Conceived as a garden pavilion and complimenting an existing contemporary guest house, Sunrise was designed to respond to its rugged, remote, and beautiful surroundings. The clients, a newly retired couple, have used the property and guest house as a weekend retreat for years. Admirers of their work, they were interested in collaborating with Feldman Architects to build a sleek, modern cabin in the hills above the Sonoma Wine Country.

Land cultivation

Both husband and wife have a strong appetency for cultivating the land. She is an avid gardener, passionate about sustaining and growing her own production garden while he enjoys maintaining the property, and discovering, post-retirement, the relaxing qualities of the Healdsburg hills. At its core, the inspiration for the home was creating a space for the homeowners to enjoy both the beauty around them and the charms of honest living.

The Glass House

In order to preserve the elegant quality of the desired “glass house”, the structure of the home is expressed on the exterior. Round steel columns stretch upwards across two stories to support the sunshade and thin corrugated metal roof; balancing modern lines with delicate panes of glass. Two monolithic concrete forms at the East and West facades provide both structure and storage while visually anchoring the building to the site.

The seamless transition between interior and exterior living was a primary objective, due to the client’s propensity for horticulture.  Glass walls on three sides of the home allow for a strong physical and visual connection to the landscape; including the adjacent gardens and orchards and the distant Mt. Saint Helena.


The interior has a paired down material palette consisting of bleached Douglas fir, white Carrerra marble, and concrete floors. Minimalists by nature, the clients craved simplicity without starkness. Therefore accents of bronze, blackened steel, and Claro walnut bring richness to the interior furnishings, balancing the austere nature of concrete and steel. With a quiet simplicity of form and a refined material palette, this home compliments the existing structures and sits in harmony with the powerful hillside landscape.

The landscape was created by Arterra Landscape Architects, the interior designer was by Studio Collins Weir, and the lighting design was by Pritchard Peck Lighting

© Photos: Adam Rouse