Regional Modern: From Monterey Bay to California's Wine Country

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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.

Our grand tour of modernist architecture in the United States continues down the West Coast into Northern California. The state as a whole has been the home to some of the best and most influential residential architecture since the middle of last century. But because the climate varies greatly from north to south, its residential architecture varies as well.

Northern California is basically the top half of the state, encompassing San Francisco and the state capital Sacramento. The landscape is diverse and dramatic, marked by mountains, forests, lakes, and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. One could argue that all residential architecture should be designed to frame the best aspects of its surroundings. In the case of Northern California, that beauty is especially strong and certainly worthy of incorporating into a house's design.


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John Hill is a New York City-based architecture writer for Houzz.com.

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