Designed by Swatt Miers Architects, this modern family home in Windsor, California is built on a a 20-acre plot in the Russian River Valley, known as Retrospect Vineyards. The client’s brief requested a project that would function both as a welcoming family home and as a working vineyard: “Equipment and materials for the vineyard are stored in the adjacent barn, clad in the same Windsor Stone as the main house, and a large parking pad accommodates trucks picking up new harvests. A second driveway separates the commercial activity from the residential, but traffic to and from the barn passes in front of the main house”, explained the architects.
This family residence was designed in a T-shaped plan, with a relatively opaque north facade and an open, almost fully glazed south wall: “The plan of the house meets family living needs, with public or shared areas on the ground floor and bedrooms above. A master bedroom is separated from the children’s rooms by a bridge spanning the great room” The bottom floor accommodates the kitchen and home office area. A double-height living room with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall is the social core of the house. [Photography: Russell Abraham; Landscape arcjitecture by Bernard Trainor & Associates]
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.