House of Earth and Sky

House of Earth and Sky

Aidlin Darling Design
San Francisco, CA, USA | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Matthew Millman
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Windows manufacturerVITROCSA
Faucets - Bathroom sinks and showers; master bath with custom patina finishDornbracht
BathroomsAnn Sacks
Faucets - Powder Room sink, touchlessBRIZO
Metal WorkChris French Metal

Product Spec Sheet
Windows manufacturer
Faucets - Bathroom sinks and showers; master bath with custom patina finish
Faucets - Powder Room sink, touchless
Metal Work

House of Earth and Sky

Aidlin Darling Design as Architects

This LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy single-family home celebrates its – and our – existence in the intersection between earth and sky. In response to a pre-existing graded topography with an artificial elevated plateau, one arrives low onto the site, and ascends through carved spaces into a series of airy glass pavilions. These indoor-outdoor living spaces are anchored by rammed earth walls and sheltered under kite-like floating roofs. Extensive use of glass, much of which is operable, helps to obscure the boundary between inside and outside, connecting the interior to the landscape, meeting the owner’s request to feel as though they are living in a natural garden.

The owners set ambitious sustainability goals from the outset of the process. They proposed LEED Platinum certification and Net Zero Energy, both to guide their own responsible decision making and to be a model for their community.  With that as a starting point, the project strove to integrate ecological responsibility holistically into the design of the building, such that sustainability performance and architectural expression become one inseparable whole.

The two principal tectonic components are the rammed earth walls and the folded roof planes. The walls are built using soil harvested on site. They provide thermal mass, regulating temperature fluctuations and participating in the heating and cooling of the interior – and lightening the demand placed on mechanical systems. They are highly durable, pest- and rot-resistant, and very low maintenance These heavy earthen walls bracket space within a seamless landscape, demarcating public and private zones while providing a sensual tactility.

The floating roof planes also integrate multiple sustainable design strategies in a singular gesture. Their asymmetric butterfly forms vector interior spaces outward to the landscape. The folded shape tips solar panels toward the sun. Their valleys direct rainwater to collection cisterns, efficiently draining the roof surface without extensive plumbing while also visually expressing the concept of rainwater harvesting. Their overhangs are calibrated, working in tandem with window shades, for both shade and light - to provide abundant daylight to the interior, passive heat gain in winter, and shade in summer. Their soaring, lightweight forms inspire ones eyes upward to the sky, and juxtapose with the anchoring mass of the earthen walls – strengthening both elements through their mutual contrast.

Material used :

Home Automation

Brief Detail: Lutron Homeworks, Sonos

Company Name: VIA Home (no longer in business)



Brief Detail: Oak paneling

Company Name: Box Cab Co


Entry Door

Brief Detail: Custom design by Aidlin Darling, walnut with steel frame and bronze pull

Company Name: woodwork by Liberty Valley Doors; metalwork by Chris French Metals





Brief Detail: Verde Amazon stone, live-edge Elm wood slab

Company Name: Stone by Pietra Fina; wood by Arborica



Brief Detail: Custom concrete with integrated sinks, design by Aidlin Darling

Company Name: Concreteworks


Tilework (please specify for kitchen and master bathroom.)


Brief Detail: Glass tile; “Azure / Obo” at Kids bath, custom mosaic at Guest bath

Company Name: Ann Sacks



Typical floor throughout the house, unless noted otherwise

Brief Detail: Custom engineered walnut

Company Name: First, Last and Always


Master Suite and Guest Bedroom

Brief Detail: Cork tile

Company Name: Duro Design


Landscape Design

Brief Detail: Garden, terraces, driveway, walkways, entry stairs, swimming pool & spa

Company Name: Lutsko Associates



Brief Detail: Swimming pool with in-pool spa, design by Aidlin Darling and Lutsko Assoc

Company Name: Lifetime Pools



Brief Detail: Custom design by Aidlin Darling

Company Name: Liberty Valley Doors and Box Cab Co



Brief Detail: Narrow-sightline aluminum sliding glass doors and windows

Company Name: Vitrocsa, provided by Goldbrecht USA


Brief Detail: Custom butt-glazing with concealed fiberglass frames

Company Name: Goldbrecht USA


Brief Detail: Aluminum curtain wall, with awning and hopper inserts

Company Name: Schuco, provided by Goldbrecht USA


Brief Detail: Aluminum sliding glass doors and windows at Kids and Guest bedrooms

Company Name: Fleetwood



Brief Detail: Custom design by Aidlin Darling

Company Name: Box Cab Co


Metal Work

Brief Detail:  Lattices, kitchen island, range hood, bathroom vanities, bathroom accessories, game room cabinetry, bronze handrails

Company Name: Chris French Metals


Brief Detail:  Spiral stair

Company Name: Product and Design



Brief Detail:  Exterior cor-ten steel panels

Company Name: Copper Iron Designs



Brief Detail: Plaster soffits

Company Name: Kurt Meiswinkel Inc


Brief Detail: Structural / finish concrete (walls, tower)

Company Name: Pollo Construction


Brief Detail: Precast concrete sinks, bathtub, shower basins, countertops

Company Name: Concreteworks



Brief Detail: Kitchen and Media Room counter fabrication

Company Name: Stone Etc


Brief Detail: Garage façade, entry stairs, landscape paving

Company Name: Maidenstone



Brief Detail: Dishwasher

Brand: Miele


Brief Detail: Refrigerator / Freezer

Brand: Liebherr


Brief Detail: Wall oven and microwave

Brand: GE Monogram


Brief Detail: Cooktop

Brand: Gaggenau


Brief Detail: Range hood

Brand: Custom design by Aidlin Darling


Brief Detail: Laundry

Brand: LG


Appliances were sourced through the General Contractor; source unknown to Architect.


Sinks (kitchen and master bathroom.)

Brief Detail: Kitchen, stainless steel undermount

Brand: Seamless Sink


Brief Detail: Bathrooms, custom design by Aidlin Darling and Concreteworks

Brand: fabricated by Concreteworks


Faucets (kitchen and master bathroom.)


Brief Detail: Kitchen sink, touchless pull-out

Brand: Delta


Brief Detail: Bathroom sinks and showers; master bath with custom patina finish

Brand: Dornbracht


Brief Detail: Powder Room sink, touchless

Brand: Brizo



Brief Detail: Custom design by Aidlin Darling

Company Name: wood supplied by Arborica, fabricated by Box Cab Co; metalwork by Chris French Metals

Project Credits
Low-Voltage Systems
Structural Engineer
Mechanical Consultant
Landscape Architect
Rammed Earth Consultant
Geotechnical Engineer
Products used in this project
The Workshop Bukit Merah
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