Field Architecture is a firm based in Palo Alto, California. The architects aim at designing which are sensitive towards the land and also develop design solutions that are deeply rooted in the environment. The core design philosophy of the architects is that architecture is an integral part of nature that allows humans to return to being part of nature and oppose the idea of being apart from it. The architects begin the project with the reading of the land which is called a Ground scape.
The architects explore the site, culture of the area, resources available, and the history of the place to keep the uniqueness of the place intact. Before designing the experientiality of the space is also looked into. The architects strongly believe that architecture is a mix of art and science, function, and form. The buildings designed are thoughtful, inspiring, and sustainable. The process also includes selecting materials that comprise holistic ecologic assimilation of principles like- the whole is greater than the sum and each project is suited to the place.
A few projects by the firm are as follows:-
1. Dawnridge, Los Altos Hills, California
Dawnridge was visualized as a site which was a fragment of the natural environment. The project contrasts the urban character of the surroundings and reconnects the site to the larger ecological context. The building is surrounded by a restored stream on one side of the boundary and by Blue Oak in the center of the building. The roof of the building alludes to the typical gable-roofed ranch house. The house has been split into two and is away from each other to settle into the topography to make space for the oak. One side has more public spaces and the other has spaces more private. The exteriors of the building are cladded with timber. The architects also added batten siding, the slender boards to control heat gain also allowing breezes and dappled light to lighten the house with bands of natural light.
A neutral palette of concrete, grey-washed oak floors, and cypress are used to create a setting for the landscape to come to life.
2. 12 Moons, Sonoma, California
The house has been surrounded by wild oak and madrone trees. There are pockets of vineyards also present around the house. Two walls of rammed earth anchor the house to the ground. The roof shades are present as overhangs for providing shades to the outdoor spaces which are towards the pool. Large steel and glass doors are present on the side of the pool. A feeling of the open pavilion can be experienced.
3. White sands, Carmel by the sea, California
This housing project is located on beach sand. Due to the unique mineral composition, the color of the project is pale grey and near white due to the sun. The architects suggested a wide span of glass and exterior wrapping of weathered cedar. The top wall is marked by ribbons pale blue. A rammed earth path is also present from the front door to the view. The elongated skylights are on the top of the walls. The illumination of the texture of the rammed earth is visible through the skylights.
4. Foothills, Los Altos Hills, California
The owner’s ambition to create a house that was 200 years old. The construction system was taken up in two parts, that is, the permanent elements and second was designed incorporating the flexible elements as the technologies develop and evolve. The primary elements and systems have been designed as robust and enduring. The Foothills are defined as three pavilions which are connected by glass breezeways. The pavilions are created in a way that is distinct spaces for gathering, working, and playing. The architecture responds to its surroundings.
5. Zinfandel, St. Helena, California
The ecological setting of the project plays an important role in the design of the project. These factors are destructive fires, winds, and renewing rainfall. The project was designed in a way which accommodates both small and large gathering and also the design showcases the balance of privacy and connection between the spaces.
There are three wings in the project. There’s a courtyard present inside the building. The gathering spaces are centrally located, the private spaces are developed on the periphery. The building was a mixture of contemporary architecture and vernacular architecture.
6. Pinon Ranch, Portola Valley, California
The housing project is located along the edge of Los the Trancos Forest. The residence is designed around two gabled volumes which are private and share spaces. Transitional spaces between the structures are given equal importance. A glass entry foyer connects the bedrooms and living spaces. The outdoor patio is covered and a pool terrace marks a connection between the main house and music studio. Topography has been taken into account as well.
7. Forty-One Oaks, Portola Valley, California
Space aims at creating an experience between interior and exterior space. The design process of the house revolves around incorporating the surrounding spaces. The rooflines extend beyond the pavilion volumes and sunlight has also been taken care of. The materials used in the building are minimal. Materials used are concrete, vertical grain cedar, and steel.
8. Sentinel Ridge, Howell Mountain, California
Sentinel Ridge is located on a mountainside in the Napa Valley. A sensory experience of the landscape was created by creating a link between the vineyard terrain, North
side and Forest towards the South.
The house has three gable-roofed volumes which indicate vernacular architecture. The volumes are offset from one another creating outdoor spaces opening up to the landscape and freestanding timber and steel colonnades.
9. Grasslands House, Camel Valley, California
The architects emphasized simplicity and the essence of architecture in the design of the building to capture a sense of deep comfort. The location of the house is such that the land is in the shape of a bowl and the pavilion is created using three interconnected glass and a detached barn. The ecosystem around the pavilion was preserved as it was designed to maximize views and also by solar orientation. Three primary walls run parallel to the topography which emphasizes the shape and spatial definition of the land. The project is yet to be built.
10. Yountville House, Napa, California
The house was designed for a joint family. The house was located amongst the continuous vineyards on the broad floodplains of Napa river. The area has a history of agriculture. The house was designed in such a way that small buildings come together as a home and also the building draws attention to the landscape with scenic views that can be enjoyed with the large windows. These windows slide open and connect the family to the outdoors.
Visual connectivity has been a dominant feature in the building. The design responds to the land by utilizing passive cooling and natural daylighting strategies. The design also includes the broad overhang roofs. Expansive windows and cross-section allow natural daylight.
11. Ubuntu Center, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The center displays independent volumes due to the folded concrete. The materials used are locally available and the layering of the infrastructure network has led to massive folded planes. The dynamic relationship between the interior and the exterior is displayed due to the material elements. The center provides spaces like career-counseling, the clinic for testing HIV/ TB, and also other social activities.
12. Kol Emeth Synagogue Center, Palo Alto, California
The project is a redevelopment project. Twelve pillars support the canopy which refers to the twelve tribes of Israel. A sanctuary, courtyard, and social hall are designed in the same proportion as the tabernacle.
13. Bodega Bauer, Mendoza, Argentina
The building is designed for a hot arid region and wine grapes grow in the region where the building is proposed to be located. The building is still under construction. The site, material, subtleties of sun and wind, and the climatic conditions are highly considered while considering the design of the building.
The ancient system of waterways is established in the building, where the central channel connects the house to its winery and collects water for irrigation purposes from the building’s rooftops.
14. Karoo Wilderness Centre, Karoo, South Africa
The project has been designed for hot arid land and is under construction. The topography and trajectories of the water runoffs have been considered along with factors like wind movement, soil composition, and effects of plant and animal species on the landscape. The center aims at restoring the fundamental value and beauty of the landscape by incorporating the natural processes of Karoo.
The above-mentioned buildings aim at restoring the ecosystem in the regions where they are present by incorporating the natural process available and creating this process.