Endemic Architecture

Early massing / concept form

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.

Copyright, Endemic Architecture 2024