Front Door-less Sonoma Retreat Makes a Strong Case for Ditching Yours

You enter through the courtyard. It's got bocce. And a pool.

By Tanner Garrity

Front Door-less Sonoma Retreat Makes a Strong Case for Ditching Yours
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21 June 2018

When’s the last time you answered a doorbell?

Or at least, answered it without thinking, “Who in Sam Hill is on my porch right now?!

The casual drop-in has mostly gone the way of newspapers and milkmen, but that doesn’t mean the home should turn into a reclusive fortress. Perhaps our times just call for a reimagining of how visitors should be received.

To wit: the Valley of the Moon retreat, a three-acre hacienda amongst the native oaks and redwoods of Sonoma Valley … that has no front door.

That's right: the entirely cedar compound was instead arranged as a set of rectangles facing a central courtyard, which comes equipped with a bocce ball court and saltwater lap pool. The property is accessed through a walkway to the back, which then leads to all portions of the equally calming interior (yoga studios, floor-to-ceiling windows and “levitating” bunk beds abound).

vOm (7 images)

This whole operation, designed by Butler Armsden Architects, is stupidly gorgeous. But it’s also just a great idea. Prioritizing the backyard as an entry point inherently prioritizes the backyard, making sure it’s a well-cared for place to break bread, build a bonfire, play bocce, etc. It’s an old way of communal thinking, updated for an age when your friends’ arrival is announced via text, instead of riiiing.

Find more information on the retreat here.

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