Diamond ADU: A Modern Take on Sonoma Wine Country Homes

Discover Diamond ADU by S^A | Schwartz and Architecture, a pioneering private house nestled in Sonoma, CA. Designed in 2022, this accessory dwelling unit marries the rustic charm of dilapidated farm structures with modern-day elegance and functionality, transforming the concept of the modern farmhouse. Through strategic design, it integrates seamlessly into the landscape, promising a unique blend of historical reverence and contemporary living.

Modern living room with large windows and nature view.
Modern kitchen interior with white cabinets, pendant lights, and a person walking by.
Contemporary room with pool table, large windows, and a woodland view.
Contemporary bedroom with large windows and minimalist decor.
Modern bathroom with floating vanity, mirror, toilet, and walk-in shower.
Contemporary house with pool and large tree in backyard.
Modern house entrance with geometric roof and a person standing in the doorway.
Contemporary house with gabled roof and large windows nestled in woodland.
Single-story contemporary home with large windows and a sloped roof, surrounded by lush
Modern house with illuminated interiors at twilight surrounded by trees.

About Diamond ADU

Reimagining Sonoma’s Landscape with Diamond ADU

In the heart-stirring expanses of Sonoma, CA, amidst the scenic wine country, stands the Diamond ADU – a testament to the innovative vision of S^A | Schwartz and Architecture, crafted in 2022. Far from being a mere accessory dwelling unit, Diamond ADU is a synthesis of the region’s rustic heritage and the sleek underpinnings of modern design. This project, conceived with a deep reverence for Sonoma’s decaying agricultural edifices, introduces a contemporary interpretation of these historical footprints, serving as a counter-narrative to the proliferating “modern farmhouse” aesthetic.

The design ethos of Diamond ADU pivots on the fascinating remnants of agricultural structures, their elegant decay, and the peculiar charm they exude. The steeply-sloped roofs, once characteristic of these buildings, have been reimagined into a low-slung silhouette that integrates the dwelling into its environment with humility and grace. Such a deliberate stance allows the ADU to coexist with the site’s existing structures and natural oak groves without vying for dominance.

From specific vantage points, the ADU presents a conventional facade; yet, this familiar aspect is a precursor to the architectural sleight of hand that unfolds as one navigates the surroundings. The structure morphs into a refined pavilion, virtually merging with the landscape, its roofline dissolving into the backdrop. This design choice is emblematic of the project’s core mission: to capture and articulate the ephemeral qualities of natural light and the Sonoma landscape.

A Sanctuary of Light and Reflection

Internally, the space is bisected by a linear skylight that runs the entire length of the home, a feature as functional as it is poetic. This skylight is not merely an architectural flourish but the backbone of the project’s light-centric design philosophy. It bathes the interiors in a soft, diffuse glow, constantly altering the home’s ambiance as the day progresses. By doing so, Diamond ADU encapsulates the essence of the site’s natural luminosity, making the outdoor environment an integral part of the living experience.

The thoughtful placement of the ADU, peeking from behind a tree as viewed from the family’s main social space, and its discreet tucking among the oak groves, emphasizes a design that is deeply responsive to its setting. It’s a habitation that, by virtue of its architectural language, feels ‘alive’ – acknowledging its historical cues while firmly looking towards the future.

In essence, the Diamond ADU does not just occupy a physical space within Sonoma’s lush wine country. It occupies a conceptual space that bridges the past and present, decay and growth, history and modernity. It stands as a bold yet respectful affirmation that innovative design can, and should, harmonize with the narratives of the landscape it seeks to inhabit.

Photography by Bruce Damonte Photography
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- by Matt Watts