Santa Rosa Retreat

This project is a retreat for a couple who lost their home to wildfires.  The key driver to the project was breaking up the program into different volumes on site, knit together by the landscape and an exterior canopy.

Using a modest material palette and a design aesthetic that took cues from Japanese Architecture and placemaking – we created a serene residence that sits gently within the landscape.

This creates an environment where the site itself is ‘home’ – not just the enclosure.


This project was a residence for a couple who were seeking to build a residence in the saddle of a ridge line that:

– opened up to the distant views

– created an indoor outdoor environment for entertaining

– provided areas of refuge from the more public areas of the home

We did this by clearly articulating a main living area under ‘butterfly’ roof, enclosed in steel and glass, while all support and private spaces were clad in simple monolithic stucco volumes.

Accessory Dwelling Unit

This project was a small Accessory Dwelling Unit for additional home space on a wonderful site in Healdsburg. The client wished to build the unit so that their children (and grandchild) would have a place to stay on weekend visits.

The project brief was to design a contemporary home that captured the view, and made the most of the indoor/outdoor living opportunities of the area.

Using a simple pallet of materials: Wood, Steel, Glass and Concrete, we developed a language of a simple ‘bar’ with the bedrooms and services (bathrooms and kitchen plumbing) wrapped in grey corrugated metal, and a shed roofed ‘Living’ portion of the home that had less clearly defined edges that helped feather the building into the landscape.  (Both from inside and outside.)


Mid-Century Rebirth

This project was for a young couple relocating back to Santa Rosa from New York.  They sought to update a mid-century ranch home they purchased in the hills of Santa Rosa – with a distinct vision.

The project brief could be boiled down to a single aesthetic directive: Scandinavia meets Japan.

The response was to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to the main living area, as well as creating a more layered approach to indoor/outdoor living through a new expansive window wall and outdoor covered area.

The material palette was kept simple and serene, with a simple pop of tile in the master bath and wardrobe.

Wine Country Retreat

This project is a retreat for a large extended family.  The project was conceived as a compound of small living areas that blur the edges between indoor and outdoor space.

Using the local agrarian Architecture as inspiration, this design sought to create a clean, contemporary modern farmhouse aesthetic – simplifying the Architecture to the fundamental expression of shelter.

Some portions enclosed, others open – allowing the user to define their own relationship to the landscape.

Creekside Residence

This project was a weekend retreat for a couple from the City.   The site was heavily encumbered by building restrictions due to it’s proximity to the creek and topography.

The design intent was to keep the special quality of the site by designing a small simple structure that opened up to the creek.

A simple concept of a ‘service bar’ housing all the ‘guts’ of the house, and a ‘living bar’ to house the activity was executed in plan and volume.  An additional outdoor covered area with hidden retractable screens extends the ‘living’ bar and creates the indoor/outdoor living the client sought – to best take advantage of being perched on the edge of a creek.

The spacial relationships were expressed with the use of different cladding materials:

Services – Corrugated Metal

Living – Fiber Cement Panel with expressed fasteners

Outdoor Living Canopy – Cedar Wrapped Structure


Lower Haight Residence

This project was the restoration of a residence to her former glory.  The residence was originally built sometime in the 1890s, and had seen more than a few ill fated remodel attempts.  The clients were two wonderful people with an eye for the possibilities – and they decided to task us with restoring the residence while also making it work for their current lifestyle.

Sonoma County Residence

This project was for a young couple expecting their first child. Their current residence was a small Russian river cabin that had been ‘re-modeled’ in early 2000. Since they were soon to be a Trio, the couple sought to recoup some space via the existing workshop adjacent to the house. Delicately negotiating severe county restrictions on developing the property, we were able to redesign the existing residence and add on 250 more square feet of living space. The clients wished for a house that spoke to the current time period, – something modern and green. The end goal was to end up on the ‘unhappy hipsters’ blog – we’ll see if we get there…

Glen Ellen Residence

This project was for a retired couple that had lived in this house for over 30 years. They wanted to re-imagine their house for how they wished to live in their retirement. The existing house was full of memory due to the client’s direct involvement in its construction, so the design sought to honor that memory, and celebrate a new part of the house’s history.The notion of a house as a piece of furniture was a defining mantra of the design; we sought to express the structural system with an intricate Timber Frame to give the project a more refined notion of cabin.This structure then afforded a way of developing a veranda and window pattern that incorporated a more sophisticated notion of indoor and outdoor space. The house now takes full advantage of its serene surroundings.Daniel Strening was the Project Architect at Henderson Architect for this project.

Santa Rosa Residence

This project is a kitchen remodel project for a house originally built in 1939. The elegant details and character of the era are reflected in the main part of the house. However, this was not reflected in the wing that housed the kitchen. The original design for this wing of the house was a small kitchen and a warren of little rooms for the servants. This wing was very dark, with flat ceilings and dated details that did not match the quality of the rest of the house. Our approach was to bring in natural light, open up the ceilings and refocus the kitchen as the center of the house for the lifestyle of the current owners, while making sure the new work reflected the elegance of the main part of the house.


The clients sought a new kitchen space to more closely fit their modern lifestyle. They have two young daughters and lead active lives, and had the desire for their new kitchen to function as the center of their house. Another key desire was a bright, comfortable kitchen that spoke to the rich detail and grand spaces of the rest of their house. They also sought a more direct link to their backyard that the current layout did not accommodate.
The design response was to clear out the ‘warren-like’ room layout of the former servants quarters and open up the entire wing to a kitchen and connected family room space. The low flat existing ceiling was opened up with some new trusses that celebrated the details of the old, while providing a reflection of the current work.

The whole North side of the house was opened up with pairs of windows that match the existing, bringing in abundant natural light, supplemented with cove lighting detailed to reflect the elegance of the other rooms of the house.