Big Barn in Glen Ellen, California, Napa County Home, New California Wine Country Property Photos

Big Barn in Glen Ellen, CA

Sep 12, 2020

Big Barn Napa wine country

Design: Faulkner Architects

Location: Glen Ellen, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, USA

Big Barn in Sonoma Valley

Big Barn Glen Ellen California

North of San Francisco, in Glen Ellen, a less populated part of the Napa wine country, the culture has been based on agriculture and was named for an original winery. Jack London made this his permanent home here in the early 1900s. Drawn by the land, London believed in the redemptive qualities of rural life. Less than an hour from the city, rolling hills covered with groves of oak trees surround the downtown.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California Big Barn Glen Ellen California

The strong agricultural history has affected the built environment here with many examples of barn like houses that are confusingly morphed between the two vocabularies. On the existing footprint of a 1950s ranch house, this family getaway evolved in response to a request for a retreat from their urban lifestyle. The atmosphere of a tack barn renovated into a bunk house on site inspired thoughts of a larger barn like typology for this main house of 3,900 square feet.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California

The request from the client was to build in a consistent way within the rolling hills dappled with agricultural buildings. A simple, rectangular, two-story form emerged with an asymmetrical gabled roof. The shorter side of the roof faces the southwest sun and reduces heat gain to the structure. Fenestration is limited to this exposure as well and is organized like thin full height ventilation shutters that reference traditional barn building. The entry, a larger version of the vertical slit elements is recessed for shading.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California Big Barn Glen Ellen California

The fireplace and chimney, foreign to the barn typology, is displaced from the structure with glazed joints. The east side is more open to the view and morning sun. A continuous, building-sized assembly of steel sash glazing includes large sliding doors that pocket into the adjacent wall and open the kitchen to the rear terrace. The upper zone of the main space is void of windows and reminds one of the empty shell-like spaces of barns.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California Big Barn Glen Ellen California

A large vertical wood shutter located on the southeast gable end is aligned axially with an internal access through the plan on both levels. When open at both ends, prevailing breezes flow through the mass cooling it naturally. In order to leave the hillside intact and avoid grading, the form is excavated into the site uphill and cantilevered over it downhill. A steel grated bridge connects the upper sleeping level with the hillside and tack barn above.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California Big Barn Glen Ellen California

A minimal material pallet of reclaimed redwood, corrugated Corten steel and black steel sash windows combined with integral gutters, and lack of overhangs further the minimal feeling of the construction. Inside the singular materiality is continued via California Oak for floors wall and ceilings.

Big Barn Glen Ellen California

Radiantly heated floors and minimal cooling provided only at sleeping areas, coupled with enhanced glazing, insulation and mechanical system efficiencies mitigate energy use.

Big Barn in California – Building Information

Architect: Faulkner Architects

Project Team:
Contractor: Redhorse Constructors
Civil Engineer: Adobe Associates
Structural Engineer: CFBR Structural Group
Mechanical Engineer: Sugarpine Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Sugarpine Engineering
Geotechnical Engineer: NV5
Landscape: Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture
Lighting: Ken Fulk
Interior designer: Ken Fulk
Theatrical/AV: SoundVision
Pool Engineer: Terracon
Pool Consultant: Blue Revolution
Construction Project Manager: Walker Construction Management
Special Inspections: PJC & Associates
CALGreen: Gilleran Energy Management
Irrigation Design: Dickson & Associates
Arborist: Bartlett Trees

Gaggenau – appliances
Subzero – appliances
La Cornue – appliances
Apparatus Studio – lighting
Viabizzuno – lighting
Kreon – lighting
Flos – lighting

Joe Fletcher Photography (exterior and dining room photos)
Ken Fulk (all other interior images)

Big Barn in Glen Ellen, California images / information received 310720

Location: Glen Ellen, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, USA

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