Sea Ranch Architecture

Our vacation rental house was designed by a famous architect – Charles Moore.  He is not a household name but he was the dean of the Architecture School at Yale when I was there and has a great cult following in California.  He was one of the team of designers that put together the Sea Ranch development on the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County where we spent Christmas.  The house we stayed in was typical of the shed style which is encouraged at Sea Ranch.  Originally, it was a small two bedroom house but later a master bedroom wing and a guest wing were added.  The exterior, like all Sea Ranch structures is wood which is either stained gray or brown or left to weather naturally.  Interiors are more varied but ours was mostly unfinished pine.  One of the characteristics of a Moore design is a simple shape for the building but with a complex interior with many levels and diagonal intersections of the spaces with skylights to bring in light in expected and unexpected ways.

The house was quirky, particularly the interiors with an odd kitchen and an even odder master bath with an open shower and footed tub. 

The beauty of Sea Ranch is the way that buildings are integrated into the landscape.  This house is carefully shaped and fits nicely into the grove of cedars formed shaped by the winds off the Pacific.  Other houses take the design cues but fail to fit the landscape.  Even so, the soft  colors and natural landscapes make Sea Ranch very restful.  Despite the density of houses, the community still seems very much cued to nature and the beautiful surroundings.

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