Creekside Residence

Northern California, CA, United States

1 / 4 – Photo credit: Nic Lehoux
“…everywhere nature is celebrated and meant to be enjoyed. Cantilevered planes ask for the eyes’ gaze, pivoting walls want to be opened, a handle begs to be grasped, a basement entered, a meal shared…the palette of wood, stone, steel, and glass, as well as their cadence, dimensions, color and finishes are extraordinary. There is humor and there is life.”
Tod Williams, from “Nature Constructed,” The Nature of Circumstance



Built to take full advantage of its natural surroundings and incorporate the outdoors with indoors, the Creekside Residence has a bright, warm quality, the result of careful siting and material expression. The architecture highlights the interplay between dramatic scales and intimate details. A glass pavilion sits in a meadow while loosely placed, articulated wooden rooms recall the agrarian nature of the property.

The Nature of Place

The dwelling is located on a secluded, wooded site, bound by two steep-banked creeks. The house and associated buildings are placed in a meadow of native wildflowers, surrounded by exceptional specimen redwood trees, Douglas fir, aromatic bay laurels and anchored by a legend oak growing out of the creek bank. A roof plane floats over the building elements, drawing the eye to the landscape. The house reveals itself quietly, a subtle presence within the forest.

1 / 5
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

The Nature of People

Built for a couple with a strong interest in modern design, the house is comprised of a series of clean, simple volumes. The central space is an open, airy pavilion that opens onto the natural landscape and displays a significant collection of modern art and vintage furniture. The pavilion’s tall glass walls and pivoting glass doors, capped by a 12-foot-deep roof overhang, lend the space a dramatic scale. This main space intersects with a kitchen to the east and library to the west. A series of smaller, more intimate rooms hosting the more private functions of the house extend from the pavilion, rambling along the forested creek edge.

1 / 6
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

The Nature of Materials

The house’s materials are sympathetic to and complementary of their natural surroundings. Cedar siding is used extensively as a cladding material. Slender stainless steel columns supporting the main pavilion accentuate the lightness of this space, helping the roof appear to float. Steel sash windows in the library, kitchen and bedrooms break down the scale of the larger volumes. Similar attention was paid to the intimate scales of the residence, through the creation of many small details to be enjoyed every day. Examples include custom-designed door handles formed to the user’s hand, a sink hollowed from a single block of stone and a custom Japanese-style soaking tub.

1 / 4
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

Project Data

Northern California, CA, United States
2005 – 2007
13,500 sf


Honor Award
Honor Award for Design