Editor's Note: The Regional Modern series focuses on the regional differences in modern and contemporary architecture, countering the impression that "modern" means universal and placeless. In photo tours from Manhattan to Malibu, see how today's innovative homes are influenced by climate, environment, and culture, becoming both private oases and part of a larger landscape we all share.
My Regional Modern series now moves to the West Coast, the home of Houzz and therefore a good deal of the houses on the website. We start in the Northwest, in Seattle, a city that is "blessed with a setting unsurpassed in natural splendor by any other city in the country," according to Sally Woodridge and Roger Montgomery in their Guide to Architecture in Washington State.
This assertion, and the high-quality architecture that embraces these natural conditions, makes me want to visit, but a virtual visit will have to do for now. Which is OK, since one contention of this series is that browsing modern and contemporary houses in a particular region allows for an adequate reading of the place. A visit is always necessary for gaining understanding via experience, but architectural expression is a valuable way of knowing what makes a place unique.