Ridge House / Cary Bernstein Architect

© Sharon Risedorph

This new house is sited on a north-facing ridge overlooking the Dry Creek Valley. The site and climate required an architecture that tempers the seasonally intense sun and wind while still engaging the spectacular landscape and views.

Architect: Cary Bernstein Architect
Location: Sonoma County, , USA
Project Team: Sarah Garber, Hector Martell, Klara Keyane, Sini Kamparri, Tomas Rizo
Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Construction: JEC Structural Consulting
Project Area: 3,900 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Sharon Risedorph

© Sharon Risedorph

The 3,900 sqf house complements and shapes the ridge in both plan and section. Considerations for the variable weather inform the language of the protective, undulating, butterfly roof. All rooms open to the outdoors to reinforce the primary relationship with the ridge. A large deck and continuous exterior walkways create outdoor rooms which expand the experience of the interior and make the narrow footprint feel more spacious.


The form of the house is a riff on local agricultural (barn) and residential (ranch) typologies. Deflections in the plan, sections and elevations are modern gestures which acknowledge the site topography and relate to the rhythm of the ridge. As the building and its contiguous walkways weave up, down and around the terrain, the project defies reduction to a single image or formalist identity. The landscape deforms the house and paths where they descend the hill and intersect boulders. At the entry, the roof expands to make room for a tree and at the east deck, dissolves into a trellis at to support a wisteria vine.

© Sharon Risedorph
© Sharon Risedorph
© Sharon Risedorph
Cite: "Ridge House / Cary Bernstein Architect" 31 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 Mar 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=122490>