WRNS Studio was honored with the 2018 American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) Design Award for their Sonoma Academy Janet Durgin Guild & Commons project. Jurors deliberated between more than 250 entries, with 23 California architecture firms being recognized for innovative design.
WRNS Studio took home a Leading Edge award. Introduced by AIACC this year, this category recognizes projects that speak to design excellence as well as sustainability and resiliency.
Sited at the base of Taylor Mountain with panoramic views of Sonoma Valley, the new nature-inspired education center - maker studio and recording studios, full kitchen, dining and meeting space, cooking lab, garden and classroom facility - integrates biophilic principles with innovative design and engineering solutions to meet the school's ambitious energy, water and material goals.
Inspired by the beauty of the site, the two sweeping floors stretch to views, embrace productive gardens and conversation patios, and nestle back into the hill on the east. The green roof cools the photovoltaic panels and supports pollinator pathways, while contributing to the stormwater management system that collects water through landscape terraces for reuse.
The building envelope responds to the climate with automatic exterior shades on the south and movable wooden screens to the north and west. The all-induction kitchen contributes to the low carbon footprint, along with reduced carbon masonry units made from local soil, and reused wood exterior wood siding. Ceramic tiles, dining tables, and special lighting are made from local talent including the students of Sonoma Academy.
In addition to this award, the project was recognized with an AIA COTE Top Ten and an AIASF Design award earlier this year.
Photography: Celso Rojas, Michael David Rose