The submissions for the New Modern Cottage category for our 2022 Design Awards were fabulous. So much so, that we awarded two Honorable Mentions to Calistoga Estate by Amy A. Alper, Architect based in Sonoma, California and House on a Wharf by Elliott Architects of Blue Hill, Maine. 

Remember, for the New Modern Cottage category, we wanted to see houses designed to take us away from the modern rush. Also, the homes should provide a retreat for the families that gather there, and provide a place where they can reconnect with each other. The size of the homes could range, but we put a limit at 4,800 square feet.

Today, we’re showing you Calistoga Estate with its winning write-up and beautiful images provided by Amy A. Alper, Architect.

After a long search for property in Calistoga, California, suitable for both vineyards and gardens for farm-to-table eating, a retired couple found 12 acres with added value: site features worth retaining. Those elements then served as the starting point for design with a clear objective: integrate the new 3 bedroom, 4,250-square-foot home with the existing meandering site-walls, pool, patios and outdoor kitchen. 

An added request by the owners intensified an already complex task…The house should evoke the idea of building over time, as commonly occurs on rural properties.

The Solution

The solution was found in an ensemble of vernacular forms of varying heights and materials.

The existing stone inspired use of the same for the fireplace and three pavilions: entry, kitchen and master suite.

Cedar in a board and batten pattern was assigned to the volumes between the stone anchors.

The exterior materials are also featured inside to delineate each form and along with large openings, blur the lines between indoor and out.

Materials were chosen for both their inherent architectural beauty and for fire resistive qualities. The choices proved valuable before construction was complete. The house survived the Tubbs Wildfire of 2017, which destroyed neighboring homes.

Continue to end for more images, resource list, and photography credits. 

Resource List
Interior Architecture and Space Planning: Amy A. Alper, Architect
Interior Design: Jennifer Robin Interiors
Landscape Architect: Merge Studio – Inc
Contractor: Total Concepts

Doors and Windows: Kolbe Windows
Exterior Materials: STK Cedar and Syar Stone
Architectural Interior Finishes: Syar Stone, Cedar, Rift Oak
Roofing: Taylor Metals
Fireplace: Isokern
Lighting: Tech Lighting
Lighting Controls: Lutron

Photography Credit
John Merkl Photography