Exterior perspective of courtyard toward home

SECRET:garden is a renovation of an original 1900 two-story commercial brick building located in the town of Petaluma between the old river industrial area and the sloped residential heights.  The project converts the existing structure, from a chicken hatchery and stable building into a primary single family residence preserving the building’s raw, unfinished material quality.  The Design retains the buildings perimeter masonry walls to create an interior garden courtyard while transforming the remaining interior wood frame it into an elegant, warm, light-filled home.

Exterior rendering at courtyard toward entry

Exterior rendering at courtyard toward rear

Exterior rendering of front porch at night

Interior rendering at kitchen

Interior rendering at living room

The new 3 bedroom, 2 ½  bath home and garden is built entirely within the masonry walls – preserving as much of the existing structure as possible.  The remaining diaphragm is sandblasted to expose the open framing on the first floor ceilings while the east quarter of the structure is demolished to create an internal light court – a “secret garden”, within the existing brick walls.

Interior rendering at staircase

Interior rendering at upper stair

The modern two-story home features, broad grazing, skylights and sliding walls, under a new roof and upper deck, all of which is structurally independent of the exterior UMP walls while supporting them laterally with the new exposed  Alaskan Yellow cedar post and beam “frame”. The new concrete shear walls and slab are exposed and hydronically heated to extend outwards to create a side yard porch or  “engawa” space.  This semi inside/outside area is protected by the overhanging upper floor where an engineered wood radiant floating floor and sliding plywood walls create a cozy and flexible private oasis for the family to “tune’ and as guests or office needs change over time.

Interior rendering at cozy

Interior rendering at master bedroom

Exterior perspective of roof toward court

Exterior rendering at rooftop

Rendered section looking south

Rendered section looking south

Rendered section looking east, opened

Rendered section looking east, opened

Rendered section looking east, closed

Rendered section looking east, closed

Plan - ground floor

Plan – ground floor


Plan - second level

Plan – second level

SITE: Petaluma, CA

DATE: 2017


This upper floor of  “bleached – white” plywood is an open plan with sliding partitions –  to allow for either bedroom or office configurations of the upper living areas all centered around a large light well roof access which opens onto the planted upper roof deck garden with spectacular views of Petaluma, its agricultural past along the Petaluma Canal.