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Richard’s Grove Pavilion

Architect / Firm: ASQUARED STUDIOS

Awards:    Year:    Entry Categories:

Awards:    Year:    Entry Categories:


3788 PARK BLDV. #6
SAN DIEGO California 92103

Contact Person

(619) 925-1061

Architectural Firm



Ledcor Construction Inc.
john.mcbroom@ledcor.com, 707-257-5231

Project Location: 3575 SLUSSER ROAD, WINDSOR, CA 95492
Completion Date: 03/02/2015

Hidden from view from outside of its immediate site, the Richard’s Grove Pavilion is a privately owned structure designed and built for hospitality functions.  The pavilion is located with specific intent at one end of an oak filled grove and serves as a gathering space for small events looking over the grove, or as a focal point and stage for functions that fill the grove.   A risk was taken with this design as the Architects stood firm on its need to be transparent, minimalist, precisely detailed and definitively modern; a combination of features not often combined in rural Sonoma County.  More importantly, the goal was to create a space to harmonize with its serene natural backdrop.

The initial site visit revealed several unique features to be incorporated into the design, namely an existing full scale Santa Fe Box car re-purposed as a restroom building, and what turned out to be a trailer built out to represent a full scale caboose used as a catering kitchen and affectionately named “chew chew”.  After careful navigation with the planning department to maintain a vested use permit at this location, a masterplan was approved and included the removal and replacement of “chew chew” with an authentically restored Santa Fe Caboose and the new Pavilion, creating a relationship between the two suggesting that the caboose is waiting at the station.

The Pavilion is precisely elevated and appears to float above the surrounding grade allowing for the natural flooding of the site each year.  To maintain the narrow profile at the roof edge and floor line, the structural steel is tapered and holds an 8” tall steel edge banding.  The building is intentionally symmetrical with the long transparent facades facing the grove and the caboose and are complimented with a redwood slatted box at each of the short ends with punctured openings to create a unique entry point to one side and a juxtaposed (indoor + outdoor) fire feature at the other.  The use of custom tilt-up doors facing the grove provide a unique canopy over the stage which hovers above the ground plane, while large bottom rolling sliders open the opposite side of the space to the Santa Fe caboose. Since the opening event last spring, the overwhelming response to this modern structure has affirmed the decision to create an object that does not command the space it sits in, but compliments it by appearing light and transparent within the surrounding landscape.

The Richard’s Grove Pavilion employed several sustainable features as inherent aspects of the building design and site planning strategies. During the very early stages of the site analysis it became apparent that the site itself held some unique challenges that affected the potential project solutions.

First, the site held a vested use permit for hospitality events that the client was interested in preserving.  In working with the planning department regarding how to manage this requirement, it was determined that any newly proposed square footage would need to be directly exchanged or accounted for by the removal of existing impervious surfaces or enclosed square footage.

Second, and more significant, the entire grove area is noted on the FEMA flood maps, indicating the site is the low point for drainage from approximately 5 unique water sources.  There was evidence on the existing site features and structures that the entire site has the ability to flood up to three and a half feet in depth each year.

Both of the factors listed above led our design team to adhere to a net zero cut and fill plan.  To preserve the integrity of the structure in the event of flooding, the structure was raised 4 feet above the surrounding grade and supported on 36 helical piers, thus minimizing the amount of soil to be relocated for the building structure itself.  All of the excavating soils for the building piers and the bed of the train track at the caboose were relocated and used to create  a landscape berm to the North of the building which was further re-purposed to become a sloped landscape path for ADA access to the building.

The Pavilion was designed as a non-conditioned structure, and is constructed of sustainably conscious materials and finishes. Due to the intense summer heat that we can face in a Sonoma County a “cool roof” was applied and the building overhangs are ten feet deep to keep the intense sun out of the interior space during the hottest parts of the day.  All paints and stains used are designated low VOC and all lighting is LED.  The restored Santa Fe caboose was obtained and restored in the state of California to minimize transportation energy, and the warming kitchen inside the caboose is composed of primarily re-purposed equipment already owned by the client.

Any new landscaping adjacent to the building is serviced by existing irrigation in place with no additional demand. This is possible in part to existing mature landscape already in place. Although not a formal part of the project, the restrooms in the existing Santa Fe Box car on site (mentioned in the project description) were upgraded with low flow plumbing fixtures in an effort to extend the client’s sustainable strategies.

structural engineer:

WA Associates, Jeremy Stanley, 990 A Street, Suite K, San Rafael, CA 94901, jeremy@stanley-engr.com, 415-485-9797

mechanical/plumbing engineering:

TEP Engineering, Brad Manning, 880 2nd. Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, brad@tep.net, 707-538-0400

electrical engineering:

RESA, Ray Slaughter, 3820 Cyprus Drive, Suite 1, Petaluma, CA 94954, ray@resaengineers.com, 707-762-3310

civil engineering:

Lescure Engineering, Maureen Wendle, 4635 Old Redwood Highway, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, mw@lescure-engineers.com, 707-575-3427
specialty vendors:

custom doors and windows:

Northstar Woodworks, Craig Timmer, po box 1767, Ferndale, WA 98248, craig@northstarww.com, 360-384-0307

railroad contractor and train restoration:

Hillcrest Farm & Shops, Sean Bautista, 6943 S. Reed, Reedley, CA 93654, hillcrestshops@aol.com, 559-638-2762


Jitner Painting, Larry Jitner, po box 2742, Yountville, CA 94599, jitner@sbcglobal.net, 707-945-0420

decorative metals:

Dimensions in Metal, Scott Stroh, 406 Stameroff Court, Cloverdale, CA 95425, dimensionsinmetal@sbcglobal.net, 707-849-4369

structural steel:

Iron Dog Fabrication Inc., Tim Edens, 3450 E. Regional Parkway, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, tim@irondogfab.com, 707-579-7831

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