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Box on the Rock

Schwartz and Architecture


  • Eames Construction, Contractor

Project Status



2,000 sq. feet
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The plan for this 2,000-square-foot home is derived from a simple diagram that places private spaces toward the top of the hill and public spaces looking over spectacular views. The architects provide access from the private side, splitting the box in two to create a central entry courtyard and utilize inflections to frame views and cultivate more interesting spaces.

Budget constraints left most of the 3-acre Sonoma Valley site undeveloped, with the building considered a lone outpost in a natural landscape. The central entry courtyard yields to expansive living and dining spaces on either side that overlook the view from glazing shielded by precisely calibrated overhangs that minimize solar gain. The sequence of spaces is designed to always provide temperate shaded and sunlit areas within the complex at all times of the day.

In addition to its minimal footprint, the house incorporates several environmentally responsible features, including the retention of naturally irrigated grasslands, permeable surfacing for all exterior site coverage, and a roof that has been maximized for future photovoltaic panel installation.  — Edward Keegan

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