DESIGN INTENT Our client asked us to create a home that would accommodate both privacy and entertaining. Inspired by the owner’s response to the color of a single blue tile, we worked together to create a tranquil retreat that both ushers in the site’s magnificent views and provides an open, flexible backdrop for private reflection and hosting visitors.
DESIGN SOLUTION Nestled in the hills above St. Helena, the site for this home reveals its views slowly. Sited to capture the sunrise, the house partially obscures, then dramatically reveals the view. Inspired by the sensual, modernist work of iconic Mexican architect Luis Barragan, the house is bookended by two large, flat planes, one saturated in an electric shade of blue. The soaring blue wall directs the eye toward the main view, with texture giving it depth and two rectangular perforations connecting it to the sky. When the light is just right, the wall and the sky appear to merge in a single shade of blue.
Between these two monumental planes, the transparency and flow of the house is a clear expression of contemporary wine country life - an energetic juxtaposition of open and intimate spaces. In contrast to the solid planes on either side, the center of the house is nearly transparent. In the kitchen, where the owners spend most of their time, floor-to-ceiling fills room with natural light. Across the rear facade, glass doors slide away into the walls, and indoor floor treatments flow out onto an open terrace, blurring the boundary between outdoors and in. An infinity-edge pool draws the eye toward the view, echoing the blue of the sky and the striking accent wall.
The modestly-sized home includes 2 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, an office, a wine cellar and expansive covered terrace.