Jørgensen Design's Oak Knoll residence
Architect Brandon Jørgensen uses natural stone to cleverly divide this Napa Valley home and ground it amongst its landscape.
24 November, 2016
Located in California’s Oak Knoll district, the region is well recognised for its premium wines and landscapes adorned with grapes. However, attending to vines and bottling wine was not on the agenda of Jørgensen’s retired clients, who’s brief was a place to accommodate entertaining and their vast art collection.
Jørgensen designed a home with two distinct dwellings cleverly divided by two L-shaped walls that appear to weave their way in and out of the building. The layout was in response to the client’s desire for a retreat that could be separated from their guests to provide privacy.
“They are very private, yet they entertain and host guests quite often,” Jørgensen mentions in an interview with Dezeen. “In other words, when it was time to be separate they wanted that opportunity to retreat into their private world and emerge when it was time to entertain.”
Materiality was an important aspect to the design. The use of stone, vertical cedar boards and gravel was in an effort to complement the natural setting. The materials palette also reflected the home’s usability and a feeling the owners wanted their guests to experience during their stay.
“I needed a material that would speak to this dichotomy between permanence and impermanent,” said Jørgensen. “Stone, from a very local quarry, is seen throughout the valley in very old buildings and reflects more of a permanent structure, while wood is less permanent.”
Expansive glazing allows the open and enclosed spaces to merge and take full advantage of the valley and mountain backdrop. The additional material of glass and the crisp white interior compliment the natural textures and tones of the stone and cedar, strengthening the relationship with the outdoors.
“I think that the ability to see and move back and forth without much friction of walking up and down stairs or over thresholds immediately enhances our connection to the outdoors,” Jørgensen remarks. “The house is organised so that where the inhabitants can see to the outdoors from inside, they can open that glazed barrier by sliding it simply and seamlessly.”
Exaggerated eaves extend over the terraces to pull the indoors to the outside and shield the occupants from the sun. Landscaped courtyard gardens weave in between the dwellings to provide interest from within the home’s interior spaces.
The sense of space is evident, yet ambience and intimacy isn’t lost. There is a beautiful juxtaposition between the stark white walls and the tactile material of the natural stone and cedar. Nothing seems forced, yet the detail of the architecture and interior spaces appears faultless.
See more of this project and others by Jørgensen Design click here.
Photography is by Joe Fletcher.