For Sonoma Academy’s Janet Durgin Guild & Commons — a two-story, 19,500-sf learning facility with maker spaces, cooking lab, cafeteria, indoor/outdoor classrooms — the design took an “outside in” approach, infusing modern rustic aesthetics appropriate to the countryside campus and nearby Taylor Mountains. Leading with biophilia, the design focuses on fresh air, daylighting, sustainable systems, and local, healthy materials.
Two sweeping floors stretch to views, grab hillsides and blend the campus with its surroundings. The interiors reflect a clean aesthetic that play with materiality, daylight and purity of line. Glass, timber, earthblock and steel double as interior palette. A transparent facade of operable windows, sliding wood slats, and coiling doors blur the lines between nature and manmade.
Throughout, lines stylistically guide you. Surprising angles invite movement. Louvers made with FSC wood play with shadow, filtering in sunlight. Reclaimed wood and ceramic tile are incorporated into locally-made lamps and furnishings. Healthy materials and sustainable systems are on display including a living roof that attracts pollinators and connects to tiered planters that filter greywater.
For The Commons’ cafeteria, the kitchen is a focal point with a box-within-a-box-concept. Glossy black countertops contrast with white subway tiles and bright textural trim. Tableware is displayed in a pantry-like setting. Stool seating in pops of red pair with wood tables.
For the Guild’s maker spaces, digital studios and robotics lab, a color palette of yellow, blue and gray sets the stage for hands-on learning. Tables on castors, writable surfaces and folding walls allow for endless configurations and for new equipment to adjust with the times.
The resultant interiors balance minimalistic design with comfort and warmth, maximizing views and access points to the outside. It beckons the occupant to ask, where do the indoors end and the outdoors begin.
The project seeks LEED Platinum, LBC, WELL certifications.
Photography: Michael David Rose and Celso Rojas
Sonoma Academy's Janet Durgin Guild and Commons
Location: Santa Rosa, Calif.
Design Team: WRNS Studio