- Associate Architect:Richardson Architects
- Architect In Charge:Wendy Evans Joseph, Chris Cooper
- Design Team:Chris Good, Read Langworthy
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. This agricultural property in Sonoma, California is the home of two scientists who are involved in various farm projects including the production of olives, olive oil, honey, as well as bee keeping, extensive gardening and other endeavors that take advantage of the area’s climate, soils and siting. And as part of the “locavore” movement, they bring their produce to local markets and restaurants.
The Owners requested an efficient renovation that would maximize hillside views and connect the two levels to allow for a more open living experience. They also requested that wood be a dominant material.
The house is 2,200 square feet on two levels. The main exposure faces north, taking advantage of the view, breezes and indirect light. The existing north façade, stair and porch were removed and replaced with a new glass wall and balcony structure. We maintained most of the original wood framing for the house itself including board and baton siding (stained dark grey) and a gable roof structure. Inside, the upstairs living room was removed, opening the lower level den to the full height of the volume. Instead of having a dark living room on each of the two levels, they now have one exciting living space with open views and light.
The balcony is the iconic form that redefines the image and focus of the house. Ipe is used as a screen and framing device. This material brings warmth to the cool California light, creating a more intimate setting and focusing views on the surrounding landscape. Ipe was chosen specifically for its strength and ability to span the entire depth of the porch without intermediate support. It will weather naturally over time, resulting in a more artistic patina against the dark background.
Inside, oak is the primary material of choice. A consistent cut-size and grain direction was used for all floors, kitchen cabinetry, wall panels, stairs, and railings. The countertop is a butcher block.