While many architects revel in the design phase of a project — collaborating with a client to design a building that fits their goals and budget along with the demands of the site — to me, the most satisfying aspect of the architectural process is getting to see a project built. However, sometimes life just gets in the way. Whether a down economy or personal issues prevent a project from coming into fruition, many projects don’t get past the so-called drawing board. While this project in California did not get built, we enjoyed our time with the client and in preparing the design. It’s still a great project in our mind’s eye.

Located in the San Francisco Bay area, Happy Valley Farm occupies 40 acres of rolling hills, green grassy canyons, and unspoiled panoramic views. Designed in a California-craftsman style, the project includes an eight-stall horse barn and covered arena with all amenities. The barn was designed to also house a woodworking shop, a wine cellar, and a wine-tasting room. A caretaker’s suite on the second floor of the barn has a balcony that overlooks the broodmare stalls for the observation of foaling mares.