Overlooking a scenic valley in Sonoma County lies a 13-acre undeveloped, wooded property atop a steep hill outside of Healdsburg, CA. This is the setting for a new off-grid, fire-resistant house.
Five Faux Chimney’s is a 1,800sf off-grid house
atop a hill overlooking vineyards of Sonoma County, CA. that attempts to link architectural theorist Gotfried Semper’s Four
Elements of Architecture (published in 1851)—hearth (by extension, chimney), enclosure, mound, & roof— with influences from local vineyard
typologies, like the breezeway and colonnade porch. Whereas mound (hill) and
roof are more straightforward, it’s the combination of Chimney + Enclosure that gives this house its primary expression. By re-distributing the typically
centralized chimney to the perimeter wall, it becomes both an enclosure
and a discrete element used to turn corners and provide passive ventilation.
A deep porch with long, 1” thick stone planks promotes an indoor-outdoor lifestyle as it wraps both around and ‘through’ the house. The interior is a series of open rooms and small nooks all organized to capture views of the surrounding landscape as you move through and occupy the house. A covered breezeway separates the main house from a semi-detached guest room and home office on the south side while on the northwestern side the ground slopes down to a walkout basement game room and wine cellar.
Located in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fire zone, this house uses fire mitigation strategies in its materials, material assemblies, site design, and ventilation as an off-grid house with passive colling strategies and radiant heating.
This project further includes site improvements such as septic, driveway, grading, drainage, and encroachment permits.
Project Team Architect: Endemic Architecture Structural Engineer: Hewitt Consulting Group General Contractor: Sawyer Construction Custom Cabinetry & Millwork: Greg Schreier Landscape Architect: Monica Perrone Landscape Architecture Civil, Survey, & Septic Engineer: Huffman Engineering Septic Installer: Machado Brothers Geotechnical: Miller Pacific Engineering Status: Fully Permitted (grading, septic, encroachment, planning & building). Site prep underway.