaborator (role), Photographer [Format - Ms=Manuscripts, Dr=Drawings, Ph=Photographs, Sl=Slides, BD=Born Digital]
    • 2574 Broadway [see Overstreet]
    • 30 Trail Lane [see Marks Residence]
    • 96 Isabella [see Ellison Residence: 96 Isabella]
    • 99 Broad Acres [see Penner: 90 Broad Acres]
    • Boehlke Residence: Lot 81 Tehama ( Carmel Valley , CA ; 2004-2008 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Eric Miller Architects, Inc (architect) Ms, Dr, Ph, BD
    • Cassell-Chamberlain Residence ( Hillsborough , CA ; 2002-2003, 2015 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Moran Engineering (Civil Engineers) Ms, Dr, Ph
    • Cetus Employee Court ( Emeryville , CA ; 1982 ; Commercial ) Collaborator: Trieb, Marc (drawings) Ms
    • Crane, Jim and Francie: Crane Residence ( Pebble Beach , CA ; 1998-2003 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Schwartz, Mark (photographer) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Diller Residence ( Woodside , CA ; 1999-2003 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Ellison Residence (745 Mountain Home Road) ( Woodside , CA ; 1993-2000 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Moran Engineering (Civil Engineers), Joinery Structures (Design Build) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Ellison Residence: 96 Isabella ( Atherton , CA ; 1988-1989 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Ellison Residence: Broadway ( San Franciso , CA ; 1997 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl
    • Ellison, Larry: Oracle World Headquarters ( Redwood Shores , CA ; 1996-1998 ; Commercial ) Ph, Sl, BD
    • Emerson ( San Francisco , CA ; 2014-2015 ; Residential )
    • Farley-Hatch Residence ( Occidental , CA ; 1992-1994 ; Residential ) Dr
    • Fitzpatrick Residence ( Pebble Beach , CA ; 2002-2005 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph
    • Friedman Residence ( San Franciso , CA ; 2004-2005 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph
    • Grimes Point [see Wild Bird]
    • Gunn ( Palo Alto , CA ; 2007- ; Residential )
    • Hands ( Big Sur, , CA ; 2004-2009 ; Residential )
    • Hashemi Residence ( Atherton , CA ; 1999 ; Residential ) Dr, Ph, BD
    • Hatch ( Occidental , CA ; 1996 ; Residential ) Ms, Ph, Sl
    • Hicks, Rosale M.: Hicks Residence ( Carmel Highlands , CA ; 1998-2001 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Khan Garden ( Atherton , CA ; 1990 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr
    • Kirsch, Steve: Kirsch Garden ( Los Altos , CA ; 1996-2000 ; Residential ) Collaborator: The Owen Companies Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Kohavi/Lace Residence ( Portola Valley , CA ; 1998-2000 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Krupp, Judith: Krupp Residence ( Weston , MA ; 2006-2009 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Flavin Architects (architect), Columbian Design Group (civil engineering) Ms, Dr, Ph, BD
    • Kukio Lot 23 ( Kailua Kona , HA ; 2003 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Chung, Russell (Landscape Architect), Philip White Architects, PBR Hawaii & Associates, Inc (Landscape Architecture) Dr
    • Kukio Lot 45A [see Michelson Residence]
    • Lace Residence [see Kohavi/Lace Residence]
    • Levinthal, Michael and Kathy ( Palo Alto , CA ; 2001 ; Residential ) Ms
    • Lot 81 Tehama [see Boehlke]
    • Marks Residence: 30 Trail Lane ( Woodside , CA ; 2004-2007 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Martin Residence n.d. ; Residential ) Collaborator: Chip Sullivan (drawing) Ph
    • Michelson Residence: Kukio Lot 45A ( Kailua Kona , HI ; 2007-2009 ; Residential ) Collaborator: PBR Hawaii & Associates, Inc (Landscape Architecture) Ms, Dr
    • Mountain Home Road [see 745 Mountain Home Road]
    • Mt. Tiburon Residence ( Tiburon , CA ; 2006 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Aidlin Darling Design Dr
    • Overstreet: 2574 Broadway ( San Francisco , CA ; 1997-2003 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD
    • Oz Kahn (Arora ) ( Atherton , CA ; 2007-2010, 2014 ; Residential )
    • Penner, Carrie and Greg: Lot 73 Santa Lucia Preserve ( Carmel , CA ; 2001-2004 ; Residential ) Collaborator: Loving & Campos Architects, Inc (architect) Dr, Ph
    • Penner: 99 Broad Acres ( Atherton , CA ; 2005-2006 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl
    • Pond House (unknown location ; n.d. ; Residential ) Sl, BD
    • Santa Lucia Preserve [see Penner]
    • Stinson Residence ( Pebble Beach , CA ; 1993-1999 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl
    • Ungerman ( Kailua-Kona , Hawaii ; 2001-2005 ; Residential ) Ms, Ph, Sl
    • Wild Bird: Grimes Point ( Big Sur , CA ; 2005-2007 ; Residential ) Ms, Dr, Ph, Sl, BD

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Landscape architects -- California.
    Landscape architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area.
    Japanese gardens
    born digital.