location: Sonoma California 
architects: Feldman Architects 
interior design: Studio Collins Weir 
landscape architect: Arterra Landscape Architects 
photography: Adam Rouse

We’ve featured the work of San Francisco-based Feldman Architects a number of times in the recent past. This is an award-winning residential and commercial design practice recognised for creating warm, light-filled spaces that are site-sensitive and carefully detailed.

Conceived as a garden pavilion complementing an existing contemporary guest house, Sunrise was designed to respond to its rugged, remote, and beautiful surroundings. The clients, a newly retired couple, have used the property and guest house as a weekend retreat for years. Admirers of these architects’ work, they were interested in creating a sleek, modern cabin in the hills above the Sonoma Wine Country. The main structure spans 191 square metres with an added cabana of almost 13 square metres.

Both husband and wife are dedicated to cultivating the land. She is an avid gardener, passionate about sustaining and growing her own production garden while he enjoys maintaining the property, and discovering – post-retirement – the relaxing qualities of the Healdsburg hills. So, at its core, the inspiration for the home was to create a space for the owners to enjoy both the scenery around them coupled with the charms of honest living.

In order to preserve the elegant quality of the desired ‘glass house’, the structure here is expressed on the exterior. Round steel columns stretch upwards across two stories to support the sunshade and thin corrugated metal roof; balancing modern lines with delicate panes of glass. Two monolithic concrete forms at the East and West facades provide both structure and storage while visually anchoring the building to the site.

The seamless transition between interior and exterior living was a primary objective, due to the clients’ propensity for horticulture. Glass walls on three sides of the structure allow for a strong physical and visual connection to the landscape; including the adjacent gardens and orchards and the distant Mt. Saint Helena. So whether they’re preparing meals in the kitchen, working in the home office, relaxing in the freestanding bath, or lounging in the living room, the clients’ enjoy the spectacular panorama.

The interior has a paired down material palette consisting of bleached Douglas fir and white Carrerra marble floors. Minimalists by nature, the clients craved simplicity without starkness. Therefore accents of bronze, blackened steel, and Claro walnut bring richness to the interior furnishings, balancing the austere signature of concrete and steel.

With a quiet simplicity of form and a refined material palette, this home complements the existing structures and sits in harmony with the powerful hillside.


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