Sonoma Spa Retreat, Sonoma, Calif.
Bruce Damonte Sonoma Spa Retreat, Sonoma, Calif.

Aidlin Darling Design  

San Francisco–based Aidlin Darling Design crafted the program of this private spa retreat, located in the mountains of Sonoma, Calif., to serve as a place of respite for a businessman and his family. The structure is sited within a grove of oak , manzanita, and madrone trees, close enough to the main house so as to be convenient, but far enough to ensure privacy on the 10-acre site. The entry is situated behind two curving earthen walls that make the approach somewhat like moving through a concrete Richard Serra sculpture. Inside, the 1,802-square-foot structure includes a yoga and meditation studio, a steam room, changing rooms, and a refreshment bar. The spaces are organized on a wood deck surface that projects out over the landscape to the northeast and southeast to provide a private sundeck, which is shaded by a slatted canopy. Retractable glass walls open the interior spaces to the outdoors. “It was a controversial project because a 1,800-square-foot outbuilding struck some of us as being a little difficult to swallow,” juror Joel Sanders said. “But what won the jury over, was not only the exquisite detailing, but, most importantly, the way it is embedded in the landscape.”

Click here to see all of the winners of the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.

Context view.
Chris Gramly Context view.

Bruce Damonte Approach.

Bruce Damonte Entry.

Yoga and meditation studio.
Bruce Damonte Yoga and meditation studio.

Surrounding views.
Bruce Damonte Surrounding views.

Night view.
Bruce Damonte Night view.


Courtesy Aidlin Darling Design Plan.

Project Credits

Project  Sonoma Spa Retreat, Sonoma, Calif.
Architect  Aidlin Darling Design, San Francisco—David Darling, AIA, Joshua Aidlin, AIA, Paul Baird, Kent Chiang
General Contractor  Burlington Construction—Steve Burlington
Structural Engineer  Berkeley Structural Design—Bill Lynch
Civil Engineer  Lescure Engineers—Maureen Wendle
Landscape Architect  Landmark Landscape Co.—June King
Photography  Bruce Damonte, Chris Gramly
Project Size  1,820 square feet
Construction Cost  Withheld

Materials and Sources

Bathroom Cabinets  Custom (painted MDF)
Bathroom Fittings  Kohler
Bathroom Fixtures  Rhodes Architectural Stone
Countertops  Custom stone
Doors  Fleetwood Windows & Doors
Exterior Siding  Custom (1 x 3  split cedar palms)
Flooring  Ann Sacks  (tile); Rode Bros. (reclaimed teak deck and floor)
Hardware  Custom (bronze door pull); Omnia Industries (hinges and doors); Rixson, an Assa Abloy Group Co.  (pivot hinge)
Insulation  Thermafiber
Kitchen Cabinets  Custom (painted MDF)
Kitchen Fittings  Kohler
Kitchen Fixtures  Elkay Manufacturing Co.
Lighting Fixtures  Bega-US; B-K Lighting; Litelab; Lucifer Lighting Co.
Paints and Finishes  Benjamin Moore & Co.; Cabot (stain)
Refrigerator  Viking Range
Roofing  Johns Manville
Skylights  Velux
Solar Energy System  Mitsubishi Electric US (solar panels)
Steam Room Equipment  ThermaSol
Windows  Fleetwood Windows & Doors