On a large parcel overlooking Napa Valley, a new residence creates a diversity of spaces for living while preserving the beauty of the surrounding natural context to create a protected series of experiences that are knitted into the surrounding topography, tree canopy, and landscape of views extending over the valley as it descends to the east.
BALANCING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
Situated along the saddle of a long, peninsulalike hillside ridge with extraordinary views in multiple directions, the residence is organized as twin structures, main house and guest house. These multiple structures take on a more informal structure and massing, relating to the scale and scattered organization of nearby agricultural and winery buildings. Extroverted to maximize the interrelationship of interior spaces and the vistas surrounding the site, they simultaneously structure a broad courtyard, a place for the family to come together, and to accomodate events and celebrations at the project’s center. As a result, specific views are isolated and framed, and a sense of enclosure is created for this key public space within the private spaces that surround it.
CREATING AN URBAN EXPERIENCE IN A RURAL CONTEXT
As visitors or family members approach the residence from the west, the architecture of the residence creates a more closed, structured series of views which then subtly unfold and open to reveal the vista in the distance. Broad roof canopies extend outward to mark the entries beneath, creating generous opportunities to link inside and out. Functional spaces including parking are organized to blend with the natural contours of the site, remaining out of view and allowing landscape and public experience to remain paramount.
NATURAL VENTILATION & SOLAR ORIENTATION
The project engages sustainability primarily through passive means, taking advantage of the overall architectural strategy of breaking the larger spaces into a series of linked pavilions to maximize opportunities for natural ventilation, further supported by the residence’s position along a ridgeline. High ceilings within interior spaces draw warm air upward along the gently rising slope of the roofline. The orientation of the residence not only reduces solar gains within the residence proper but also shelters key exterior spaces ensuring they are buffered along their southern and western exposures.
LOCATION / Napa, California
TYPE / Private Residence
SIZE / 6,200sf
STATUS / Completed 1998
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record