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Architects: Aidlin Darling Design
General Contractor: Eames Construction, Inc.
Client: Aidlin Darling Design
Photographers: Adam Rouse
Nestled on a hillside in Northern California, this private residence with guesthouse negotiates its complex undulating site with great sensitivity and earnestness. Structures are arranged to exploit the site’s diversity of views, foliage, and topography. The design embodies the agrarian character of an active farm, reflecting the sensibility and ethos of its owners. Approached through a winding shaded drive, the home presents itself modestly amongst heritage oaks and a steep wooded hillside.
Spaces are situated to engage and incorporate the diversity of the surrounding landscape. Structures are composed of local fieldstone, concrete, and steel, enabling a reciprocal relationship to the natural terrain and working farm. Invoking the sentiment that nature is integral to the interiors, the main residence is framed by majestic oak trees and bridges a swale next to the valley’s edge. Stone and concrete forms are used to anchor glass forms to the rolling topography, allowing some spaces to be grounded while others float in a bridge-like balance.
A highly textured yet simple palette of rustic wood and masonry allows light and shadow to curate the mood of each space, at once elegant and unpretentious, inviting and intimate. The home is composed of a series of indoor and covered outdoor spaces, each with a distinct relationship to the surrounding landscape. With dramatic valley views to the north and a sunny courtyard to the south, the home provides an active outdoor lifestyle.
The house is attuned to the topographic complexity of the site such that each wing is afforded unique views and diurnal rhythms, based on orientation and use within. The home’s arrangement enables passive ventilation through expansive openings and stack effect through a long clerestory. Solar energy is harnessed by way of a solar PV system and a hydronic system for pool and domestic water heating. A large-scale water collection system provides water for agricultural irrigation, fire mitigation, and domestic use.