Situated among rolling hills in northern California, the Sebastopol Residence was designed for two graphic designers, and it is one of San Francisco-based Turnbull Griffin and Haesloop architect’s latest residential works.
Completed in 2009, the house sits on a steep slope and is positioned between two redwood trees with an east-west orientation, in order for the long sides to enjoy the best views. The concept is simple; a long rectangular wooden one-level box, which will include, apart from the regular residential living and sleeping space, also a studio, which doubles as a garage, and a pool area.
The north elevation opens up completely to the landscape, making the most of the expansive views, while the more closed up southern side, protects the inhabitants from the nearby road and the driveway.
Clad in cedar, topped off with a metal roof, the house feels warm and homely, finished with Douglas Fir ceiling and decking, sheetrock walls and ipe flooring. Despite being a modest 1,700 sq ft, due to the open plan arrangements and the merging of inside and outside through the clever use of large openings, it feels airy and provides the owners the appropriate space to showcase their art collection.
“When we first walked the site we were struck by the mature redwood stands flanking either side of a large bowl-shaped meadow that sloped down in the direction of the view." say the architects. "Because of the steep slope of the site we thought the house should span across the bowl to claim the view and connect to the land at either end, anchored by the mature stands of redwoods.”
Open towards the expansive views, the Sebastopol House makes the surrounding nature one of the commission’s leading protagonists.