Kovner Residence

Sebastopol, CA, USA

Kovner Residence

Sebastopol, CA, USA

This new private residence is located in the vineyards of Sonoma County on the outskirts of the town of Sebastopol in the Russian River Valley.

The layout and orientation of this low-lying, single family house is clearly informed by the spectacular site. The three wings of the house branch out into the landscape to define three particular outdoor spaces; the family garden or front yard, the entertainment garden with lawn and established trees, and the more intimate private garden. These are seen as a valuable extension of the living space.

Each of the wings accommodates a different ‘living zone’; living/dining, sleeping, storage and garage. A second floor above the central located entrance area, referred to as the ‘nest’, provides panoramic views of the vineyards.

The three wings are united by a dynamically formed timber roof which gives the house a unique visual identity.

Various environmental strategies are employed in the house; roof projections and existing trees are exploited for shading, roof form and location of opening lights supports natural ventilation, sensible use is made of winter solar gains, a high performance thermal envelope and ground-based heat exchangers further reduce energy consumption.

  • Location

    Sebastopol, CA, USA

  • Client

    David Kovner and Becky Kelso

  • Architect

    Behnisch Architekten, Los Angeles

  • Address

  • Photography

    Christof Jantzen

  • Design


  • Completion


  • Gross

    232 qm / 2,497 sq.ft.

  • Competition

    2005 Direct commission

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