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Sonoma Spa Retreat

Aidlin Darling Design

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  • 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
  • Bruce Damonte, Chris Gramly

Project Status


Year Completed



1,820 sq. feet
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Project Description

Outbuilding / Honorable Mention
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.” —Katie Gerfen
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