Great Rooms with Wood Ceilings

This California home's stone-and-plaster walls conceal a high performance core built with insulated concrete forms.

A wall of lift-and-slide doors opens the great room colonnade to a covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace.

With every room opening to the outdoors, this Napa, Calif., house promotes a casual relationship with its site.

While the forms and materials used in this residence make reference to vernacular agricultural buildings, the craftsmanship and performance are contemporary.

Clerestory windows feed light from the uphill side of the living room through a wood-and-steel roof structure.

Architect: Farr Associates, Chicago; Builder: Goldberg General Contracting, Chicago. Blond wood beams support the butterfly roof that appears to be floating above this Chicago-area great room. The light wood provides definition and depth to the pale color scheme in the space. Read more about the builder of this house and see more iamges of the project here.

Architect: Farr Associates, Chicago; Builder: Goldberg General Contracting, Chicago. The beams extend beyond the transparent walls of the airy space to support a wood-clad overhang that shades the glass. Read more about the builder of this house and see more iamges of the project here.

Architect: DeStefano and Partners, Chicago; Builder: Goldberg General Contracting, Chicago. The tall, narrow great room in this infill house is made more personal by a ceiling finished with finely detailed wood panels placed asymmetrically in different directions. Read more about the builder of this house and see more iamges of the project here.

Architect: DeStefano and Partners, Chicago; Builder: Goldberg General Contracting, Chicago. The pale wood panels have variegated depths to increase interest and texture on the ceiling. Read more about the builder of this house and see more iamges of the project here.

Sliding sandblasted glass doors in the living quarter borrow atrium light and views.

Across the long bridge is Sagan’s living/sleeping studio, where a bath and closet are tucked behind the white wall.

Inside, a "tree house"—the master bedroom closet—floats above the living room.

A cascading stairway leads to guest rooms and eventually the roof.

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