Sonoma Residence With A View Receives the AIA Architecture Merit Award from AIA-RE
Asquared Studios’ first rammed earth residential design was honored at the 2022 AIA-RE Design Awards
On Saturday, October 15, at the AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards, The Sonoma Residence With A View received the Merit Award for Architecture, and the impressions were overwhelming – “The jury stated that the house unfolded in a beautiful way at every turn.”
Inspired by the rugged, prehistoric terrain and the inherent tranquilly of the site, this modern, pagoda-style house was designed as a quiet sanctuary. Nestled atop a knoll below a dramatic ridgeline in the Moon Mountain District American Viticultural Area that overlooks the Sonoma Valley grape-growing region and the San Francisco Bay, the new, one-bedroom abode was conceived as a series of interlocking boxes, arranged to maximize the views and complement the landscape.
Tasked with creating a minimalist, rural design to reflect the owner’s Eastern aesthetics and love of the land, the architects suggested a simple, textural material palette. Using reduced-carbon rammed earth, corrosion-resistant corten steel, renewable wood, and high-performing glass, the low-lying structure appears to arise from the scattered boulders that dot the 300-acre property. The striated rammed earth walls frame windswept heritage trees and seem to map the rows of grapevines that hug the hillside below. Corten steel siding, reminiscent of the surrounding volcanic lava rock, define the structure’s distinct geometric forms. A raised, pagoda-style roof marks the arid skyline and works in concert with the expanses of glass window walls that allow the home to open to the land while circulating fresh air throughout. Deep eves protect from the elements while creating a spiritual connection to the surroundings.
Inside is equally as contemplative. The rammed earth is accentuated against neutral paint colors and accents of walnut, shou sugi ban, blackened steel, and poured concrete floors that were worked into a unique distressed finish. Wood and natural light abounds. Exposed walnut ceilings extend to the outdoors, covering pathways and al fresco seating.
At the project’s center is the great room with a high-performing 40-ft wide by 11-ft tall sliding glass wall, laid out along a Northern axis to take advantage of the Bay view. Walnut cabinetry anchors the open kitchen. Across the way, a shou sugi ban entertainment nook adds a moody depth to an otherwise sunlit living space. To the West is a home office complete with a window wall that erases the boundaries between indoors and out. To the East, the en suite bedroom captures the morning light. Custom midcentury casework defines the sleeping quarters while an elevated wet room with Japanese soaking tub opens to a zen garden via a large pocketing floor-to-ceiling window.
Throughout, artwork and objets d’ art, collected from the owner’s travels, are tastefully displayed. The design also features a yoga studio with yoga wall, an outdoor fire-pit, laundry room, and a wine room.
Additional information + Press about the awards can be found at the Press Democrat
As we approach the end of the year we reflect on what the past year meant to us, what we accomplished, and what we have learned to carry with us into the new year. One of the things we find we consistently appreciate in our work is the power of collaboration. This is explained early in our process, and we identify this as an “Owner Inspired Vision”. We rely on our clients to participate in our process to create a vision that is uniquely theirs. This vision becomes our target goal throughout the design and construction process. We have found that successful collaboration creates a successful project.
We were reminded of the level of collaboration required during each phase of a project in our recent experience of preparing for and managing the professional photography of one of our completed projects. Of course our intent with photographing a project is always to express the intent behind our design and the pride of our clients, but this particular project was also selected for a spread in San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Magazine. Because of this there was a greater need to continue the precedent of collaboration through the photographic process.
Our photography team included our clients, the photographers, a stylist, and the magazine. To kickoff the process we held a walk through of the residence well in advance of the actual shoot. This gave us the ability to work with the stylist to ensure that the personality of the client was maintained while creating eye-catching images of the home.
Fast forward to the day of the photoshoot. We started in the early morning hours with the Stylist. The stylist, Asquared Studios, and the clients worked to methodically prepare the first few set-ups in advance of the photographers and magazine editors arrival. Once the photographer arrived, we worked with them to ensure that the language of the architecture was brought forth in an impactful way to express the intended proportion, scale, light, and color. With that, we want to make sure that the photographs tell the story of how the house accommodates the lives of the owners, including how it flows, how it is used, and how they live in it to make the space their own. We relied on the our clients throughout the day to help us tell their story. The photoshoot was a true success.! Our collaborative process led to the editor’s selection of our project to be featured on their magazine cover.
Ultimately, the enthusiastic participation by the client at this stage of the project only reinforces the power of our “Owner Inspired Vision” philosophy and process. As we close out 2019 and move into 2020, we are excited to move forward in collaboration with new clients, consultants, contractors, and whomever else we have the honor to work with.
Asquared Studios Partners Receive Sun Devil 100 award : Celebrating Entrepreneurial Spirit
Asquared Studios Partners Tony Garcia and Jessie Whitesides are headed back to their alma-matter this week to revive the honor of being named two of the ASU 100 class of 2018. This distinction is awarded to 100 significant ASU alumni each year for their achievements and innovations as entrepreneurs. Over the last 18 years Asquared Studios has grown to have significant presence in the Architectural Profession in California. With studios in both Northern and Southern California, Asquared Studios is able to understand the design demands and trends across the entire state. Seeking to raise the level of professional service standard in the Architectural world, Tony and Jessie spend a great deal of time educating their clients on the value of Architecture and Design, stressing the importance of meaningful and transparent communication. Their love for what they do comes naturally as a reflection of their passion for the built environment and its influence on our society. They recognize the Architecture has a profound impact on the human condition, and they are committed helping aspiring young design minds find their voice in The future of the profession.
Tony and Jessie are honored to be recognized by those who gave their careers life. Thank you ASU!
Below is a link to the complete list of honorees for the Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018