Enchanted April, Sonoma, CA

Enchanted April was designed for a 2-acre creek-side, oak studded parcel with views of vineyards, surrounding hillsides and Mount Diablo. The client wanted to design a house that reflected the rural character of the predominant architectural themes of Northern California. Wrap around covered porches were incorporated into the floor plan to allow outdoor access from each room, via French doors. The exterior materials are a mixed pallet of plaster, stone, and board and batt siding.

This site posed particular challenges to us because of a fairly steep slope, which caused a limited building envelope, poor soil conditions, which allowed only a one bedroom septic system and creeping geological soil conditions. We remedied these problems by utilizing deeply drilled pier foundations and by using commercial sized grade beams to limit the number of piers. On-site stone provided an opportunity to build site retaining walls and terraces for landscaping and erosion control. We also worked with the county guidelines to create legal non-sleeping rooms to overcome the one bedroom limitation. The lower floor rooms were oriented to achieve maximum sunlight in the winter and limited sunlight in the summer. Stained concrete floors are use
d throughout the house, which provides the thermal mass for radiant heating.

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