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Thursday, Sep 16, 2021

A Striking Cor-Ten Steel Home in Sonoma

A Striking Cor-Ten Steel Home in Sonoma

Designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects, the Triple Barn House is a rustic retreat made of glass, concrete, and steel.

Perched on a six-acre parcel just minutes from downtown Sonoma, California, is a steel-clad dwelling known as the Triple Barn House. The two-level home was built in 2016 by San Francisco–based Mork-Ulnes Architects for a couple seeking to reconnect with nature.



Dressed with Cor-Ten steel, the triple-gabled roof divides the 1,750-square-foot home into three zones: a workshop, a retreat, and a forum. A large concrete base holds the carport and main entryway.

Inspired by the area’s rural building typologies, the firm wrapped the home in metal cladding reminiscent of the iron-red soil found at the hillside site. "We chose Cor-Ten steel as the cladding material for its natural resistance to fire, as well as its resonance to agricultural buildings of the Sonoma Valley," says Casper Mork-Ulnes, the firm’s founder. "The natural soil of the Sonoma hillside is very iron rich, which gives it a rusted color, making the house tie back to earth."



Upon arrival, a broad, sculptural staircase leads to the main living areas on the upper level.



Expansive glazing invites ample natural light inside while capturing views of Sonoma’s rolling hills, forests, and farms.

Inside, crisp white walls present a stark contrast to the home’s rustic red exterior, and large picture windows and floor-to-ceiling glazing further enhance the light-filled atmosphere. In total, the dwelling spans 1,750 square feet, with spacious living areas connected by an open layout. Sliding glass doors open the professional-grade kitchen to a large, partially shaded outdoor area that frames captivating views.



Douglas fir floors add warmth to the home’s neutral palette.



The main dining area is located just steps from the bright, airy kitchen.

"My favorite feature is the way it feels like one continuous room, yet at the same time there are three zones existing under three roofs, each serving a different function," Mork-Ulnes notes.

In addition to free-flowing living spaces, the home has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and a double-height office and a bonus room on the lower level. Wooded trails weave around the property, offering many opportunities to enjoy nature.



As a chef and food educator, one of the current owners has used the open kitchen as a laboratory for healthy meals to inspire her job teaching. When planning the home, they sought to craft a space where they could "prep food together while also being able to move freely and smartly."



A large pantry sits off the kitchen, offering plenty of storage space.

"The house turned out to be more private than we expected," says one of the current owners. "It truly is a hideaway. It feels like we are in a world away from the hustle and bustle." Scroll ahead to see more of the residential retreat, now listed for $2,995,000.



An expansive cantilevered eave creates an extension of the kitchen with an outdoor bar and grilling/seating area. A thriving garden lies nearby.



Another lounge area, which the owners refer to as a forum, is located in the heart of the home, between the main living spaces and the primary suite.



The primary bedroom presents a quiet, calming environment, complete with picturesque views.



A Jack-and-Jill bathroom connects the additional two bedrooms, also sited on the upper level.



On the lower level, the concrete-clad office features a separate entrance. The space could also serve as a gym or artist’s studio.



Once the sun sets, the private side deck with soaking tub offers an idyllic setting for stargazing.


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