Summerhill Residence / Edmonds + Lee Architects

© Bruce Damonte Photography

Architect: Edmonds + Lee Architects
Location: Kenwood, California,
Project Team: Robert Edmonds, Vivian Lee
Project Area: 4,095 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Structural Engineer: Double-D Engineering
Civil Engineer: Dimensions 4 Engineering
Photographs: Bruce Damonte Photography

’ Summerhill Residence sits high in the hills of California wine country. Its distinct forms with raised corners mold an outdoor living area and courtyard.

© Bruce Damonte Photography

The residence consists of three separate structures, the main house, guest house and detached garage. The orientation of these buildings maximizes usable outdoor space and serves to connect natural and man-made elements.

© Bruce Damonte Photography

Interior and exterior spaces extend outwardly to the rolling hills of the surrounding landscape. This connection is harbored by the design to both connect and blur the line between interior and exterior. Full walls of glazing and expansive wooden decks reflect a desire to heighten the experience of being in the “country”.

© Bruce Damonte Photography

The main and guest houses provide an aesthetic juxtaposition while capturing their own views of the California scenery. Mirroring one another, these two structures vary in dimensionality yet feel interconnected. This also works for the detached garage, and can be attributed to a mixture of common materials and a formal language that is consistent throughout each entity. These raised corners of the residential cubes add both formal interest and further serve the architects desire to blend interior and exterior spaces.

© Bruce Damonte Photography

From the interior, snapshots of the horizon are mixed with the sloping lines on the interior, using natural and man-made geometries to play off of each other. A play between solid and void relating the buildings allows for privacy even within close vicinity.

© Bruce Damonte Photography

By night, slits of light show from underneath the masses of these structures. Punctured windows peek out from beneath the wooden overhang of the two story main house. The three structures rise as a geometric counterpart to the surrounding forests. Exterior wooden cladding along with exposed planes of glazing and concrete merge in order to create both distinct and dialectic design.

Cite: "Summerhill Residence / Edmonds + Lee Architects" 11 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Foci

    Thank god they had the sense of using warm lightning instead of the artificial bleak lightning some architects seem so fond of.

  • ariana roberts

    stunning fireplace, although i wish there were some night pics

  • Dariusz

    Seems like a decent place, although I would minimize the fireplace’s pipe to maximize views and light and use thinner doors, but then again, maybe those were the smallest doors that they have in N.America. Too bad.. Great spaces

  • Ana

    Like Steven Holl’s project: Oceanic retreat :).