weehouse sonoma is a pre-fab corten home overlooking the californian valley

weehouse sonoma is a pre-fab corten home overlooking the californian valley

protruding out from the sonoma landscape in its santa rosa location in california, the ‘sonoma weehouse’ is a prefabricated corten home bespokely constructed for the client- apple’s director of store design. the 650 sqm retreat designed by alchemy architects is comprised of two modules that were 90% fabricated in oregon, shipped to california and then finally built into its hillside location.

all images © alchemy architects



working closely with the client, the sonoma home follows the same approach as the other weehouse projects  established by alchemy architects’ principal designer geoffrey warner. the compact and minimal homes exemplifies the prefabricated housing system that optimizes many elements of the traditional design-build process. with this particular weehouse, a constant link with the unspoilt landscape is achieved throughout. the expansive sliding glass windows, the outdoor pathway connecting the two volumes and the generous cantilevered decking framing the valley and beyond.

open on both sides, the interior has uninterrupted views of the valley and receives plenty of light



the weathered character is the result of corrugated corten panels seen on the entire envelope. the two minimal boxes –opened on both ends– are set on a concrete plinth that is nestled on the edge of gnarled oaks. both structures feature steel frames, 9 ft. tall sliding glass walls and finished with ipe with oiled oak cabinetry and bespoke detailing designed by alchemy architects. the pre-fabricated nature allows minimal clearing and touching of the landscape that would normally happen during the construction process and the result sees a quickly assembled, cost-effective home that both celebrates the dramatic landscape and provides the client with a comfortable respite.

the project was designed in minnesota for a client in san francisco, built in oregon, and shipped to its santa rosa

the two boxes are offset on board-formed concrete plinths and connected by steel stairs

alchemy architects have constructed weehouse projects also in different locations around the U.S

  • I like it, but I would have to have another property close by to house my tools, cars, toys, etc…. A good setting makes this special. On a 50′ lot in Chicago ..maybe not so special.


    JimCan says:
  • So @JimCan I scrolled a couple of project on DesignBoom and I found a lot of your comments about everything (house, furniture, surf exc.). You always write something critical or bad things without any foundations. I’m super excited to see something that you’ve designed or built published on design boom and judge it as you do…
    Please stop yourself and your ego!!!

    roberto carnevali says:
  • Thanks to these ideas, I just graduated from wanting tiny-cottage to obsessing over this homage to nature–so non-intrusive, light-filled, CorTen sheathed home. (I’m a Chicago native, loved CorTen from the old days lol!). Now I see a home like this (just smaller) atop north Georgia’s ancient mountains. Thank you!

    Maureen C. Allen says:

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