Our California Modern home we call the Napa Guest House has been coming along nicely. Casework for the Library and kitchen are being completed. The pebble inlay tile for the interior fountain and sculpture by renowned artist Archie Held has been set, and will act as a good underlay for the large clean form.
It may not look like it from the photos, but those grand old olive trees were recently planted and provide a stunning contrast to the rectilinear forms of the house. Ian and the team with Grassi & Associates are doing a fantastic job of managing this project and buildout. With the finishing of the exterior wood siding and the interior plaster work, the ‘cut earth’ feel of the rammed earth walls becomes even more expressive.If you’re not familiar with this project, you might be interested in a quick overview: The main elements of this modern pavilion style house are the large rammed earth walls; a broad open feel; warm wood and marble plaster finishes; highly efficient green building qualities and the clean raked roofs with solar power arrays.
The front entry opens onto the main interior court at the center of the house that is enclosed by two walls of sliding glass doors. These can be opened to create a vast interior space for those pleasant Napa afternoons so the sound of the water can be heard and the views of the hills and surrounding vineyard taken in. The North end of the house is the semi private areas and bedrooms where the South end of the house has the dining, living, kitchen, library and guest rooms.
The social spaces are not overly large but very accommodating, with the spacious living room sharing a bold statement of a fireplace with the dining room. The living and dining rooms are bounded by two massive and tall rammed earth walls that extend out beyond the glass wall into the east patio. The two soaring walls support a roof that shoots out and seems to reach for the sky. For this modern Napa house the expresses openness in many ways, both functionally and figuratively. The two rammed earth walls make such a strong statement while the elegant floor to ceiling glass wall seems to disappear.
While very secure, the house can be opened to create a connected feeling with the natural landscape. The entire project rates highly by green standards while maintaining a high quality standard.More later on the more technical aspects of the rammed earth walls.