Mork-Ulnes Architects designed a new structure in Californian, the Sonoma Country, for a couple who work as collectors and artists.
“Lars wanted an outdoor kitchen and dining room that he could use year-round, ”says architect“. The idea was to let the landscape bleed in and out of the building. he imagined it as a jungle, with exotic plants, such as papaya, banana, and mango, inside and out.”
In the phase one, the main structure is a building that houses an artist studio, a storage area and an office. The studio building is approx. 250 m², and uses a wood like a frame and steel skeleton constructions to span the large areas. The facades are clad with weathered, centenarian wooden planks. The wood is the main construction material and in the interior they are using the plywood to cover the walls. Some of the old wood left overs was used for the new furniture. The traditional roof has been inverted to create a double height space for creativity and storage.
In the phase two, the architect created addition room measuring 70 m², for cooking and eating that “grows out from the studio. The magnificent garden is faced with white curvilinear volume, called the “Amoeba”. The heart of the project, the “Amoeba” serves as an organic counterpoint to the solid structure of the barn, allowing the plants in the garden such as : bamboo, creeping vines, aloe, fig trees to penetrate into the interior and gently separating the kitchen and the dining room. The concrete walls of the “Amoeba” are more than 20 cm thick, and in the summer their thermal mass keeps the room cool and in the winter, warm.
One side of the extension features a retractable glass wall that allows the space to be fully open to the outdoors. The roof of the extension contrasts the inverted pitched roof of the studio and brings daylight into the space.