This Sonoma County Residence for a chef and her husband uses traditional, agrarian forms and locally- sourced materials to root itself into the site and broader regional context. Three gabled volumes converge in a single convex form that hugs the hillside, maximizing its outward frontage to the panorama beyond.
This property is perched atop a hill at the dead-end of a rural road in a dry, wildfire-prone part of Sonoma. The design team sought to develop a strategy that embraces a very steep slope and its panoramas, while accommodating suitable fire-truck access. This resultant form is a series of three fanning volumes that hug the hill's contours to nest into its dramatic slope. Slipping under the primary living area, concrete retaining walls carve a void out of the hillside to accommodate a dual-purpose covered entry court and hammerhead at the driveway terminus.
This 3-bedroom, 2-bath home is modest in size, so an optimized plan enables living spaces to remain gracious. The private guest bedrooms and utility spaces are tucked towards the back facade of house for an introverted atmosphere, while the gathering spaces and master suite inhabit the front, outward- looking band of the home, poised to take in dramatic views.
Both the building's form and materials borrow from the historical, agrarian buildings that define region. The upper volume is clad in rusted, weathering steel; its tones echo of the iron-red rusty soil indigenous to the site. An informal landscape softly envelops the home and connects the experience of the whole site. The clients, a farm-to-table chef and her husband, wanted both a relaxing, private home and a cooking laboratory designed for gatherings. The kitchen and its direct connection with an outdoor kitchen and working vegetable garden were established as the primary hubs of the life of the home.