“Set on four acres within an open space preserve on Sonoma Mountain in Northern California, the meticulously designed outdoor rooms for this tiny weekend home include a pool, a grilling and dining area, and a family gathering spot, and take full advantage of the spectacular views from the site. A finely crafted board-formed concrete wall separates the parking area from the living spaces, and natural stone and weathered steel help bring clarity and consistency to a design for outdoor living that is at once thoroughly elegant, utterly welcoming, and perfectly at home in its stunning natural setting.”
– 2019 Awards Jury
Situated on a 4-acre parcel within a 96-acre preserve on Sonoma Mountain, this hidden retreat offers private spaces for entertainment, recreation, and respite. A masterplan effort optimized the potential of the exterior spaces with adjacency to structures while hiding vehicles from sight, all along a sloping hillside. Elements of the site are organized along the sloping meadows amongst the predominant native Quercus agrifolia. Two small “weeHouse” structures, connective walks and steps, a pool, outdoor grilling area, privacy wall, and seating space are meticulously placed on and carved into the site, surrounded by re-sown native grasses. The dwelling spaces, both indoor and out, offer stunning valley views toward Matanzas Creek below.
▲场地平面图示意。Site: Illustrative site plan
▲停车场：板状混凝土墙和原生草地定义出由可渗透材料铺设的停车场空间。Parking Court: The permeable parking court is defined by a board-formed concrete wall and native grasses.
▲步行入口路径：从停车空间到主庭院的路径使用了耐候钢框架和可渗透的碎石，以柔和的方式介入了场地环境。Site Pedestrian Access: The descent from the motor court into the main courtyard lightly touches the site with weathered steel risers and permeable crushed aggregate treads.
▲阶梯：一系列钢制的阶梯式档土墙统一了不同的户外空间和功能元素。Terracing: A series of steel terrace walls transcend the site to different outdoor rooms and programmatic elements.
▲用餐区：阶梯式的用餐区设有耐候钢烤架，将庭院和停车区域隔开，同时与不对称场地的主轴线保持了平齐。Dining Terrace: A dining terrace, weathered steel grill enclosure, and exit from the courtyard to the motor court beyond align along the main axis of the asymetric site layout.
▲泳池：从住宅望向铺有草皮的台阶和无边界泳池。Pool: View from the home toward the sodded terrace steps and the zero-edge swimming pool.
▲边界：板状混凝土墙分隔了居住空间和停车空间。Boundaries: A board-formed concrete wall separates the dwelling space from the parking court beyond.
▲集会空间：跨过泳池望向户外起居空间，老橄榄树以及由预制耐候钢板建造的房屋。Gathering Space: View across the swimming pool toward the outdoor living space, lone olive tree, and corten steel prefab home beyond.
▲泳池细部：泳池边缘的细部近景。Pool Detail: Detail of the zero-edge condition along the perimeter of the swimming pool.
▲阶梯式的空间：户外起居空间通过铺有草皮的耐候钢台阶与泳池区域隔开。Terraced Rooms: The outdoor living space is separated from the pool terrace by sodded treads held with weathered steel risers.
▲户外厨房：从室内望向户外厨房、烧烤区、户外起居空间和游泳池。Outdoor Kitchen: Interior view toward the outdoor dining, grilling, living, and swimming pool spaces.
▲水池倒影：板状混凝土墙在保持场地既有坡度的同时在泳池和停车区域之间创建了视觉上的隔离。Pool Reflection: A board-formed concrete wall retains the uphill grade and creates visual separation between the swimming pool and motor court beyond.
▲入口路径：离开停车场之后沿着索诺玛山雾气弥漫的坡道进入场地。Arrival: A view through the fog of a ridge along the Sonoma Mountain slope as you exit the motor court.
▲山谷美景：从户外起居空间上方眺望马坦萨斯溪谷。Valley View: View into the Matanzas Creek Valley from the motor court perch, above the outdoor living spaces.
▲山坡植被：从山坡草地望向上方的预制耐候钢房屋。Hillside Planting: The hillside meadow frames the upward view toward the striking corten prefab dwellings.
▲索诺玛山美景：道路穿过重新种植的索诺玛山草甸一路延伸至房屋所在的场地。Sonoma Mountain Views: The roadway into the property weaves through the re-seeded Sonoma Mountain meadow.
Situated on a 4-acre parcel within a 96-acre preserve on Sonoma Mountain, adjacent to Jack London State Park, this hidden weekend and work retreat offers private spaces for entertainment, recreation, and respite. A masterplan effort, inspired by the client’s 2-years of on-and-off camping on the site, optimized the potential of the exterior spaces with adjacency to structures while hiding vehicles from sight, all along a sloping hillside. The approach to the site follows a winding gravel road up the gently sloping land, flanked on either side by varied landscapes of oak groves, fern depressions, or grassy meadows. An opening in the landscape reveals the property’s locale. Elements of the site are organized along the sloping meadows amongst the predominant native Quercus agrifolia. Two small “weeHouse” structures, connective walks and steps, a pool, outdoor grilling area, privacy wall, and seating space are meticulously placed on and carved into the site, surrounded by re-sown native grasses. The dwelling spaces, both indoor and out, offer stunning valley views toward Matanzas Creek below. Further uphill, a small orchard and garden are perched in sunny openings in the landscape.
Hardscape materials comprised of natural stone, weathered steel, and board-formed concrete gently impose on the naturally beautiful and ecologically conserved site. The precisely crafted board-formed concrete wall that separates journey from relaxation, vehicle from pedestrian, holds a wide portal to the heart of the project, a courtyard that includes an outdoor kitchen, pool, aggregate-paved seating areas, and a terraced lawn. Each material change in this zone is crisply executed such that soft, hard, textured or liquid surfaces lend maximum contrast to the overall aesthetic of the space, calming the senses with restraint. To relax the orthogonal nature of the space, a lone, aged olive tree resides in the lawn as sculpture on a plinth. Along the edges of the space, oaks and grasses envelope and transition the designed intervention back into nature.
The small swimming pool features a bluestone surround and zero-edge detailing to maximize the mirrored surface of water to reflect the adjacent oaks and partly cloudy skies above. The pool rests, completely hidden from the motor court beyond, at the low side of the bisecting board-formed concrete wall. A unique in-floor system reveals an emergent pool cover that floats on the water’s surface, secured at the edges, in the evenings or when the owners are back in the Bay Area. This safety cover helps to maintain the water’s temperature and keep the neighboring fauna at bay.
Above the dwelling spaces, a central permeable aggregate parking court is anchored into the hillside, hidden by the concrete wall. Weathered steel steps along the backside of the wall follow a steel retaining wall that acts to preserve a lone, sculptural oak at the portal to the living spaces below. These elements lie below a small fruit tree orchard and garden that are fenced by a simple weathered steel frame with agricultural mesh for deer protection along the upland slope.
Plant selections on the project were minimal and focused near the outdoor room spaces and orchard/garden areas. These included olive and apple trees, Berkeley sedge, Parry’s agave, dwarf fescue, and rosemary. Much of the perimeter of the development area was reseeded with native grasses and wildflowers that are mown following maturation to help keep wildfires at bay.