atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence 'on the edge of civilization'

atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence 'on the edge of civilization'

an outpost at the edge of the forest

 

Designed by Atelier Jorgensen, this secluded residence in Napa, California, was commissioned by clients Buttons and Ridgie Barton after their original weekend house was destroyed by wildfire. Nestled into the hillside of Mount Veeder, the dwelling is wrapped in a deep umber shell of corrugated steel that unwittingly mirrors the charred redwood trees surrounding it.

 

The design is composed of a two-story cube with a parabolic roof and an off-center entry courtyard, an element which harks back to Buttons and Ridgie’s old house. Reached by a steep and winding driveway, residents enter the house on the west facing side, where an angular façade is shaped to guide the eye to the front door and to views of the forest beyond.

atelier jorgensen
image by Joe Fletcher

 

 

Low and almost completely solid, this is the ‘utilitarian’ side of the house, containing the pantry, laundry, mudroom, and services. There are also two bedroom suites tucked away in the northwest corners. The opposite end of the house projects 9 meters higher and is articulated by floor to ceiling glass walls. Accommodated here is an open plan kitchen and dining area and a double-height living space.

 

The architect says, ‘The living room is designed so that when one stands or sits inside the space, the ceiling is not perceived in one’s peripheral vision, therefore making it seem as if you are in that outpost at the edge of the forest, there to enjoy the beauty of the hawks soaring above the vineyards below and the surrounding forest.’

 

From the living space, residents can also see upstairs to the master bedroom loft, which is complete with a walk-in closet and en-suite shower room.

atelier jorgensen
image by Douglas Friedman

 

 

Regarding material choices, the dark external cladding gives way to warm and welcoming interiors finished in light Russian Birch nautical plywood. Left untreated, the nautical grade plywood is intended to take on the scuffs and scratches of everyday life. The warm timber continues throughout every room of the house apart from the bathrooms, where aqua colored tiles have been laid. Reclaimed maple was specified for the floors to provide a subtle contrast against the plywood.

 

Perhaps due to the site’s wildfire scars, Atelier Jorgensen carefully considered the importance of rain in the design. A deep yellow steel awning signals the glass entrance door and ‘sings’ in the rain. ‘They resonate like a tuning fork and remind the inhabitants of the importance of rain,’ says the architect. The scheme also incorporates a rainwater collection system and a water storage tank for dry days. 

 

‘The outpost is self-sustaining as an outpost should be, both in physical and emotional requirements. Set on the edge of civilization where there is no fast response for help in the case of an emergency, the next fire that comes will burn past it, leaving the outpost as the lone sentry, on watch. Designed for the advancement of enlightenment,’ sums up Atelier Jorgensen.

atelier jorgensen
image by Douglas Friedman

atelier jorgensen
image by Douglas Friedman

atelier jorgensen
image by Douglas Friedman

atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence 'on the edge of civilization'
image by Joe Fletcher

atelier-jorgensen-designboom-29X

image by Joe Fletcher

atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence 'on the edge of civilization'
image by Joe Fletcher

atelier-jorgensen-designboom-28X

image by Joe Fletcher

 

 

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image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Joe Fletcher
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
image by Douglas Friedman
atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence ‘on the edge of civilization’
 
atelier jorgensen sites remote california residence ‘on the edge of civilization’
 

project info:

 

name: Mount Veeder Outpost

location: 3181 Mount Veeder Road, Napa, California, USA

architecture: Atelier Jorgensen

design team: Brandon Jorgensen, Jonathan Solis, Lisha Zhang, Dora Tan

structural engineer: DJ Engineers

cabinetry / casework / custom wood work: Pacassa Studios

HVAC / custom metal work: Jeremy Jack

custom steel work: Slay Built

glazing installation: Vella Glazing

glazing supplier: Pacific Sash & Design

waterproofing / resiliency: Atelier Jorgensen

interior design: Erin Martin Design

builders: Mendez & Del Angel

gross built area: 215 sqm (2,316 sqft)

year: 2020

photography: Douglas Friedman, Joe Fletcher

ARCHITECTURE IN CALIFORNIA (217)

ARCHITECTURE IN THE US (1299)

DBINSTAGRAM (2224)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (2794)

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