Gallery: Beautifully Renovated Sonoma Barn Uses a Living Screen to Defl...

The owners of a private vineyard in Sonoma Valley had a grand vision for a music room and extra work space, so they asked Michael Hennessay Architecture to transform an existing, prefabricated metal barn into their dream escape. The San Francisco-based firm reworked the barn to include a music room, exercise room, restrooms, and storage space while taking advantage of the outside landscape. Large floor-to-ceiling windows on the north take in daylighting and views of the vineyard, while passive strategies like the living shade screens on the south and west sides protect the building from overheating.

The large metal barn structure was renovated and brought back to life as a multi-purpose building for use by the vineyard’s owners. The first level includes a large storage space, a workshop, a bathroom and a music room. Two sets of stairs access the upper level where there is a mezzanine, bathroom, exercise room and more storage. White walls create contrast with the dark metal structural system, and daylight bounces off the white corrugated ceiling into the center of the space.

Two operable skylights encourage natural ventilation via the stack effect, which draws warm air up and out of the building. The project is oriented to the east and west, so it was already primed to take advantage of passive solar design. A thin, long window was cut into the south side so that the home could take advantage of the high sun angle. A large floor-to-ceiling window on the north provides lots of daylighting and views of the vineyard. On the southwest corner a large metal screen offset from the building is impregnated with green vines, which will eventually overtake the structure. This shade screen protects the building from the hot afternoon sun and adds an important natural element to the otherwise industrial looking building.

+ Michael Hennessay Architecture

Images © Michael Hennessay Architecture


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