Work: Houses: Knights Valley Ranch - Master Plan
Sonoma County, California
1250SF (Main Residence)
6600SF (Car Barn - Studio)
3250SF (Guest House - Bunk House)
Cattle graze the grassy slopes of this property, wild turkey graze with them, and otherwise nothing inhabits this land except these animals and a barn structure. In a conversation though between industrial and post-industrial spaces for living, the new residence will sit atop the lowest hill on the property.
The master plan creates a sequence of varied environments within a cohesive and singular landscape. Most of the flora here are native, however the open areas have been used for cattle grazing, therefore as a part of the restorative process, sun loving flora, such as the California Poppy should be planted throughout. In addition there are hiking, walking, and biking trails throughout the property. Wider areas of strongly textural plantings will provide the opportunity for more expression.
A simple and humble structure will be the connection of what was and what is. The existing barn, or industrial shed with its open sides and lifted roof brought natural ventilation and daylight to the stock and feed. The heavy timber structure and metal roof simply served the modern logic of construction efficiency . The space is a relevant form for a car collection, art, and thought. The raw power of the openness, flexibility, diffuse light, and robust environment of ‘industrial space’ that is able to tolerate any abuse without inhibition will support art and curating on various scales. The structure will become an artist’s studio, car barn, and office. The barn is preserved; its best properties retained and renovated to meet contemporary use standards.
The enhanced shed will have environmental controls, shading, and an integrated system of structural nodes for partitions, lighting, and electrical data feeds.
A new house will be built which frames the landscape, heralds in the future, and pays homage to the local history, through the use of large openings and materials. The house has the flexibility to be used as a single house for the family or to be used to entertain a small flurry of close friends and family. Each space will have large openings to the landscape, environmental controls, proper acoustic treatment, and an electrical and data grid.
Dispersed around the properties edges, boundaries, and heart, will be intimate locations for a quiet picnic, a long walk, a strenuous bike ride, or a place to star gaze. The semi rigid space of the built will always seem to give way to the fluid and ever changing natural landscape surrounding the family. Nature will be repackaged as outdoor terraces which will surround the house and barn in order for the family and guests to contemplate the world beyond.
The master plan will embolden the family to preserve the simple and the wild, to enhance the existing and future landscape, and to pay close attention to the found and the juxtaposed conditions at Swift Ranch.