At a distance the home seems nearly like a mirage: a pristine construction sitting atop rolling hills lined in wild grass, paying homage to agricultural barns however a bit too geometrically exact. Nearer inspection reveals two monumental glass-and-steel hydraulic home windows that elevate to open the light-filled inside to its surrounding dramatic panorama. As if this scene weren’t magical sufficient, two picture-perfect miniature donkeys not far away to greet you, searching for treats.
“They’re Sugi and Jinx, our nice loves,” Kristina O’Neal says with fun, referring to the full-time residents of this Sonoma County home. O’Neal, a founding companion of award-winning design agency AvroKO, identified for groundbreaking hospitality initiatives world wide, and her husband, Adam Gordon, a developer of modern actual property initiatives, are longtime Manhattanites who, a decade in the past, sought out a bit of land the place they may get pleasure from a unique relationship with the bodily world. “I believe we regularly need to return to locations the place we grew up, even when it’s simply the texture of a area matching a romanticized reminiscence,” says O’Neal, who’s initially from the Bay Space. Gordon has his personal causes for settling in wine nation: “I’d been stashing vehicles right here for ages—I’d fly in and drive the winding roads,” he confesses. So, having sufficient room to retailer a group of completely restored classic vehicles turned a part of the equation when the couple began searching for a spot to construct.
After an intensive search, the duo settled on a 227-acre plot in Knights Valley, a nonetheless somewhat-forgotten nook of Sonoma County. Owned by an outdated San Francisco household who had used it for cattle ranching, it was one of many final tracts that hadn’t been transformed to grapevines. As an alternative of constructing as quickly as they discovered it, the couple camped there for the primary yr, divining the right location. “We agreed to expertise the land—the seasons, the smells and lightweight and the wildlife—earlier than embarking,” Gordon explains. O’Neal provides, “We had been amassing footage of bare-bones buildings from Uruguay that felt each agricultural and soulful.” This turned the primary inspiration for the house. The couple’s mixed years of experience as designer and builder resulted in a steel-and-glass barn clad in stone that’s each embedded within the land and otherworldly. “A stripped-down, nearly glass-walled tent of types,” says Gordon.
The home is outfitted with seemingly limitless sliding glass doorways, along with two airplane-hangar home windows that absolutely open the lounge on one finish of the home and the first bed room on the opposite to convey mild breezes in addition to daylight into the home on lovely days—whicthis being Northern California in any case, is nearly at all times. “The home is 28 ft huge, so we’re by no means greater than 14 ft from a window,” Gordon proudly states. The various openings additionally permit their domesticated donkeys to roam freely, inside and outside. “They personal the joint,” O’Neal says, solely half-jokingly.