The ShuBox House is a single family home in the heart of Napa
Valley, California, designed for a couple who expressed a true
appreciation for contemporary architecture but also wanted to
maintain the feel of a true wine country farmhouse. An important
initial design goal was to allow a modern, dramatic structure to sit
with ease in a sea of outdated, traditional but appealing track-style
homes. The large set back from the street, the repetition of the gable
roof form, and orientation toward the back vineyards were key.
Instead of offending or conflicting with the neighborhood, ShuBox
respects tradition, and yet sparks hope for a fresh approach to
suburban home design.
In keeping with the farmhouse aesthetic, ShuBox features a series of
wide gabled roof forms, and spacious, volumetric, open interiors,
which allow the residents to work and play in their home with ease.
The large glass pocket doors and grand windows across the entire
back of the home remind you continuously that you are in wine
country, as vineyards and dirt roads spread across the scenery. The
site, while beautiful, had limitations too, including a large septic field
that limited the buildable area on the lot.
Another important design goal for this project was to maximize the
indoor-outdoor living experience of the house in the communal areas,
as well as in the bedrooms and office areas. The design eliminated
any barriers between indoor and outdoor dining and seating areas.
The living room and patio can almost be seen as a single room,
closed off only in winter weather, and even then, simply by glass
doors. Additionally, we sought to make each bedroom area take in
the views also, while maintaining privacy and a sense of being in an
oasis from the busy outside suburban world. Through site planning
we were able to establish an expansive, outward facing experience in
the backyard, so the orientation is always toward the rear vineyards,
truly giving the feeling of rural living.
Another unique aspect of this 4,500 sq. foot home with 4 bedrooms
and 3.5 baths, was that our clients were a couple who took on the roll
of first-time general contractors, so we were heavily involved with the
back-end of this project, interacting directly with the framers and
subcontractors. While this unique situation did come with its
challenges, it gave us a very close window to the construction
process that allowed us to have a hands-on design approach