GREEN ECO-FRIENDLY HOME| Wyboy Ranch
Barns-the ones that the architect-owner remembers from growing up in rural Minnesota-inspired the design for the Sutton Residence in Northern California. The spacious floor plan and oversized openings reveal a fresh application to details once reserved for livestock and heavy equipment.
The house features a basic open organizational plan. Large barn doors, rather than the smaller hinged variety, slide on tracks to screen the office and bedroom for privacy. Huge sliding glass doors line the east side of the house, drawing in the morning sunshine. Large enough for a tractor to pass through, when the doors roll aside all hindrance is removed between the living area and the grandiose landscape.
Nature's resources, rather than artificial air controls, cool the house during the hotter months of the year. By its orientation toward the northeast, adjacent to the Petaluma River, the home avoids the intense southern and eastern sun. The property's three mature oaks passively shade windows during the heat of summer-in winter, they lose their leaves, allowing passage of the sun's warming rays.
Walking through the entryway, a single long room combines living, dining, and kitchen areas, with a cabinet providing vague separation between kitchen and dining room. A vertical shaft intersects one end, containing the master bedroom on one floor and children's bedrooms above, nestled like a tree house into the old growth canopy.
The beauty of the Sutton Residence lies in its clarity of plan and elemental expression of materials. Recycled beams from a 2oo-year-old Pennsylania barn provide immediate depth and character, joists remain exposed and concrete unpolished. Radiant heat cycles through the floors, cool breezes enter through the barn doors, and the natural beauty of Petaluma's wildlife preserve moves through the heart of this unassuming home.
1 The Sutton Residence, amid its many old-growth trees
2 The home’s view of the Petaluma River
3 Recycled timber from an old barn span the dining room
4 The home’s wide perforations integrate interiors with the landscape and provide views from every room
“Recycled beams from a 200 year old Pennsylvania barn provide immediate depth and character, joints remain exposed and concrete unpolished.”