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House for Locavore Farmers, Geyserville, Calif.

  • A screen of ipe slats gives this house a crisp, contemporary profile.

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    A screen of ipe slats gives this house a crisp, contemporary profile.

    Elliott Kaufman

    A screen of ipe slats gives this house a crisp, contemporary profile.

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    The original house.

    Elliott Kaufman

    The original house.

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    The original gable roof remains, although now as a background element.

    Elliott Kaufman

    The original gable roof remains, although now as a background element.

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    Ipe slats wrap the balcony as decking, screen, and awning.

    Elliott Kaufman

    Ipe slats wrap the balcony as decking, screen, and awning.

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    The new interior centers on a double-height living room one story below the entry level.

    Elliott Kaufman

    The new interior centers on a double-height living room one story below the entry level.

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    In pursuit of outdoor connection, the renovation removed substantial chunks of floor and exterior wall.

    Elliott Kaufman

    In pursuit of outdoor connection, the renovation removed substantial chunks of floor and exterior wall.

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    The new kitchen.

    Elliott Kaufman

    The new kitchen.

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    The view from the kitchen.

    Elliott Kaufman

    The view from the kitchen.

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    The existing entry-level floor plan.

    Courtesy Cooper Joseph Studio

    The existing entry-level floor plan.

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    The new entry-level floor plan.

    Courtesy Cooper Joseph Studio

    The new entry-level floor plan.

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    The existing lower-level floor plan.

    Courtesy Cooper Joseph Studio

    The existing lower-level floor plan.

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    The new lower-level floor plan.

    Courtesy Cooper Joseph Studio

    The new lower-level floor plan.

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    Building section.

    Courtesy Cooper Joseph Studio

    Building section.

A few bold, and sometimes counterintuitive, moves utterly transform the character of this Northern California residence. Given the building’s spectacular hillside site, architect Wendy Evans Joseph says, “The intention was to make this place more in tune with the landscape and not necessarily bigger.” Joseph replaced a large swath of north-facing wall with glass and wrapped the building in a screen of narrow ipe slats that dramatically alters its profile. “You really don’t see the existing sloping roof from any perspective,” she notes.

To improve a prosaic living room, Joseph simply removed the floor, opening a dramatic two-story space at the core of the house. Flush white oak millwork bridges the two levels, unifying an interior that, as she points out, “is actually smaller than it was. But it feels bigger; you see everything from everywhere.” Our jury liked what they saw, calling the project “a powerful renovation; very creative, very nice spatially.” As one judge remarked, “It’s taking [the original house] a long way, but it’s got so much of the existing structure intact.”


Entrant/Architect: Cooper Joseph Studio, New York; Builder: Redhorse Constructors, San Rafael, Calif.; Landscape architect: Jacobsen Landscaping, Cloverdale, Calif.; Structural engineer: Tysinger & Associates, Novato, Calif.; Living space: 2,700 square feet; Site: 25 acres; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Elliott Kaufman.


Product details

Bathroom and kitchen fittings: Kohler, www.kohler.com; Bathroom fixtures: Julien, www.julien.ca; Countertops: Silestone, www.silestone.com; Garbage disposer: InSinkErator, www.insinkerator.com; Lighting fixtures: Bega, www.bega-us.com, Rambusch, www.rambusch.com, Lightolier, www.lightolier.com, Delray, www.delraylighting.com, Artemide, www.artemide.us, RSA, www.rsalighting.com, Lucifer, www.luciferlighting.com; Range: Viking www.vikingrange.com; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore, www.benjaminmoore.com; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, www.subzero.com; Solar energy system: SunPower, us.sunpowercorp.com

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.