Situated deep in the heart of California wine country, the Summerhill Residence is a grouping of three separate structures—main house, guest house, detached garage—which are oriented towards each other and also towards an emphasis on the flow between inside and outside, sunlight and shade. Void space between the buildings allows for defined outdoor courtyards, while circulation among the buildings remains ad hoc, informal, spontaneous. Improvisation is woven into the carefully-articulated details, like the horizontal wood cladding the covers each structure, the cut-outs for windows mirroring the projects’ spatial relationships. Textures and colors like green and concrete and gray and beige rock and white play off of each other like blocks of meaning, each drawing the eye in and up.
On the interiors, the emphasis is on the windows’ framing of nature, the possibilities of pattern in a chimney screen, the relationship between internal deeply-polished wood floorboards giving way to weathered outdoor deck. At night, the interiors glow as if lit deep from within, the night sky’s proximity connecting visitors to nature, to the land, while sliding and swing doors on each of the compound’s elements make permanent this deep connection between building and ground, line and sky.
Edmonds + Lee Architects
2601 Mission Street, Suite 503
San Francisco, CA 94110