Listen closely at break of day, and you might just hear a collective “Om” as thousands of yogis greet the sun. The Bay Area’s tradition of finding balance in Eastern practices is a vital one, and, rising like a materialized mantra over the Sonoma hills, a recent Aidlin Darling Design project—a private retreat featuring a yoga pavilion—is its latest manifestation.
Joshua Aidlin and David Darling’s buildings always put people on an equal footing with nature, and this retreat is no exception. “The clients are South African, and they’re avid horticulturalists, so they were familiar with our site concept of a boma—an enclave carved out of a forest,” says Aidlin. “We all agreed to let the ten-acre parcel’s natural topography define the relationship between all of the freestanding structures, so it was a process of excavation rather than construction.” In a choreographed dance with Mother Nature, shrubs and trailing vines will continue to mature and eventually camouflage the meditation pavilion, as well as the solar-heated pool, bocci and croquet courts, dining area and the pre-existing house, until they become one with a hillside of tree groves. Read the rest of this article on SFC&G (San Francisco Cottages & Gardens)246