Driving north to Gualala for Thanksgiving last week, we passed through The Sea Ranch coastal community designed by Bay Area architects MLTW (Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker) in the 1960s.

The iconic homes helped to establish the nature-inspired minimalist style, later known as “Sea Ranch Vernacular,” characterized by sloped wind-deflecting roofs, large picture windows and barn-inspired interiors constructed with rough-hewn timbers.

These contemporary estates may be attempting to “blend in” with their natural surroundings but they stand out dramatically from their more traditional coastal neighbors. Their uniqueness may be inspiring to some and jarring others but whether you love them or hate them the original homes are  important historical landmarks that have inspired generations of architects from sea to shining sea.

Explore our gallery above of classic Sea Ranch homes and their modern iterations.