Howell Mountain, California
Sentinel Ridge sits on a dramatic mountain site high above the Napa Valley, where a couple from the suburban Midwest sought to connect with California’s wine country. We approached the project with a reverence for the place, seeing the architecture as a vehicle through which the nuance and character of the land could be revealed. We aimed to highlight the sensory experience of the landscape by establishing a link between the vineyard terrain to the North, and the forest settling to the South.
The home is comprised of a string of three gable-roofed volumes, referencing the vernacular of the working agrarian buildings of the region. The three volumes are offset from one another, creating outdoor spaces that open to the landscape, and a freestanding timber and steel colonnade that weaves them all together. Reclaimed Douglas Fir wraps the interior and exterior creating a sense of warmth which is highlighted against the cool tones of the metal roof above and concrete plinth below. The spaces between the structures are treated with the same qualities as the spaces within. Movement through the home is orchestrated as an unfolding sequence of indoor-outdoor moments that connect the spectacular landscapes on either side of the house: the ordered form of the vineyard and the organic wildness of the forest.