Ridge House

Sonoma, California, USA
Bruce Damonte

MORK-ULNES is an international architecture practice behind the design of the brutalist looking Ridge House. At this compact Sonoma guesthouse, board-formed concrete sculpted into austere volumes carves into dry earth, suspending guest rooms over a plateau’s edge. The building is composed of three small volumes that step down with the changing grade, nesting into the site’s natural contours so that the mass of the building is softened into the hillside.

Terracotta concrete blends with the rich, rusty colourations of the property’s rock to enhance the impression of its rootedness. A continuous, multi-gabled roof joins the private units into a coherent whole. Solid concrete walls and roof shield the interior from the sun during the harshest times of day. The roof’s oblique ridges direct views from within the house out to the remarkable hills beyond and shade the windows to protect from the intensity of the summer sun.

MORK-ULNES is led by Casper Mork-Ulnes and Lexie Mork-Ulnes with offices in San Francisco, California, and Oslo. Drawing from their Norwegian heritage, the practice approach projects with both Scandinavian practicality and a Californian can-do spirit of innovation.

Our built work is characterised by both playfulness and restraint—the result of a rigorous and concept-driven process that is informed by an economy of means and materials.

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