A Barn-Inspired, Modern Retreat Is Knitted Into Napa Valley

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
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Field Architecture collaborates with Shawback Design to create a contemporary weekend retreat for a growing family in Napa Valley.

When a tech couple were looking to take a step back from city life to start their own family, they turned to Napa–based interior design and real estate production firm Shawback Design to help them create the weekend home of their dreams. The two had worked with the company on three previous projects, and together, they were able to uncover a small vineyard in St. Helena which would soon become the ideal setting for their retreat. 

Once the location had been secured, the father-son duo of Palo Alto–based Field Architecture were brought on board to design the modern residence. 

Nestled between sprawling trees, the property sits on the valley floor, leaving a courtyard space with a pool in the center. 

Photo: Joe Fletcher

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The Fields—Stan had studied under iconic midcentury architect Louis Kahn, and his son, Jess, grew up drawing under his father's drafting table—begin each of their projects with a reading of the land. They call the unconventional process a "Groundscape." 

"We see architecture as part of a conversation with nature that allows humans to return to being "a part" of nature, as opposed to "apart" from it," the architects explain. 

The gable-ended structures reference the agrarian history of the site. Each roof is supported by dark timber and steel trusses, inspired by the property’s existing hay barn. 

Photo: Joe Fletcher

As a result, the team has effortlessly merged modern design into the vernacular to create the unique weekend home known as Zinfandel. Scroll ahead for a peek inside.

A look at the dramatic slice in the roof, which provides an exciting intersection between modernism and the vernacular design. 

Photo: Joe Fletcher

The attention to detail extends to the design of the home's streamlined contemporary gutters.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

Field Architecture has framed the sloped ceiling differently in each room of the house—from the skylight that disappears into the gable’s peak and floods the hearth with light, to the slice the ceiling takes through the hallway.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

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Rich, barn-like wooden beams punctuate the sleek, airy interiors, adding texture and character. Pops of color from the bright pink sofas, combined with the hand-knotted rugs, add a sense of luxury to the polished concrete floors. 

Photo by Joe Fletcher

Light filters into the home via skylights and extensive glazing, opening the interiors up into the courtyard and extending the home's visual range out into the vineyard beyond.  

Photo by Joe Fletcher

Despite the modern material palette, the home also boasts a traditional flair.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

The master bedroom.

Photo by Joe Fletcher

The bathroom has a simple, neutral palette, as well as a luxurious feel.

Photo by Joe Fletcher

Windows allow natural light to filter into the space and also provide guests with views of the vineyard locale. 

Photo by Joe Fletcher

A peek at the sparkling pool. 

Photo by Joe Fletcher

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Field Architecture / @fieldarchitecture
Interior Design: Shawback Design
General Contractor: Grassi & Associates
Landscape Design: Surface Design
Photography: Joe Fletcher Photography

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