Situated in hip Northern California, modern design for this home was a must. But its location, nestled between a stream and a serene forested hillside, seemed more rustic than modern. To balance the conflicting demands, the team at Griffin Enright Architects used folded geometries to design a truly contemporary home that remains in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape. But as with all good design, the home’s exaggerated geometric forms are more than purely aesthetic.

While the lush vegetation of the site and surrounding hills were wonderfully scenic, they also filtered out much of the natural light. To make the most of what light was available, the architects employed a 33-foot scissors truss to create a dynamic roof that tilts to form a vertical split allowing clerestory light to stream into the home’s main living space from the east.

Special Focus

Category Textured ceiling
Entrant/Architect Griffin Enright Architects, Los Angeles
Builder Graves Construction, San Anselmo, Calif.


Once inside, light is channeled through the home by a custom-fabricated ceiling of tilting panels. Made of computer numerical control–milled MDF, the panels sport a textured relief and semi-gloss finish to enhance light movement. “When you’re standing inside, the pattern in the part of the ceiling that’s directly over you really shows up. But at a distance, the relief fades, bringing a sense of scale,” explains Margaret Griffin. The relief also acts acoustically, enhancing sound in the loft-like space.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.