Sonoma Residence

Sonoma Residence

Outdoor Rooms with a View 


LocationSonoma, California, United States
Size22 acres

Creating a retreat for a family with small children, the project re-envisions a site with an existing home and barn and capitalizes on a view to a pond through mature oaks, with the challenge of transitioning from a central lawn into the surrounding natural landscape. Three new structures—a garage, a main house with two structures connected by an overhead roof plane, and a pool house—are organized around a pastoral view to the existing pond, and make use of adjacent vineyard, grassland, and forest. Circulation from the auto court is oriented through the existing oaks to the main house pavilion. The planting design reinforces a desire to use the lawn as the primary walking surface under the oaks, but replaces high water turf with a native selection requiring less mowing and water. Mulch zones have been created around the oaks to reduce irrigation, preserving them for generations to come. Beyond the lawn, a meadow edge recedes into grassland toward the pond. The notion of grassland is also carried up to the roof of the main house, with glimpses of the grasses from the auto court as well as out of the clerestory windows of the living room.