© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

Box on the Rock // S^A | Schwartz and Architecture

Sonoma, CA, United States

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Text description provided by the architects.

The constricted footprint of the affectionately-named “Box on the Rock” is a response to a limited budget and a difficult site; shallow underground waterways run across the hillside, daylighting in unexpected and unwanted locations. This unreliable terrain necessitated relatively expensive pier footings, thus motivating an extremely compact and efficient 2,000 sq ft footprint.

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

Given no initial resources to develop the wild scrub and rock landscape of the 3-acre property, the home becomes a lone outpost settling the higher ground of the larger natural site – a box on the rock. Subjected to the extremes of the wine country microclimate on the exposed site, the central courtyard and the cantilevered deck are strategically carved out of the diagrammatic box to ensure that over the course of the day, temperate options for both sun and shade are always available.

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

In particular, the geometry of the overhang at the front cantilevered deck and the inward angle of its exterior glass walls are carefully calibrated to capture morning sun and winter warming while shielding the internal space from the harshest summer glare. Later in the day, the central courtyard comes alive as the sunniest developed outdoor space, yet one that is naturally cooled by capturing the valley cross breezes.

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

With an economy of means, a simple box morphs to amplify the experience of this new home’s dramatic site. Each adjustment to the diagrammatic box negotiates functional and environmental demands to create a self-contained and site-specific home with a minimal environmental impact. .

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

© Bruce Damonte Photography Inc

Box on the Rock Gallery

The Master Composer: 17 Collages and Drawings by Ludwig Mies van der R ohe

It is easy to tell that the collages are Mies’ work at a glance; their understated restrained-yet-po werful composition draws the eye.

© ao-architekten

House with Showroom // ao-architekten

Bezau, Austria

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