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private residence, st. helena, calif.

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop's clients for this Napa Valley cottage wanted a single-story house. But their site, an idyllic hillside, lent itself to a two-story plan. Architects solved this problem by terracing the hillside with two stone retaining walls, creating a plateau.

private residence, st. helena, calif.

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop's clients for this Napa Valley cottage wanted a single-story house. But their site, an idyllic hillside, lent itself to a two-story plan. Architects solved this problem by terracing the hillside with two stone retaining walls, creating a plateau.

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    David Duncan Livingston

    The lawn between the main building and the pool house serves as an outdoor room.

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    David Duncan Livingston

    The home’s open plan promotes a feeling of spaciousness.

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    Turnbull Griffin Haesloop

    Site plan

turnbull griffin haesloop, berkeley, calif.

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop's clients for this Napa Valley cottage wanted a single-story house. But their site, an idyllic hillside, lent itself to a two-story plan. The architects solved this problem by terracing the hillside with two stone retaining walls, creating a plateau that could accommodate a single-level house. "Many of the old vineyards in the area are terraced," says partner Eric Haesloop. "We took that idea and expanded on it as a way of getting the clients a house where they felt comfortable."

Inside, the emphasis on comfort continues. A massive stone fireplace in the living room anchors the open, airy plan; it's also visible from the master bedroom. A stone-lined shower features a peaked skylight roof that gives the space an outdoor-shower feeling. "Fantastic," said the judges of the project's utter simplicity. "You can't teach this stuff in school."

project architects: Eric Haesloop, AIA, and Mary Griffin, AIA, Turnbull Griffin Haesloop
general contractor: Kent Drescher, Builder, Calistoga, Calif.
landscape architect: Jack Chandler, Jack Chandler Associates, Yountville, Calif.
project size: 1,500 square feet
site size: 8 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: David Duncan Livingston; photo Taunton Press, from Patterns of Home, by Max Jacobson, Murray Silverstein, and Barbara Winslow.