California firm Faulkner Architects has unveiled a beautiful, modern farmhouse that pays homage to the rural vernacular in California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley. Clad in salvaged redwood and weathered steel, the Big Barn House features a stunning design that incorporates several passive features to boost its energy efficiency.
Earlier this year, the team from Faulkner Architects completed another project for the same family — a converted 1950s tack barn that was used by the homeowners while awaiting completion of the larger project. Using salvaged wood on the small barn conversion set the tone for the main residence.
From its robust wood exterior to the modern, light-filled interior, the 3,900-square-foot home boasts a breathtaking design. Wrapped in reclaimed redwood and corrugated weathered steel, the two-story dwelling stretches out over a slightly sloped landscape.
From afar, the asymmetrical gabled rooftop stands out over the undulating terrain. Built into a gentle slope, the modern farmhouse extends dramatically from a flat landing to the far end of the structure, which slightly cantilevers over the landscape. This design was strategic to reduce the project’s impact on the site.
According to the architects, the home’s orientation was also determined by the path of the sun. To help reduce heat gain during the summer months, the designers ensured that the smaller side of the roof faces the west, where the sun is the most intense. Alternatively, the east side of the home takes full advantage of natural light. Here, sash windows and glazed sliding doors provide a seamless connection with the surrounding nature.
The ground floor houses the central social spaces: a massive kitchen and dining space and an open-plan living space with double-height ceilings. For added time in the sun, the far end of the home includes an all-glass enclosure that looks out over the incredible landscape. Accessible via an exterior walkway or central staircase, the second story is home to the master suite and two additional bedrooms.
In addition to its strategic orientation, the Big Barn House boasts a number of energy-saving features. Throughout the space, multiple openings allow for ample air ventilation to help cool the home naturally. For the chilly months, radiant floor heating keeps the living spaces nice and toasty. To maintain comfortable interior temperatures year-round, the house also has tight insulation.
Photography by Joe Fletcher (exterior images) and Ken Fulk (interior images) via Faulkner Architects