Text by Katie Gerfen
Discussions of live/work environments rarely happen in such bucolic settings, but when the owners of Retrospect Vineyards—an agricultural operation that grows pinot noir grapes in Windsor, Calif.—decided to build a home on the 20.9-acre vineyard, how to balance the business with their private lives was a very real concern.
Undaunted, Emeryville, Calif.‒based Swatt | Miers Architects turned this tension into a defining principle for the design of the 5,524-square-foot home. Built by Jamba Construction, the house presents a largely opaque face—stacked volumes such as storage, bathrooms, and a stairwell—to the business side of the site, which includes a barn and staging area for the harvest.
The other side of the house is a different story: Sliding glass doors in the double-height living room open to expansive views of the vines on the hilly site, as well as a large patio with a pool, outdoor kitchen, and dining areas. Family bedrooms on the second floor take advantage of these views too, but perhaps the best vistas are reserved for the guests—a glass-enclosed, ground-floor bedroom projects out from the house, offering a view of the wine country unlike any other.
It’s mysterious, at first glance. There is a richness of materials—it’s very sophisticated.
—Juror Steven Ehrlich
Architect: Swatt | Miers Architects
Builder: Jamba Construction
Size: 5,524 square feet