House + House Architects
44 Reviews

Nelson Residence

Two hours north of San Francisco in the California wine country this 60-foot by 60-foot square home with an interior garden courtyard and deep-set porches on two sides manifests a serene form in an untamed landscape. Designed for an industrial designer and an artist, this retreat is completely wrapped with corrugated galvanized steel, reflecting the sky and trees, changing color throughout the day, sometimes sparkling and other times almost invisible.

The 30-acre site in the Anderson Valley, part of a former horse ranch, consisted of mature oaks, pines and Douglas fir trees on rolling hills covered with wild California grasses. The program called for interconnected kitchen, dining and living spaces, a master suite, a guest/library with bath, an art studio, utility area and garage. A knoll on the property with a southwestern exposure and spectacular views was selected for the house site

The guiding force behind the house's form included the desire for open space, connection to the outdoors and access to natural sunlight. By wrapping the home around an interior courtyard each room enjoys natural light from two opposite sides. Deep-set porches on the south and west offer shade from the harsh summer sun and provide covered outdoor space. Broad expanses of composed windows puncture the walls to frame carefully selected views to the canyons and hills beyond as well as into the central garden courtyard where a Japanese Maple tree and rock fountain provide a tranquil meditation area within the home.

Simplicity and functionality were considered in the finish materials. An eight-foot square glass entry door set in a red steel frame is a strong geometric element as one approaches the house. Corrugated galvanized steel siding and roofing are anchored with a red concrete column supporting the roof overhang. In the home's interior black slate floors, bleached maple cabinetry with zinc and stone counters and industrial light fixtures complete a simple palette and provide a clean modern backdrop for the owners' eclectic collection of paintings, furniture, ceramics and ethnic art.
Country: United States
Others who worked on this project: Bonelli Windows & Doors
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