Sonoma Residence

Category: Live
Sonoma, CA


After the original residence on this property was destroyed by the 2017 Firestorms, the owner made the decision to rebuild. The result is a simple yet elegant modular 4,000 square-foot home with a detached two-car garage and 2,500 square feet of surrounding ground-level decks that are largely covered by gracefully cantilevered roof eaves.

The home is visually striking, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls; a large, open central space for living, dining, and kitchen spaces; and gorgeous views in every direction of the surrounding vineyards, hillside, and coastal mountains in the distance. Structurally, the home is constructed of wood framing that was designed and constructed as modular and panelized units, each uniquely configured to fit together like a set of Legos, with the benefits of faster and more cost-effective prefabrication and shorter construction time.

While multiple design iterations preceded the final design (including less conventional “warped” roof framing and rammed-earth walls), a modular approach was selected to provide the architectural vision and meet budget and construction goals. ZFA designed nine “box” modules, 17 flat roof panels, and three flat floor panels, as well as the site-built foundations. A crawl space under the floors houses mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services to allow the roof structure to be simple and light. Steel framing was used where needed for long spans and lateral support, including for one compact steel braced frame. The central atrium module is constructed mostly of glass walls and a vaulted roof and was carefully designed to connect to the adjacent wings, which provide lateral support for the large open area.

Significant coordination with the prefabrication contractor was essential to ensure the constructability and accessibility of connections after shipping the modules to the site. ZFA continues to work with the modular manufacturer on other high-end custom family homes being designed with both modular and panelized components.

Though the reconstruction of this structure was unexpected, ZFA was pleased to be able to help these owners rediscover—and reinvent—their home.

Photo Credit: Richard Neill/Adventure Pictures

Size 3,923 sf
Completed 2021
Architect Piechota Architecture
Contractor Songer Construction Management, Inc.; Mario Custom Builder Inc.