In Napa wine country, an area with a strong agricultural history, barn typology and careful siting dictate the form of this house designed by Faulkner Architects.
Located on the footprint of a 1950’s ranch house, the new house takes a simple, two-storey form with an asymmetrical gabled roof. To mitigate heat gain, the shorter side of the roof is oriented towards the southwest sun. Glazing is limited. Alongside this, full-height ventilation shutters make reference to traditional barn buildings while controlling climate. A large vertical wooden shutter on the southeast gable end is axially aligned. When both ends are open, prevailing breezes cool the house naturally. Meanwhile, the east side of the house is more open to views and the morning sun. The upper floor is mainly void of windows, like the empty top spaces of traditional barns.
The minimal material pallet comprises reclaimed redwood, corrugated Corten steel and black steel sash window/door frames. Inside, California Oak is used for walls and ceilings.
Radiantly heated floors and minimal cooling provided only in sleeping areas, coupled with enhanced glazing, insulation and mechanical system efficiencies further mitigate energy use.