House Set On The Valley Floor In California, USA

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Jane Mullock
Jane Mullock
I'm Jane, a writer fascinated by houses. My stories are about the magic of homes and the people in them. Let's explore the secrets and joys houses hold, and discover the amazing stories behind every door. Come join me on this house-loving adventure!

The House Set On The Valley Floor was completed in 2014 following a unique concept by Jørgensen Design. Boasting 5,050 square feet of space, the residence was built in a rural setting, on a scenic site surrounded by trees and vineyards. The project is composed of two houses linked by glass elements, and each house is sheltered from noise and dust by a pair of L-shaped walls.

One of these walls is made out of stone, while the other is cedar, and each wall hides away a number of individual pieces that are arranged around the property’s terraces and courtyards.
The entrance garden leads the way to a solid redwood door that was created using wood from the only tree removed from the site during the construction process. Once the door is opened, it reveals the glass foyer that links the two houses as well as two paths on either side. One path goes through the cedar wall while the other passes through the stone wall. The cedar part ensures access the he guestrooms and a garden, while the stone side is connected to the family’s art collections and the main residence.

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Speaking of the main residence, it offers exquisite vies of Mt. St. Helena, the Mayacamas Mountains and Stags Leap. The guestrooms face the south and benefit from panoramas of Stone Mountain, Mt. Vedeer and of the nearby city.

From the architect:

Set within the vineyards and close to the center of town, the site for the house is a large plot of land dotted with full grown trees and vineyards.

The project consists of two houses connected with glass. Each house is protected from a busy road with two ‘L’ Shaped walls – one is stone and one is cedar. A number of pieces behind these walls are arranged together around courtyards and terraces. In turn giving rise to a sequence of individual gardens, each with their own individual ambience – gardens set among other limitless gardens. A system of slender spaces act like paths connecting the gardens, courtyards, and interior spaces, each embracing and respecting the landscape.

The entrance garden is conceived as a porch-like atrium which leads to a solid redwood door crafted from the only tree removed from the site. This door opens to a small glass foyer which connects the two main walls of the house. To one side is an interior gateway through a cedar wall and to the other side is a portal through a thick stone wall. The gateway opens to a garden and guestrooms and the portal opens onto the family art collection and main house. The main house opens to vineyards on the valley floor with 270 degree views of the surrounding Mayacamas Mountains, Mt. St. Helena, and Stags Leap beyond. Guestrooms are through the cedar gateway and open to the southern views of vineyards, Stone Mountain, Mt. Vedeer and the city nearby. Meanwhile the utility areas are hidden away in front with easy access while increasing the buffer between the house and busy road and the house.

Large eaves create both a place to enjoy the outdoors all year around and protection from the summer sun, while letting in the right amount of winter sun deep into the house. The envelope of the house enhances the control of the site while providing a sense of privacy and protection while juxtaposed with large openings to the surrounding landscape. The materialization of this project reflects its rural setting, while softening its urban attributes of shelter in front and massive openings behind those urban attributes and human nature.

Author: Jørgensen Design
Location: California, USA
Area: 5050.0 ft2
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Joe Fletcher Photography
SC Fabricators: Concrete Countertops & Steel Fabrication, Napa California
Poor House: Interior Design – Napa, California
Trinity Wood works: Casework – Trinity, California
Diego Construction: Custom Doors & Finish Carpentry – San Mateo, California
Rivera Landscapes: Custom Landscape & Masonry – Napa, California
DJ Engineers & Associates: Structural Engineering – Pleasanton, California

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